The ‘new’ intern

What do Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper and Bill Gates have in common? All started their careers as Interns!

Teens are our future, and they are also an excellent means for setting standards related to what’s in and what’s not! As the gatekeepers of cool, they are always willing to try new things and can be an absolute asset and refreshing to include amongst your full-time staff this summer. As a statistic side note, by 2020, Millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce!

With summer around the corner, internship programs are on the radar of many hotels, and one of the satellite trends spearheading from internships in general is that high school students no longer want to wait until college to take internships. Securing an internship is a big trend for 15- to 17-year-old students who desire to learn the soft skills needed to be successful. They also believe that completing an early internship can give them an advantage in college admissions and assist in determining what they’d like to study.

For hotel employers, it’s an excellent way to conduct a test run on potential future new hires. E-commerce and social media are excellent internships a hotel can offer high school students, as most of them are well versed in several of today’s most popular platforms. They enjoy it, and with precise posting boundaries and goals assigned, the posts are certain to be top-notch!

Prior to tapping into the younger generation, it’s wise to not only be aware of the trends surrounding the Millennials, but to understand the generation from the inside out. Let’s take a look at what’s trending amongst teenagers today:

1. So long, Facebook

Teens are leaving Facebook (the average user is now 40) for other sites such as Snapchat and Vine, where the median age is 18. Why? Teens today are opposed to TMD (too much drama), which can occur with Facebook posts. In fact, the new cool is to say less online, which is why many of their posts are re-posts of something they found online or in another person’s stream.

2. Nothing is permanent

A new behavior amongst teens is the preference for things that are “not permanent” thanks to apps such as Snapchat with 400 million monthly active users sharing photos and videos that disappear seconds after being received. Today’s teens are less attached to “things” as they know they can always get what they need and when they need it online. (One exception: They are very attached to their phones!)

3. TV on their time

Teens prefer watching TV on their computers or tablets on their own time thanks to online sources and especially Netflix. Binge-viewing shows eliminates the headaches that go along with traditional TV, such as commercials.

4. Teenage fashion

Those low-rise jeans that dominated teen bodies for what seemed like decades are being replaced with a look referred to as “Athleisure,” which is workout gear that is deemed okay to wear outside the gym. For females, this includes yoga pants as the new fresh staple. Another drastic change is that micro-minis are dropping to below the knee thanks to the return of the pencil and midi-skirt.

5. Philanthropy

More than half (55%) of U.S. teenagers participate in volunteer activities.

6. Driving

Today, the number of 16-year-olds with a driver’s license has fallen sharply, to less than 28%. Many state that smartphones and other forms of communication have reduced the need for as much person-to-person contact. In fact, some teens feel driving interferes with texting!

7. The body

Today, an average 16-year-old boy is 5’10” (178 cm) and weighs 155.5 lbs (71 kg). A 16-year-old girl averages 5’4.5” (164 cm) in height and weights 129.1 lbs (59 kg). Over the past 20 years, obesity rates have skyrocketed by 17.9% amongst teens. Following the same trend lines, in 2034, an average 16-year-old boy will be 5’11” (180 cm) and weigh 166 lbs (75 kg) while the average 16 year-old girls will average 5’4.9” (165 cm) and weigh 134.5 lbs (61 kg).

Does your property or company plan to implement a summer internship program, and if so, will you be considering high school or college students, or possibly both? Which departments will they be assisting? I look forward to your feedback!