Opening Doors and Expanding Networks: Connecting Gen Z Students to Experts
Most 2016 high school and college graduations have come and gone and with their passing, many young people—and their families—face anxiety about their career preparedness and opportunities.
For some students, such as first-generation college students who do not always have access to experienced mentors lending them career advice, a lack of corporate knowledge and access are particular worries. According to news outlet Quartz, unless you know someone in the organization, you’re at a major statistical disadvantage in getting hired. More than 80% of jobs are filled through internal referrals; unless someone has a network that provides a foot in the door, gainful employment can be daunting.
Doug Anderson shares the reason why he launched GEN Z, “People get jobs by making connections. But the vast majority of college students in America don’t have existing networks they can use to make these professionals. They are largely on their own. GEN Z helps college students make connections and get the access they need to find post-graduation opportunities.”
To prepare them, prior to the meeting all users are given a meeting template with suggested questions that they can use. GEN Z also sends reminders to users to send thank you letters after the interview and to ask their interviewer if they can contact them by email.
Students have the opportunity to sharpen their interview skills while gaining inside knowledge from professionals who are interested in sharing their day-to-day activities and what skills are most useful to them in their work. Access to GEN Z Connect is provided to students through their college career services office. By simply registering at genzconnect.com, students have access to an entire network of professionals willing to provide one-on-one insight and advice.
Students are not the only ones who benefit from this experience. The GEN Z Connect platform also offers employers an opportunity to seek and recruit talent from a motivated and self-starting group while establishing themselves as experts in their industry.
Since its launch in late 2015, GEN Z has expanded to more than 350 professionals at reputable companies such as Apple Inc., Discovery Channel, Deloitte, IBM, American Express, JP Morgan & Chase. By the end of 2016, Gen Z hopes to have 1000 coaches representing 500 companies in 12 main industry areas.