What to expect in the business world

You've landed the internship, but you still need to know how to best leverage this opportunity -- what questions to ask, how to interact in a business environment, how to impress your boss (and her boss).

Step 1 - read our tips below from the experts at Sequent—as human resources consultants, they've got this thing down.

Step 2 - share your own tips and questions on our blog; after all, we're all in this together.

Cutting through the Generational Gap

As a college graduate, you have already faced many challenges during your education and career search. Final exams, thesis, and interviewing were just the start. As you enter the workforce, you are going to face other challenges. One challenge comes from working with your co-workers and managers that are members of three other generations. Each generation grew up in a different time with different values and it may take some time to learn to interact with the other generations.

Here are the four different generations:

  • Traditionalists are 63+ years old. They are the postwar generation. They are hardworking, loyal, rarely question authority and have probably worked for the same company their entire career.
  • Baby Boomers are 44 to 62 years old. This generation is comprised of aggressive overachievers. They are energetic and enthusiastic. And they switch jobs when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Generation X is 28 to 43 years old. They are not loyal, but great multitaskers. They grow bored easily, therefore, they switch jobs frequently.
  • Generation Y or Millennials are 18 to 28 years old. They are technologically savvy, well-educated, self-confident, have high expectations, can multi-task and also grow bored easily.

As a Millennial, you are seen by the other generations as lazy techies who only communicate via text messaging. However, you most likely will report to a Baby Boomer. Baby Boomers focus on themselves, do not like to be told what to do, and are less optimistic, more experimental, and free-spirited. They want to see you as an organized professional.

In the workplace you need to choose the right mentor. The other generations want to mentor you and grow you into a leader for the future of the company. You also need to understand the differences between the generations. Remember that technology comes easier to Millennials then it does the other generations. So don't laugh when you are asked to help a Baby Boomer find something on the Internet or put a formula into Excel. Also, share your networks. The older generations have grown a large network over the years and Millennials have grown an even larger one on social networking sites.

You will face criticism and opposition. But be determined and prove yourself. Be optimistic and accept that change does not happen overnight. Learn to embrace the other generations. You have a lot to learn from them and they are looking to you to make a huge impact. Are you up for the challenge?