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  1. #1

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    Default Has business changed and nobody told me?

    Or are they just not teaching simple business apps in college anymore? Every intern I have dealt with has no idea how to send an email attachment, create a spreadsheet or build a decent report. They actually send me screen shots of text and expect me to transpose it by hand from the email they sent me.

    But man are they good at the Gmail and instant messaging! Really good at working cellphones and sending text messages too! Oh and let me tell you, they have snarky down pat too!

    If I did that stuff when I was an intern, I'd be called to my guidance counselor's office in a heartbeat and read the riot act. Snarky comments were unheard of and even if it entered your mind, it went down on your performance review as a bad attitude.

    Is it too much to ask though for people to have some basic computer usage skills in an MS Office or similar productivity software suite?


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    I have seen the same thing with my nieces and nephews. I can't believe how much I have to show them when they do reports and stuff. The best part is they jump between PC and Mac based so they aren't learning one type well. Heck they aren't learning either type well.

    Honestly if they didn't have Google to search for them they would be lost.

    But ask about sending texts, instant messages and the like... wow are they good.

    I think if the internet shut down tomorrow the youth of today would be in real trouble.

    I am starting to feel old as well. Don't worry you are not alone.
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    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

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    What field are you in?

    All the interns I've seen over the last couple of years (in finance) have had a decent grasp of MS office, but the "work ethic" portion leaves much to be desired at times.

    The intern in my group this summer was LAZY. He would do exactly what we told him to and not a bit more. He'd even take cat naps at his desk, which blew my mind.

    We gave him some pretty crappy tasks towards the end of the summer to make up for it though. We handed him a book on DCF's one Friday and told him we needed a summary report Monday morning on the basics of building out a DCF. Sure enough, he had knocked it out over the weekend. :)
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    Yeah, I would definitely say in our interns I've noticed the work ethic thing, but basic computer skills are just fine.
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

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    sounds alot like those wack job kids from the 60's, with their long hair, free love, rock music and moonpie's, effers were going to ruin everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeltrouble1 View Post
    sounds alot like those wack job kids from the 60's, with their long hair, free love, rock music and moonpie's, effers were going to ruin everything.

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    My daughter is a Freshman in Marketing and she's learning "office" word right now and excel next semester, I've seen her work and it's a very advanced curriculum.

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    I have found differences in intern/applicants "self rating of excel skills" versus our rating of excel skills to be comically different at times.

    1 recent interview:

    Me: So how would you rate your excel skills on a scale of 1-10?

    Candidate: 10.

    Me: Wow, excellent! So you're pretty comfortable with VBA?

    Candidate: Not really...

    Me: No problem, but you're familiar with index/match, vlookups, all that good stuff right?

    Candidate: Not really.

    Me: Well you've at least built pivot tables right?

    Candidate: I'm not really familiar with them.

    Yea......that's not a 10. more like a 2...
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  10. #10

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    I'm not saying these interns will be the death of us. I'm just amazed at how much it's changed in the last 10-15 years. 'Cause that's how long ago I got started as a co-op/intern. Then again, I did intern at defense contractors so the mentality is different. The caliber of the people I worked with as an intern was quite high on the smart guy/advanced degree realm as well so I was exposed to a different sort of environment I guess.

    What sucks worse is that I'm in IT. IT Security at that. I don't have any interns. I actually argued against it because of the sensitivity of the data we handle and the intern risk being too high. But a few of the groups I work with are intern heavy. One has like 3 FTE's including the manager and 9 interns. I have no idea how they get anything done. But most of these interns are coming out of IT, Computer Science and MIS programs and I wonder about what the schools are teaching them? Or is it the schools are teaching them and they just aren't learning it?
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmydep View Post
    My daughter is a Freshman in Marketing and she's learning "office" word right now and excel next semester, I've seen her work and it's a very advanced curriculum.
    Well, tell her that the best thing she can do for herself is to learn the office apps inside and out. You can be a marketing genius, like you can read people's minds! BUT! If you can't put your ideas on paper, in a report or in a presentation with any kind of efficiency, nobody is going to care. They will just find you annoyingly deficient but potentially bright and difficult to work with because of that. They will not want to deal with you until you get your act together.

    That's hard advice from the real world. I see it all the time and I see interns get frustrated when their manager is coming down on them and co-workers are constantly bagging on them because, like jflail said, they don't even know how to do a basic function of their chosen educational focus. I don't know any finance person that doesn't know how to make a pivot table or build a READABLE Gant Chart.

    That honestly goes for any profession. You can learn theory from a book. Applying theory is a different story. To do that, you need to know how to use the tools of the profession. Whether it's a hammer or a pivot table, a keyboard or a wrench, if you can't use the tools, your mentors and peers will find you ineffective and you will have a real rough time. I'm glad your daughter is learning the stuff. It's not easy to grasp but if she does it, it will put her ahead of her peers when she's, I dunno, say...looking for gainful employment.

    Tell her to stick with it.
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  12. #12

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    I've seen some looser interns. The term baby sitting comes to mind. We had one that was top notch though. I gave him a whole electrical project and he pulled it off by himself!
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post

    That honestly goes for any profession. You can learn theory from a book. Applying theory is a different story. To do that, you need to know how to use the tools of the profession. Whether it's a hammer or a pivot table, a keyboard or a wrench, if you can't use the tools, your mentors and peers will find you ineffective and you will have a real rough time. I'm glad your daughter is learning the stuff. It's not easy to grasp but if she does it, it will put her ahead of her peers when she's, I dunno, say...looking for gainful employment.

    Tell her to stick with it.
    John, thats good advice, I'm fortunate that my wife has a Masters in business and is an executive for her company.......she helps my daughter with her work.
    The one thing we have done is instill a good work ethic in her....she's already heads above most kids her age...........and she knows how to use a wrench too!!!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    I've seen some looser interns. The term baby sitting comes to mind. We had one that was top notch though. I gave him a whole electrical project and he pulled it off by himself!
    We've had a small handful come through that were pretty darn good. I've made sure that they got good reviews and offered to be a reference for them. Helped one of them who just graduated this past summer to get a job in a friend's department at a local telecom. Kid deserved it though, he worked hard and I'm still using some of the tools he developed here. Just wish we had an open position to bring him on full time.

    He still owes me a beer.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmydep View Post
    John, thats good advice, I'm fortunate that my wife has a Masters in business and is an executive for her company.......she helps my daughter with her work.
    The one thing we have done is instill a good work ethic in her....she's already heads above most kids her age...........and she knows how to use a wrench too!!!
    Awesome.
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  16. #16

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    Yeah they don't teach much of those skills anymore. Then again - my Excel skills are like a 3 or 4 now. I never use the program, yet I work on computers ALL day. Given, no one really installs or uses Excel on a $60,000 server - lol.
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    The work ethic, and being timely definitely lacks in about 65% of them; they seem more pre occupied with promotions than learning everything at the level they currently hold--no surprise there, given the "entitlement" generation mindset. They have all these electronic gadgets, yet can't seem to grasp what a watch does.

    I love it when they send me an intern or summer hire; I work those asses...LOL
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    The work ethic, and being timely definitely lacks in about 65% of them; they seem more pre occupied with promotions than learning everything at the level they currently hold--no surprise there, given the "entitlement" generation mindset. They have all these electronic gadgets, yet can't seem to grasp what a watch does.

    I love it when they send me an intern or summer hire; I work those asses...LOL
    Really? You work those asses, huh? :tongue:

    I notice the entitlement thing alot too. Comes with the snarky territory. Like just because someone hired them, they believe that they can act to their co-workers the same way that people who have been working together for years act towards each other. It's almost like they are forcing acceptance and recognition. But that level of bonding comes from being in a tight spot with the rest of those co-workers, stepping up and coming through in the clinch. They know each other because they know they can rely on each other when the fit hits the shan. When an intern a few weeks old tries to have that same attitude/relationship it comes off as pretentious and arrogant.


    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    Yeah they don't teach much of those skills anymore. Then again - my Excel skills are like a 3 or 4 now. I never use the program, yet I work on computers ALL day. Given, no one really installs or uses Excel on a $60,000 server - lol.

    I don't really abuse the interns. I often avoid them as much as possible. What I do find amusing though is how they can know all these short cuts to do stuff but are amazed at how fast I can navigate a file system without ever touching a mouse.

    That and barely any of them know a passable UNIX OS. When you want them to use UNIX, they scoff at it and extol the virtues of some version of Linux and wonder why more people and businesses don't use it when it's so "superior". They don't get the idea that Linux is not standardized or supported and you don't base a multi-billion dollar company on a Linux build that could go out of development tomorrow and totally lacks any kind of service or support.
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    I know this isn't going to be a popular comment, but that entitlement mentality comes striaght from their parents generation. Kids are taught early on that going to college is a given, and that "hard work," especially manual labor, is something that no American kids should have to do. I'm sure this doesn't apply to anyone reading this () but the rest of America really needs to take a hard look at the mindset they're feeding their kids.
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

  20. #20

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    You NAILED it Bob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman1235 View Post
    I know this isn't going to be a popular comment, but that entitlement mentality comes striaght from their parents generation. Kids are taught early on that going to college is a given, and that "hard work," especially manual labor, is something that no American kids should have to do. I'm sure this doesn't apply to anyone reading this () but the rest of America really needs to take a hard look at the mindset they're feeding their kids.
    I agree.

    I don't know how much more to add. I feel that I am in a minority because my "peers" are so much a polar opposite of me and the gap widens as time goes on.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman1235 View Post
    I know this isn't going to be a popular comment, but that entitlement mentality comes striaght from their parents generation. Kids are taught early on that going to college is a given, and that "hard work," especially manual labor, is something that no American kids should have to do. I'm sure this doesn't apply to anyone reading this () but the rest of America really needs to take a hard look at the mindset they're feeding their kids.
    I can agree with that. Some of the grads in my own family think they will get a 6 figure job right out of school and not have to work all that hard. To take a job at 40k is beneath them.

    John, all youngsters fresh out of school lack experience. When they finally are introduced to the real world, they have to adjust, some take more time than others. This process has been going on for 100 years.

    Quick story, I have a relative, his Dad was a prominate doctor at an upscale hospital. Daddy sent him to school to be a doctor,he graduates,opens a practice for one year and quits. Daddy sent him to school again, actually 2 more times, he earned 2 more degrees in different fields...quits each one. Know what he does today ? He drives a zamboni part time at an ice rink.

  23. #23

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    "85% of success is showing up."
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    Last edited by steveinaz; 11-02-2010 at 01:22 PM.

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    Gee, hard work? My management doesn't want hard work.
    Just lots of "metrics". I do 1/10 the work I used to, and 10 times
    as much talking about doing work. Or paperwork to suport it.
    Welcome to 2010. I'd give anything to go back to a real
    "get it done" operation. But sadly, even my customers are
    all on this kick.
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    I'm not terribly fluent in excel, I've forgot a lot of stuff that I was taught. I use it daily as a basic workbook for my personal finances...but I don't do anything in depth with it.

    In all honesty, yea the interns suck, but it sounds like the real screw up here is the person hiring them. I know plenty of people "intern age" that have a good work ethic and are competent and at least willing to learn where they might not be as proficient as an employer would like them to be.

    And to add to what Bobman said...I can drive through the local university's business school parking lot, and I dont doubt that the average kbb value of the cars in that parking lot is $30,000...this is all students btw.

    When you get things handed to you as a child, you expect it as an adult because its 'the norm.' The person to blame here is the adult.
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    Last edited by exalted512; 11-02-2010 at 01:29 PM.
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    Agreed on the coddling of this generation.

    My parents helped me out tremendously during my 1st attempt at college, and the result was me being excused for poor grades and never actually going to class. I didn't appreciate the sacrifices my parents were making to better my life. Looking back, SHAME ON ME. I've apologized to them a thousand times for it, but I'll never not feel guilty about it...

    It took 8 years of working retail and manual labor for me to finally wake up and realize "maybe I should get my degree". It was a big deal to me to finally finish school, and I definitely did not come out with a sense of entitlement. I was scared to death of losing my first real job so I didn't say sh1t to anyone my first 6 months here.

    I'm in a comfortable place now, but still don't take the little things for granted...I can't imagine otherwise, especially if you're just getting started in the "real world".
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    Bobman hit the nail right on the head.

    I see it with my extended family as well. They coddle these kids and never want them to fail so they set up the system so they can't. There whole world is like a toddlers t-ball game. Then when they finally get out on there own they have no idea what the real world is and expect everyone to hand them life on a platter. They barely ever have to earn there keep or understand what that even means.

    My favorite is the I want to move up in the company. but they have zero work ethic and less knowledge of what we do. But complain when they get passed up. I am sorry if I am endorsing your climb up the proverbial ladder than your actions reflect me. That refection better be pretty clear or it isn't going to happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

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    We do have classes on MS Office, however, most students have friends who have completed the class and get all the assignments from them. This is especially true of fraternities, who can even get copies of the exams in advance.

    Students seem to lack interest in computers, thinking that this is an unimportant aspect of life. Our school now offers gmail as a mail client to students because they were too stupid to use Outlook. I protested that students need to learn this for the future, but no one listens.

    I know students who use spread sheets by calculating all the information on a calculator, then typing the numbers in. If I ask something like, "can you change the multiplier of the values to reflect...." they look at me like "you want me to do all this again!?"

    Sad thing is, what they have really been teaching in the college of business is "it's not what you know, it's who you know". They tell us all to be networking and making sure we know people, but really, is that smart? When it comes down to it, someone has to know what they are doing. You might get hired because you know people, but if that's all you know how to do... how can you expect to keep the job?

    Sure enough though, the people who "know people" are able to float on and get good grades. This is partly due to lazy instructors who change their exams once every 3-5 years. It is also in part due to the fact that some material simply doesn't change. It's no wonder grades have been gradually going up in the past 10 years. It's going to be interesting when the "people who know people" hit the business world... if they are not able to take up on the job training really quickly, I wonder what will happen.
    Last edited by cokewithvanilla; 11-02-2010 at 04:43 PM.

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    Lazy, arrogant, and late--good job mom & dad, at least you won the popularity contest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    What field are you in?

    All the interns I've seen over the last couple of years (in finance) have had a decent grasp of MS office, but the "work ethic" portion leaves much to be desired at times.

    The intern in my group this summer was LAZY. He would do exactly what we told him to and not a bit more. He'd even take cat naps at his desk, which blew my mind.

    We gave him some pretty crappy tasks towards the end of the summer to make up for it though. We handed him a book on DCF's one Friday and told him we needed a summary report Monday morning on the basics of building out a DCF. Sure enough, he had knocked it out over the weekend. :)
    This guy needs to change his major to CS. He has the makings of an ultimate sysadmin, better known as a Bastard.

    FYI, what he's doing isn't lazy. Every good sysadmin knows you never pass up a chance to sleep, because you never know when you'll get another one. Also, every good sysadmin knows that you never do more than asked, because if you do, the users will start to expect that they can give you vague outlines of what they want, and you'll just throw in every feature you can think of, which is really what they wanted in the first place.
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