Characteristics of Hispanic Millennial interns

March 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

by Miguel Corona

One of the most talked and written about generation of Americans are Millennials. While there is some debate on dates, Millennials include people born roughly between 1982 and 2002. While the term “Millennial” is most associated in describing this generation, some have used other descriptors such as “Generation Next,” “Boomer Babies,” “Net Gen,” and other terms. Without a doubt, this generation has gained attention in areas such as education, business, and the workplace. Chances are good your organization currently has or will soon employ an intern from this generation. And like other generations, Millennials are symbolized by their own set of characteristics. Given the diversity of this generation, more attention is being placed on the impact culture might have on how Millennials are characterized. This is particularly true of Hispanic Millennials.

According to the U.S. Census, close to 20% of all Millennials in the United States are Hispanic. This statistic emphasizes the young age of the Hispanic population and the diversity of all Millennials. Hispanic Millennials share many of the same characteristics of mainstream Millennials. Some of these characteristics also closely parallel Hispanic cultural traits: conventional (respectful, not questioning authority); confident (goal-oriented, and confident in themselves); sheltered (highly protected as children); team oriented (team-oriented rather than individualistic); and technically inclined (grew up being familiar with technology). Hispanic Millennials, however, hold a deep respect for their culture’s values, customs, and beliefs. While much attention has already been given to Hispanic Millennials in a marketing and social media context; there is a growing interest about the characteristics of Hispanic Millennials in the workplace.

Results from a recent study share some of these characteristics. What do Hispanic Millennials value most in the workplace? Three factors are most valued by Hispanic Millennials in the workplace: promotion opportunities, supervisors, and co-workers. According to the study, Hispanic Millennials place a much higher value on promotional opportunities than the general Millennial population. Additionally, Hispanic Millennials perceive a higher sense of support from organizations in a work setting. Finally, when compared to previous Hispanic generations, Hispanic Millennials perceive a lower sense of discrimination in the workplace.    

What these results show is that Hispanic Millennials are a generation that expects to be provided with organizational opportunities. They very much want to develop and benefit from their hard work. To increase the likelihood that Hispanic Millennial interns flourish, assure that you’re organization is providing them with a solid developmental program that includes exposure to more experienced managers or leaders (mentors). Verify their work assignments are challenging and communicate how their work efforts are adding value to the organization as a whole. Finally, make sure to leverage their partiality toward working in teams, and minimize projects that have them working alone.  

Related Study: “Ready or Not: Hispanic Millennials Are Here,” The Business Journal of Hispanic Research, 2008, Vol. 2, No. 1, 50-60.

Entry filed under: diversity, intern management. Tags: , , , .

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This blog is dedicated to employers with a focus on how to hire and manage interns effectively. We will have a variety of experts who will share helpful ideas, tips and more. We invite you to comment, ask questions and share your experiences. You are also welcome to submit written contributions to this blog.

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