Interview with a Millennial: Brian

Following is a transcript of an interview dated 01/19/2019 with a random, everyday millennial named Brian. He was born in the early 90s and currently works in marketing in a major US city.  The transcription was conducted over the phone and reviewed and edited through email with the interviewee.

Interviewer: It’s good talking to you Brian.  Thanks for taking the time to help us with an interview.

Brian: Yep, its not a problem.

Interviewer: So Brian, I know that you work in marketing.  How do you like it?

Brian: I love it.  It’s a great job.  A great company.  It offers me a lot of growth and professional development.  I do a lot of travelling across the US and its great to spend these first few years after graduation travelling and meeting great, new people.

Interviewer: The company pays for the travel?

Brian: Yeah.  I get shipped out every week and instead of flying home, as long as the ticket is cheaper, the company will reimburse me to fly anywhere in the continental US.  So, its been great to get out there and experience the country.

Interviewer: That sounds like a sweet gig.  How is the actual work though?

Brian: The work is good too.  Like I said, I’m learning a lot and meeting a lot of great people.  Work is work, but you know, this is what I wanted to do.

Interviewer: It sounds like its a great company to work for. Did you get the offer straight out of school?

Brian: Junior year I worked for them as an intern.  I had the offer starting my senior year.

Interviewer: So the internship was the trick to get the job straight out of school?

Brian: Well, yeah.  It snowballs.  The year before I had another internship.  That helped me get the second internship and ultimately lead into the offer.  But you know, its a combination of things like extracurricular stuff, clubs, lots of networking while in school.  GPA doesn’t seem to matter much as long as its above a 3.0.  Oh, and minors can help you stand out.

Interviewer: Anything in particular that you noticed stood out?

Brian: Definitely.  I was President of a fraternity.  First mistake.  Don’t call it a frat.  Call it a fraternity.  And you know, you can talk up all the stuff you did.  And there is a lot.  We organized lots of large events, philanthropy raising millions of dollars for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), we did a lot of promotional stuff, even the more mundane stuff like accounting and budgeting of a multi-million dollar organization are all great talking points that not a lot of students have experience with.  Minors were accomplishments more than anything useful.  Saying I held a Spanish and MIS (Management Information Systems) minor demonstrated I was able to go above and beyond, you know?  The actual education didn’t matter as much.  It just helped me stand out.

Interviewer: So, break the mold?

Brian: Exactly.  They are interviewing hundreds of kids at more than one place, so you know.  You have to be unique.

Interviewer: So all of this snowballs into the post-graduation plans, but how did you get started?  What landed the first internship?

Brian: Well, I had some help at the first internship because my Dad works there and referrals carry a lot of weight.  Same with the second.  One of my (fraternity) brothers worked there the summer before.  So that helped get the interview.  Once you get that foot in the door that’s when the power of your resume and talking points help seal the deal.  Referrals only get you so far.  You have to close.

Interviewer: Do you think getting the internship through your Dad gave you an advantage in life over your peers?

Brian:  Of course, but I like to think that if I didn’t have that connection, I’d still find a way.  You know, there is more than just getting a job from your parents.  I’d also have my fraternity connections, coworkers, teachers.  There’s a lot of ways to connect.  Family is just one of them.

Interviewer:  I think that’s fair advice.  So, if you were to give professional advice to the current and future generations, networking would be high on your list?

Brian:  It would be very high on my list.  Possibly number one.  Definitely more important than the school you went to or GPA.  Those things are meaningless.  The only thing that might be more important would be actual, relevant working experience.  Nowadays especially, people are looking for very specific candidates and the more boxes you tick, the better off you are.  Oh and if you are one of very few people who qualify for a job, it gives you a lot of power.

Interviewer:  What do you  mean by that exactly?

Brian:  I meant if there is a very specific job role and there is only a few people who do that kind of stuff, companies will fight over you.

Interviewer:  Could you come up with example?

Brian:  Not saying I’m a brain surgeon by any means, but if you have a skill set like a brain surgeon, there is a lot of hospitals in need of brain surgeons and not enough brain surgeons to go around.  Scratch that actually.  A better example would probably be IT.  There are certain tools they use, and if you use that software, you can more easily get a job.  Add that with good networking and you are much better off than someone who has a 4.0 and went to a good school believe it or not.

Interviewer:  It makes sense.  So, to change the subject away from job stuff.  Hows your love life, Brian?

Brian:  Good, good.  I have a girlfriend.  We’ve been together for a while now, but just recently moved in together.

Interviewer:  How long would you say?

Brian:  5 years now.  Just two months ago we moved in.  I travel a lot, so it was a hard step for us.

Interviewer:  Any plans to take the next step?

Brian:  Haha, we’ll get there when we get there.  One thing at a time.  Probably someday, but when we are ready, you know?  We both want to make sure things are working when living together first.

Interviewer:  That makes sense.  So, its not out of the picture, just time will tell?

Brian:  Exactly.  Time will tell.  First, lets make sure we don’t get sick of each other.

Interviewer:  I read this is popular with millennials… and its causing the divorce rate to drop.  Anyway, its been nice talking with you Brian.  Thanks for having a word with us.  Do you have any final remarks?

Brian:  No not really.  Thanks for interviewing me.  I think, if I had to say something, it would be to NOT choose a job you love.  That’s crap advice and not relevant nowadays.  Find a job that you are good at.  Something that pays the bills too.  Because when you are good at something, you have a tendency to enjoy it.  Or at least tolerate it.  Either way, you’ll be good at your job and make money, and that’s something you should strive for.

If you are a millennial and interested in an interview, please mention it in the comments or email us directly.  We would be interested in hearing your story.

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