The City's Department of Economic Development added a new team member for the past 3 weeks. As part of a graduation requirement for the Academy of the Holy Cross, Frederick resident -Arden Ireland served as the office's intern and was immersed in the world of economic development.
As Arden prepares for the start of her first year of college at University of Maryland, we asked her to give us an inside prospective on the workforce of tomorrow:
Generation Z is the post-millennial generation, born after 1995. Often referred to as the iGeneration, this group of individuals is known for their aptitude for technology, as well as the high pressure, hardworking environment they find themselves in. As a member of this maturing generation, I am here to provide my own experiences and insights of its characteristics.
One defining aspect of Generation Z is that we have grown up in the age of the internet, with constant access to new and developing technology. Throughout my life, this technology has progressed from the singular computer room of my childhood, to handheld, internet accessible devices for every member of my family. With the first iphone having been released in 2007, some members of Gen Z have not known life without the iphone. Additionally, the use of social media has recently exploded, and personally, I am on three different applications daily. Although this constant stream of information sometimes feels overwhelming, I find that I it easily connects me to my local and global community. Through platforms such as Snapchat, I am instantly tuned into news events and daily life of people all over the world. This type of instant access has created a higher level of awareness throughout our generation. More and more young people care about global issues and politics as a result of this live access. In this way, we are becoming increasingly globalized and proactive about things we care about. Often the first time my peers or I hear of an event that has hit international news is through social media. Technology, which has allowed Gen Z to become more globalized and connected, is a powerful tool that will assist members as they enter the workforce.
Generation Z is hardworking in the face of the high-pressure environment of education and the workforce. With many members growing up during the financial recession of 2008, there is generally a greater focus on fiscal success. As a soon to be high school graduate, my friends and I are in standing in the wake of a highly competitive college application season, staring our futures in the face. I have just watched many of my friends choose their school based almost entirely on financial feasibility, in addition to just choosing to pursue degrees of higher education. College has become less of a choice and more of an expectation, and necessity. On the brink of starting our careers, all of us are keenly aware of the need of a college degree, as well as the burden that student loans have often become.
As a result of this, many members of Gen Z are involved in a variety of activities. Every
one of my peers participates in something other than the academic demands of school, that takes up a significant amount of time. Whether it be full-time sports, part-time work, or demanding theatre, we are engaged and hard-working. We have been forced to find the balance between academics and outside of school activities. Practicing skills, as well developing our talents and making some extra income, we are poised to enter the workforce. Our upbringing, ability to learn, and dedication make us assets.
I positively view my generation as advanced in technology and composed of aware, connected, hard workers. Although we face some demeaning stereotypes and opinions, I hold true to my experience and am proud of my generation. We are products of a constantly changing and developing world, and we are doing our best to keep up. As more and more of us reach the age of maturity, and enter into higher education and join the workforce, we are increasingly excited to offer our views and knowledge.
After all, we are the future.