Wall Street interns are getting smarter, and it takes the right office to lure them to jobs

Millennials entering the workforce today are smarter and more prepared than their predecessors ever were, and they’re making their presence known with huge numbers. This leaves hiring managers to figure out how to lure young, sophisticated employees to work for their companies.

Scott Rostan, the CEO of Training the Street, has been working with young people striving for top finance jobs for nearly two decades. This sort of experience gives him a unique and nuanced perspective on the millennials looking for work on Wall Street. Drawing from 15 years of experience, he explained to Business Insider that young adults with their eyes set on Wall Street are more savvy to the finance world than their predecessors were when they got their first jobs.

“Years ago fresh graduates didn’t have nearly as much knowledge.”

Rostan said the most notable difference between millennials, and their counterparts generations ago, is that they’re now smarter. He noted that 10 or 20 years ago, fresh graduates didn’t have nearly as much knowledge about corporate valuation or capital markets as they do now. New hires and interns may not have perspective, but that comes with experience. What they do have, though, is a thorough interest in finance rooted in the industry’s connection to technology.

Rostan has also noticed that the Wall Street interns he teaches are getting younger. Traditionally, college students would start their Wall Street internships following their junior years, but nowadays, they’re heading to Wall Street following their sophomore year instead.

One more point he made to Business Insider is that there are a lot of millennials heading toward Wall Street, much more than previous generations out of college. Firms are increasingly looking for youth, and sophisticated, intelligent recent graduates are reaping the benefits.

If your company is like many of the companies on Wall Street, then you may also be looking to infuse the office with some youth. Such a decision could prove useful with all that millennials have to offer, but does your firm have what it takes to attract top-flight youthful talent? To find out, read the list of what millennials are looking for in the workplace below:

In their supervisors, millennials are looking for mentors.In their supervisors, millennials are looking for mentors.

Less of a boss and more of a mentor
Most millennials would like to work for themselves, but if they have to work under a supervisor, they’d prefer to develop some sort of mentor relationship with their boss. A study conducted by Millennial Branding and American Express found that 53 percent of millennials believe that a mentor relationship with their supervisors will help them be more productive members of their companies. Learning from and forming connections with their bosses is important to the younger members of the workforce, so don’t hesitate to get to know millennial employees a bit better.

Flexibility is key
The traditional nine-to-five schedule isn’t what millennials are looking for, because they don’t believe it’s what they need to be at their most productive. While flexibility is certainly something younger workers desire, it’s something that all of your employees would appreciate. One study found that 51 percent of working adults plan on looking for a new job that offers more flexibility within the next few years. This isn’t laziness – it is simply rooted in an awareness of work-life balance, and a desire to not lean to heavily toward one or the other.

Offer millennials a sense of purpose
Millennials don’t want to be another cog in the finance machine, they want to feel like their work means something. To attract millennials, you will have to be able to communicate what the company, and the job candidate in particular, strives to do, and the impact those goals have on the world. According to Deloitte, 77 percent of millennials chose they company they work for because of its purpose in society. A business that can’t woo young workers with a sense of purpose will have trouble luring them into the office.


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