- Khin Sint Thu
Understanding Gen Z: From One Gen Z Abroad
“Gen Z has short attention spans.” “Gen Z can’t get off their screens.” “Gen Z expects too much.” If you are someone who has read all these cliché judgements on what’s wrong with our generation, Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, it’s probably about time you take it from a member of the generation itself. So, sit back, relax, grab a coffee, and hear a girl out.
To define Gen Z, this generation’s birth years exist between 1995 to 2010. This means that millennials have been replaced completely by us in higher education institutes. Now, more than ever, the workplace needs to be prepared for both colleagues and employee Gen Zs as well as client Gen Zs.. Understanding Generation Z requires us to acknowledge the following:
· Gen Z’s Education
· Gen Z’s Strengths & Weaknesses
· Gen Z’s Expectation
Gen Z’s Education
With technology evolving at a very past pace, the world has managed to feel smaller for all of us today. It’s easier to get to places, it’s easier to communicate. The evolution of smartphones has made it so easy for us to be aware of events occurring tens of thousands of miles away daily. Making travelling easy, making dreams achievable, technology has really influenced Generation Z to dream bigger. Hence, a majority of Gen Z has chosen to study abroad like myself with convenience and curiosity. Wanting to get out of your comfort zone from time to time, wanting to explore new cultures, wanting hands on experience, are what defines Generation Z in their motives for studying abroad. In this Tech-revolutionary time, a “can do” spirit defines Generation Z.
As a student from Myanmar, I am in my 2nd year of university at Hotel Institute Montreux, in Montreux, Switzerland. You could quickly assume that I am in my comfort zone, that I’ve got 3 more years of academic courses until I get my bachelors, that I would lack job experience until graduation, and so on. In counter argument, the program that I am attending is a 3-year Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management Dual Degree from Hotel Institute Montreux and Northwood University with a chosen specialization. Within these 3 years, students complete 2 mandatory internships anywhere in the world, and attend both theory and practical classes during academic terms. HIM has made it impossible to be in my comfort zone, lack hands-on experience before graduating, and to lack exposure to diversity. I don’t know what more a workplace would expect from a fresh postgraduate.
Gen Z’s Strengths & Weaknesses
Gen Zs have short attention spans. Gen Zs are screen addicts. Gen Zs are cynical. To understand Generation Z, their weaknesses equate their strengths. Personally, I think these weaknesses ARE our strengths. My short attention span allows me to optimize attention to its full capacity therefore making my work, communication, and learning experience fully efficient in a short amount of time. Being connected to the screen makes it easier for us to keep in touch with all corners of the world every second. It allows us to be proactive, be up to date with the latest trends, news, and communication. My screen addiction keeps me on the same page as the rest of the world which makes my ideas and abilities compatible to the workplace today. GenZs being cynical allows them to identify “problems.” Gen Z’s cynicism equals skepticism. Cynic Gen Zs are skeptical Gen Zs. Questions lead to various potential solutions which uncovers the most efficient solution.
Gen Z’s Expectations
An article stated that Gen Z expects “too much” from the companies or brands they interact with. I’ll admit, it’s true. But in all honesty, Gen Z’s expectations push companies to be competitive for better customer service as well as better employee experience.
Take my personal experience as an example. After enrolling to HIM (the company I’m interacting with), as a student there are a set of things I expect for my purchase. For example, when I was tested positive for Covid-19 10 days ago and put into quarantine, I expected the school to take care of my quarantine procedures - the basics. HIM exceeded those expectations. I received calls from the academic dean, the resident supervisor, and the school counselor. My personal requests were fulfilled with great attention and care. HIM created a “home away from home” for me. Exceeding a Gen Z customer service expectations creates constructive completion for other schools in the race.
Concluding my thoughts and defining Generation Z, our education is diverse and driven, our weaknesses are our strengths, and our expectations make the workplace more constructively competitive. To read more, this Z.Blog is about understanding generation Z in the workplace.
Thanks for hearing this girl out till the end! Since you’ve read mine, let me hear YOU out in the comments section down below.
Author: Ms. Khin Sint Thu (Dora), Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux, from Myanmar (Burma).