Baby boomers and Gen-Xers perceive Millennials as different. That’s no secret. Sure, both groups pay lip service to Gen-Y for being team-oriented and digital-savvy. But, oh how Millennials get under their skin.
Their insatiable need for feedback, recognition, and affection rile baby busters, who’ve grown jaded from being disappointed and forgotten. For boomers, Gen-Y’s push to become part of decision-making reveals just how comfortable the generation that questioned everything has become. Not to mention, Millennials are leapfrogging busters and kicking boomers into retirement. And that makes them a threat as much as an annoyance.
BUSINESS STUDENTS TODAY AREN’T ALL THAT DIFFERENT
But is Gen-Y really any different? When it comes to careers, the boomer mantra of “having it all” is slowly being replaced by the Millennial ethos of “having a life.” Like boomers before them, Gen-Y wants to be part of the action and make a difference. Like Gen-X, they too are seeking opportunities to hone their skills (and a supportive boss who nurtures their aspirations). Like everyone, Millennials crave respect – and a challenge.
Students naturally project their ideals onto particular brands. In the 1970s, free-spirited business students flocked to transportation. Wall Street lured the best-and-brightest in the 1980s. During the Clinton years, computer technology became the hot spot. Maybe the philosophies of these sectors’ top companies – General Motors, Merrill Lynch, and Microsoft – resonated with their values. Or, perhaps working for these organizations were a means to an end – providing social prestige and an avenue to unleash their talents. Either way, they drew students whose energy and creativity re-shaped their industries.
For this generation of business school students, Google is the company that best embodies their hopes and goals. That was the finding from Universum Global’s annual survey of the top 100 employers for business students in the United States. Nearly a third of business students surveyed – 23.08% picked Google as a firm where they wanted to work. They were followed by the Walt Disney Company (19.37%), Apple (13.89%), Nike (12.88%), and J.P. Morgan (10.17%).
GOOGLE’S APPEAL BASED ON PRINICPLES, POTENTIAL AND PERKS
So what is Google’s big draw? Let’s just say it comes down to the firm’s principles, potential, and perks. Let’s start with Google’s famous “Don’t be evil” slogan. The company’s mission is predicated on a larger vision than simply delivering a short-term return to shareholders. Instead, like Apple, the company focuses on breaking boundaries, to provide greater access that fosters education and unleashes its users’ potential. In seconds, Google’s search engine can whip through billions of indexes, connecting you to an unprecedented volume of information. Using Google Earth, you can view your home or school from hundreds or thousands of feet in the air. Or, you can play games, share files, or enjoy video chat with an Android app.
As a result, Google has earned the most elusive of labels: “Cool” But it’s not the rebel cool of the 60s or jock cool or the 80s. Google’s appeal has always been rooted in its possibilities. At Google, employees are literally designing the future, whether it is self-driving cars, robots, or wearable technology. If you follow James Bond, think of Google as Q’s lab. Here, you can have a say in how the next great solutions are designed, marketed, and distributed. And you can work alongside some of the best young minds in the process.
And have you heard about the perks of working at Google? Where do you even begin? Start with gourmet buffets that put Disney and Vegas to shame. Then, there are free gyms, haircuts, massages, dry cleaning, and transportation. You can unwind with video games, bowling, foosball, pool, and ping pong. At work, employees can devote 20 percent of their time to passion projects. Plus, the Mountain View campus even includes on-site day care and a medical facility. Oh…and you can even bring your dog to work too. All this begs the question: Why would anyone ever want to leave the office at Google?
BUSINESS MAJORS VALUE BALANCE AND JOB SECURITY
That’s a questions that survey respondents had to answer for themselves. The Universum Global employer ranking, which ran for three months starting last October, covered a number of majors. Overall, 81,707 students from 366 universities participated, including 25,606 business majors. According to Forbes, students were given a list of 230 employers and asked where they most wanted to work, along with whether they intended to apply at these companies. This year, students picked an average of 34.4 employers, nearly a 25 percent increase over the previous year.
As part of the study, Universum Global also inquired about students’ priorities. Here, Forbes reports, work-life balance and job security remained the biggest concerns for business students. Dedication to a cause (i.e. social impact) ranked third, ahead of being intellectually challenged and landing a leadership position. Forbes adds that supportive leadership was the most popular company quality among business students, with ethical standards ranking last (Gasp!).
A REFERENDUM ON BRANDING
You could also view this ranking as a referendum that measures a brand’s appeal, particularly among young educated professionals. These people represent both a talent pipeline and, in some cases, valuable consumers. Here, certain companies are winning the war for hearts-and-minds.