Daily Archives: October 24, 2013

Rule #21: When Possible, Change the World

The United States of America is struggling. Among its many, many issues, the workforce is experiencing a paradigm shift. The world we live in today is collectively causing and forcing friction with the nation’s population by forcing 20th century norms and preconceived notions to crash, coincide and adapt to 21st century promise, mystery and reality. The debate of public vs. private extends beyond technology and is a dilemma that will long hang over our society like an overcast cloud for years to come.

“The Internship” is a buddy comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn who star together in a movie for the first time since their 2005 smash hit and cult classic, “Wedding Crashers.” The opening sequence will undoubtedly get you psyched out of your mind for the long-awaited comeback!

It’s a film about great watch salesmen, Billy (Vince) and Nick (Owen), who discover during a pitch at a fancy restaurant that their company had recently folded. The time had arrived for two stellar salesmen of the 20th century to slowly walk into the strange playground of the 21st century.

The premise of the movie is that they are two individuals, who are not tech savvy, that apply for internships at technological giant Google.

Let the hilarity ensue.

Not only does the story contrast and expose generational differences between ’70s kids and Millennials, but it presents a pretty fantastic template for the immediate and far off future:

The competitive internship program.

“The Internship” has, without revealing any critical story or plot details, shown that a competitive internship program with a pool of 5-10 or even up to 100 people (depending on the company) could be the perfect test for employers to assess, judge and determine if an applicant or applicants are truly qualified for a job at their company. Individual and team exercises, plus voluntary employee interactions, would ultimately determine if an offer would be extended for employment.

Instead of relying so heavily on a résumé and a singular interview, an engaging competition of sorts could be the bridge between not only employers and hopeful applicants, but also the bridge between the 20th century and the increasingly interactive and connected 21st century.

Yes, it’s true that most companies do not have the free flowing cash for such an extravagant program like portrayed in “The Internship,” but it should be used as a template to varying degrees. It has been reported that companies are cutting back on training, which contributes to an applicant having to try to unrealistically meet 100% of the advertised skills for a job opening. Even with a great education, not everybody is perfectly fit for a job in most any industry on their first day. There is a learning curve. An important quality to consider is if the person applying is like a fine wine:  great core knowledge with exciting flavors/skills that only get better with each passing day.

Competitive internship programs, for certain industries, could provide the public with one of the most critical qualities missing from most of today’s employers: an opportunity. Just to give people a chance to try, learn and shine.

That’s really what most people are yearning for these days.

Correction: That’s what most Americans are yearning for these days.

After all, the concept of opportunity was part of the foundation of the United States of America. It’s time for a 21st century reboot of that brilliant idea.

It could work.