Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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A New Generation Brand in Celebration of Earth Day

April 20, 2011

As we all know everything is going green (or eco-friendly, sustainable, renewable, and so on).  While some adopt these practices because they truly care, others do so because it looks good.  You can’t get away from the “green” movement.  It touches all facets of our lives from the building industry to household cleaners to retail and fashion.  Try being a recruiter today without a “green” message, regardless if it actually makes a recruit pick you over your competitor.  This potential ‘fad’ has taken root.  But what are the considerations of this movement for the next generation (those born after 2001), those who follow the Millennials/Gen Y? 

Some generational experts are calling them Generation Z which certainly fits and follows the previous two generations quite nicely – Gen X and Gen Y.  Others are referring to them as Generation Thumb because all they will know how to do is talk with their thumbs…which is really not that different from the Millennials.  But I propose a new brand for this group of 10 years old to those not yet born.  (Keep in mind a generation spans 20 years so in 2012 we will just begin to start welcoming the second decade of this latest generation to the world.)

I propose G² – Generation Green.  No, not because I think we are going to be raising a bunch of tree huggers.  I believe the green movement has roots in the parents of young children today and the habits will be passed down.  Our young parents today are the younger Xers (those in their 30s) and the older Millennials (those in their late 20s). 

When I was in college in the 90s we didn’t have recycle bins on every floor in our dorm but now they are staples on just about every floor in every dorm.  When you go shopping at IKEA or Earth Fare you have to figure out what is trash and what is not and as we all ask our kids to clean up the table those decisions now fall to them.  As I settle into my early 30s my husband and I have adopted more green and eco-friendly practices.  We, like a number of our neighbors, have rain barrels, plant gardens, shop at farmers markets and recycle in larger volumes than we did when we were younger (when our Baby Boomer parents called the household shots).  

We are creating habits with enough reinforcement to likely sustain our young children well into adulthood.  And this is why I think our latest generation should be rightfully named G² – Generation Green. 

Happy Earth Day to all the Generations.  Remember Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd – don’t forget to plant a tree!

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A Parent’s Confession

April 12, 2011

Why he is raising a kid you may not want to hire.

I recently had a conversation with a dad who has a senior in high school.  As we chatted about his son and I gently probed his parenting tactics he looked at me sheepishly and said…“I know I am creating a kid that one day companies won’t want to hire.”  Due to his divorce and subsequent marriage to his second wife, he had to move his son across the country and drop him into a family with two step-sisters.  Because the dad felt guilty of the changes (and was at a point in his career where he could financially step back from working) he stayed home.  He also began to cater to his son.  He spends his mornings making lunches and doing laundry, running carpool throughout the day and trying to make his kid’s life easier. 

Now it’s easy to throw punches and pass judgment.  But if you had the benefit that I did to talk openly with this father you can understand his desire to “make things better and easier” for his kid.  He is being a parent after all, and as a parent myself, I recognize that desire, no matter how misguided.  It is a constant internal ‘heart vs. head’ struggle.  And the reality is, this dad knows better and he readily admits it. 

Though the depth of our parenting may be debatable, for the most part how we raise (or don’t) our children defines who they become.  And the person they grow up to be – their values, expectations, work ethic – is the one who arrives at your company on their first day. 

This isn’t a new debate about the Millennial (or Gen Y) generation.  It is an ongoing conversation we all, including the Millennials, will continue to deal with, talk about, debate and try to fix.  Are they coddled?  Must even those in last place get a trophy?  Do they have an over-inflated sense of self-importance?  Must they act so entitled? 

Truth is not all parents coddle, not all kids get trophies when they come in last, and not all think too highly of themselves or feel entitled.  And unfortunately some are all of those things.  As the oldest Millennials start to become parents (they are officially in their 30s now) it will be interesting to see how they parent.  And will give me something else to research, study and debate.  Bring it on!

What are your thoughts on the lasting effects of parenting and how has that impacted the Millennial generation?

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Company-Sponsorsed Summer Leadership Programs: Are They Effective in this Environment?

February 19, 2010

=This is my guest blog post for www.gurconnect.com (posted 2.18.2010)

For the last five to ten years, national accounting firms have embraced sponsoring and hosting week-long summer leadership programs for rising sophomore and junior college students. As hiring has slowed due to the recession, do these programs continue to offer a return on their investment and are they worth it?

The purpose behind the programs, for the most part, is for students to gain unique insight into the accounting industry, a better understanding of the firm hosting the event and to develop leadership skills. The programs, though different for each company, usually run for one week during the summer and include working in small groups as well as interaction and networking with company professionals and other students.

But in these economic times, companies must show a direct benefit to the bottom line for a program to continue to receive funding. “Every year we run a cost-benefit analysis and based on those results our firm’s leadership has continued to focus on, fund and grow our Leadership Adventure,” says Amy Thompson, campus recruiting director for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). “This program is a critical part of our overall recruitment strategy.” Since almost all PwC’s competitors offer a variation of this type of program, competition is tight for recruiting top talent to the program and in turn, to the firm. Of the 214 participants in the 2009 summer program for PwC, 80 percent received an offer for an internship. This is an important step in the hiring process as most full-time offers are made after an accounting student has participated in an internship. Of those who participated in an internship, 92 percent accepted full time offers.

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