Hope for the Industry’s Future
I was contacted recently by a young woman who is getting ready to graduate from college. Get this...She is a PRINT MAJOR! How cool is that? I guess I knew that there were schools where you could actually study print technology, but here was a real live 22-year-old person who has staked her entire future on our industry. I was THRILLED. So here are the takeaways from this...
YOU SHOULD CONSIDER HIRING THESE PEOPLE.—They are young, technologically savvy and passionate about print. What more could you want in a new hire for your company? This woman is already interviewing with companies like CGX and SGS.
She has over two months until graduation, and will likely have landed a job and be moving to the Chicagoland area right after she graduates. This is an impressively proactive young woman, and one of the few who, statistically, will not be moving home to live with Mom and Dad “until the economy improves.” I am feeling better and better about our future just thinking about her.
SOCIAL NETWORKING WORKS!!!—This person found me on Girls Who Print, a group on LinkedIn. (Mad props to MaryBeth Smith who started Girls Who Print. I’ve never met her, but “talk” to her on various forums and groups frequently and hope that one day I will meet her face to face.)
I know I sometimes sound like a broken record when I talk to you about social networking, but IT IS WORTH IT. Get on LinkedIn if you haven’t. If you have, use it more—you will learn, meet people and get your problems solved, all in a co-opetitional setting (that means part competition, part cooperation). We ALL want to see print succeed and thrive, so we all owe energy into this bucket. We will all win, if we all play.
THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS DO GET IT.—I have spoken to this young woman and she asked creative and insightful questions and genuinely seemed to value my opinion. The conversation was not all “LOLs” and “OMGs.”
I know we sometimes tend to throw up our hands when we see how much time young people spend with technology, and we worry that there will be no human interaction in another 10 years, but I am here to tell you that that is just not true. There are young people out there who communicate well, carry themselves well and relate well to all of us. They embrace our industry and have decided to follow in our footsteps and keep print alive to fight another day.
It makes me so happy to know that college campuses are teaching this, and students are actually choosing to study it.
I tried to find out which schools offer a curriculum in print technology, and did not have much luck just using good old Google, but here is what I do know. Western Michigan University, Ferris State University, and Lanier Technical College in Georgia offer degrees in print. So maybe you could ask around and find out what schools specialize in print in your area.
If I were you, I would be recruiting on their campuses, or even looking into establishing an intern program. It doesn’t really matter what size company you are, if you have an opening or think you could use an intern, give this some serious thought. You just might find the next sales superstar, production manager or a world class CSR.
If any of you have done this, know of any other programs, or have started internships, please share your stories with us here by posting a Comment. I’m dying to know!