Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Recent Grad
1. They're happier.
A recent study by Reuters proved that a college education leads to better health, and an overall happier person. College has challenged the young mind with a flurry of deadlines, unreasonable workloads and seemingly insurmountable financial demands—and the graduate survived. Not only does the recent grad feel like a hero, he is equipped with an inflated, joyous confidence necessary in enduring the depressing drone of the bottom rung, cubicle confined life.
2. They're optimistic
Recent college grads have not suffered their share of the depressing toll of the, “real world,” that often crushes older employees. These candidates are oozing with excitement, and college inflated their perceptions about what is possible—and reality has not yet trampled those hopes and dreams. Don’t kid yourself-- this is the ideal attitude you are looking for in an employee. No, you may not relate to them, but you don’t have to. You just have to tell them what to do, and watch as they go above and beyond, leaps and bounds above your expectations. Remember, they watch a lot of TV, and will likely respond to unreasonable demands with the heroic—albeit mimicked—focus of a doctor preparing for surgery on Grey’s Anatomy.
3. They’re Cheap
The majority of recent college graduates have never earned any substantial amount of money -- ever. Simply put: they are green to the green. They have no understanding of how little you are paying them. Chances are, a skimpy paycheck that would send a seasoned candidate running for the hills, will make a recent college grad grin ear-to-ear with grateful enthusiasm. Many recent grads feel crippled by the pressure of their ever-compounding student loan interest, and will keep any job that will keep their Sally Mae collection agents at bay. Most of them will take years to get over the joy of being able to afford a lunchtime sandwich and a happy hour beer. And we both know fiscal gratitude is the KEY to a productive employee.
4. They're Savvy.
Just because recent grads are cheap does not mean they are valueless. In fact, most recent graduates possess a masterful knowledge of emerging technology that would have made a hacker a legend ten years ago. Social media, computer programs, web-building, and Google resourcefulness are second nature to most college graduates. Like my UCLA commencement speaker proclaimed to my graduating class, “Congratulations! You have all successfully Googled your way to a college degree.” Capitalize on their insight into the emerging digital culture; reap the rewards of their knowledge!
5. They're Trainable.
While recent graduates are enthusiastic, resourceful and insightful—they are also highly trainable. Keep in mind-- these spring chickens do not know any better! Teach them to do a job that used to take five people to do—they will think an eighteen hour, overtime exempt work day is perfectly normal. In fact, they will probably thrive off of the challenge of an ever-impending work load. On a financial note--unfortunately, it is illegal to exploit monkeys for labor, but thankfully, it is not illegal to exploit unpaid interns. Bring that brilliant factoid up at the next budgetary meeting, and you are bound to be met with unanimous applause.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.