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Millennials’ Usage of Social Media – Thoughts from Speed Networking Event with UCONN Students

February 28, 2010

  • How often should I “google myself?
  • Can I use Facebook for both staying in touch with my friends and professional network building?
  • What social media can I expect to use in a corporate environment when hired?
  • How can I fit social media into my busy college schedule?

These were the type of questions that were asked by students (most of them juniors, seniors and some doctoral candidates) from University of Connecticut who visited Pitney Bowes WHQs for a speed networking event with senior executives and other business professionals. Unfortunately, mother nature decided not to cooperate and there were blizzard-like conditions outside. Many feared that the event would be canceled, but I am glad I braved my way through I-95 to get to Stamford because it was definitely worth it.

Speed Networking Logistics

There were four different tables with table leaders that included Pitney Bowes business professionals discussing topics ranging from innovation in product design, corporate citizenship and social media in the work place. Students were free to pick a table to sit at and ask questions for 15 minutes. After that they were free to change tables. The pace was very fast, but necessary to give students a chance to participate in as many table discussions as time allowed.

Social Media in the Workplace Table

When I was in college I did not have a chance to meet face to face with business professionals in an informal setting so I imagined myself in these students’ shoes and prepared a short 5-minute presentation (below) followed by an informal Q & A period.

My Takeaways from the Event

  • All students I talked to use social media channels for staying in touch with their friends and family.
  • Approx. 50% of students I spoke with explore social media tools for real-time online publishing and content sharing including wikis and blogs for collaboration and video production and sharing to hone their technical and channel skills.
  • Only a couple of students mentioned exploring social media for building their professional image and developing networks of professional contacts to help them land their first job after graduation.

Have you had a chance to talk to students about their usage of social media? We assume that because of their age millennial’s level of social media technographics is very high, but does that translate to strategic usage of these tools for job searching, network building?

Additional pictures from the event are available on PB’s Facebook fan page and on Flickr.

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