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Published on May 25th, 2011 | by bubble

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Young Minds, Big Ideas!

I was recently invited to take part at a careers and recruitment event at the School of English at Birmingham City University and to be honest, I didn’t have a clue what to expect.

What would the students want out of the day? Did they want me to offer them a job? Did they want me to tell them exactly how to make that CV ‘stand out’? Did they want me to impart some magic wisdom on how they were going to forge their dream career? Or did they just want the free sandwiches and cakes?……..the buffet was actually superb!

Well after a few hours of interacting with these bright minds I have to confess I came away from the day feeling that I had gained more than I had given.

When I left university I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do. I had done my engineering degree but didn’t want to be an engineer so what next?

Clearly being a Concorde pilot or space man was out so I did what a lot of my peers did…..I became a recruitment consultant. I guess I thought it would be a good way to find out about different jobs, a kind of ‘try before you buy’ exercise and maybe to make some cash. Well I did find out about a lot of different jobs and happily I did earn a few quid but I decided to stay in the recruitment industry and I’m glad I did as I’ve enjoyed helping many people develop many exciting careers.

But back to our students. By contrast the individuals I met with demonstrated a drive, and a determination to develop their career with some very clear ideas about the kind of roles they want. Some obviously were keen to pursue a vocation in education, but the majority were looking to go into the commercial world.

So we started talking about the web, ecommerce and social media industries and all the new types of job roles that are being created on the back of this new wave of technology. And it became clear to me that I was sitting in a room full of people who have the potential to make the most of the plethora of opportunities that these industries have created.

There were creative writers, budding marketers, bloggers, designers and sales people all who have grown up with the web, who spend most of their spare time Poking, Liking, Stumbling or Tweeting.

They had some great ideas about how companies should be marketing themselves to their generation and what features, technology, products and services are ‘now’ rather than ‘so yesterday. These students with limited work experience under their belts have some fantastic ideas and have the ‘energy’, ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘aspirations’ that are described as ‘must have’ on many a job description.

This generation will be the web leaders of tomorrow and as the main consumers of all things online and social they are well positioned to define and drive the online and digital strategies of organisations.

Well not tomorrow maybe, but organisations should take this advice on board and perhaps consider offering internships, work experience or have another look at their graduate recruitment strategy because one day, one of these guys will come up with the next Facebook.

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