Why Millennials are Struggling in the Business World

millennials taking a selfie in the office
January 16, 2018

When I worked for a major Entertainment company, my VP had hired a young finance guy who held double degrees of both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Finance. 

However, every week the numbers he provided were wrong. My VP looked at me one day and in pure frustration asked me how could he could get the numbers wrong when he held so many degrees with high GPAs. The bottom line is that he didn’t realize his numbers were wrong because he didn’t understand how the business operated enough to make corrections. He was book smart, but not business smart.  

The reality is that most Millennials have very little business experience (unlike Boomers and GenXers) to really understand the concepts they learn in school. They prefer a test over completing a class project that gives them experience. These students know how to read a textbook and memorize the material long enough to regurgitate facts and pass the test. In short, they have become professional test takers. They love guessing true/false, versus writing short answers or essays where they must know the answer. So, these graduates may have high GPA scores, but they will still struggle in the business world. 

Simply put, these are NOT the students who are in school to LEARN, but students who simply want to PASS the class. But in the business world, a performance review isn’t a series of multiple choice questions and there aren’t exams after team meetings. 

So, it is imperative to hire those Millennial students that have a high level of ‘practical experience’ and who learn from their own observations, not just from reading a textbook. These are the millennials that will be successful in the business world. 

Contributed by Amy J. Keeley.  

View the on-demand webinar “Understanding Millennial Employeeswith Amy.