Recently we interviewed over 50 ambitious interns from all over the globe. We asked them about their views on topics such as luxury, innovation, finance, sustainability and conscious leadership. Most were studying a Masters, MBA or Bachelors programme alongside building their careers. Here's what I heard:
1. Sustainability and ethics are non-negotiable
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that in a world where our planet and communities are at risk that the next generation are interested in this. What really surprised me is the responsibility and action which the next generation are taking on this. These are actions, not just words and the people we spoke with see it as their duty to place their efforts and focusses towards areas which leave the planet in a better place than they found it.
2. Finance is changing and crypto currencies are here to stay
Banks are under an existential crisis. Where before, people felt crypto was a risk, the next generation see tokenised assets and digital currencies as a democratisation of money and a fairer way in which people can invest at every level. Rather than leaving it just for a few, large banks and funds which have the resources to make change and find profits from doing so, the next generation understand that combined micro-investments from like-minded individuals from across the world can have a real impact too.
3. Network is everything
Maybe it's because covid-19 has halted the next generation's ambitions of connecting to people from around the world. Maybe it's because technological advancements make it possible. What I did hear repeatedly was that the next generation understand and value the importance of networking and see universities as a place where they can connect with intelligent and like-minded people, not just a place for academia.
4. Projects not jobs
Gone are the days of a career for life and actually what we are starting to see now is the death of "jobs". The next generation want micro-projects and to work on a gig-type basis. If you're strong at marketing launches, you can only be fully effective if there is something to launch. Sounds simple but a "Launch Marketing Manager" either has to wait for a company to launch new things or they have to switch companies. The gig-economy is perfect for this.
It goes deeper. The next generation don't want to be "pigeon-holed" into one skill set. They want variety. The ability to one month be working on the business development roll-out of a luxury clothing brand and then the next month to be marketing a cyber-protection product for high-net worth individuals is something which appeals. They're targeting a similar audience but they're bringing additional skill sets to the table each time.
5. Remote means choice, not working alone
Remote working as a term is unjust. The realities of remote working for the next generation means that talented individuals can balance their own lives and mindfulness with their work. They can work at 4pm and make time for releasing endorphins during their tennis lesson at 2pm. They can work with people in New York whilst they are in Monaco. They can work on a project for a British brand and still be able to walk out of their door and look at the view of the ocean in Nice. Remote means choice and it's what we make of that freedom that counts.
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