Generation Y is the fastest growing demographic in the workforce. Finding a way out of the “cookie cutter” business student stereotype and setting ourselves apart from one another is one of the biggest challenges we face, aside from finding a job. Written by Juliet Rocco
I saw a comedian a few years ago who brought up how business majors are like Twinkies; we’re all the same inside and out and there is no shortage. Along with everyone else in the room, I laughed at first, but then couldn’t help but ponder what made us all Twinkies. Why weren’t other majors being grouped into tasty junk foods?
It took me until much later to realize what he was talking about. As a business major, you learn to network in a world that ranks how well you can dress and talk the talk. We are all put through the same requirements of producing a professional resume, doing extensive group work, and networking through events. I’ve done numerous mock interviews, trying on business suits, and figuring out my elevator speech for employers.
This was all done because I was required to do it. As I do find this beneficial to my overall professional being, one thing continues to stand out in my mind—why are we not being taught how to become individuals? To set ourselves apart from the rest of the competition? I’m trying to stand out like the beautiful butterfly I am, but all of this generic content is getting in the way.
I know it’s challenging to find that niche that will put you over the top, especially so early into your professional career, but it is important to continue to find something that makes you unique. Without further adieu, here are my tips on how to avoid being a Twinkie:
- Come up with an original/creative/awesome elevator speech.
- Design your own business cards.
- Branch out (I once met a recruiting manager from a Fortune 50 company while waiting at the airport and got his business card, just from having small talk).
- It’s who you know.
- Create something new, and brag about it. Get inspired!
- Don’t compare yourself to others, use them as motivation instead.
- Have a sense of humor!
- Maintain a Nike attitude and Just Do It!
- It’s all about personality and positivity in the workplace.
Takeaway: For my fellow Gen Y’ers, I can only give one piece of advice: Do what you’re most passionate about. People will take notice and appreciate what you have to contribute.