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If you do a Google search of “how to attract millennial workers” you’ll find approximately 440,000 results for various articles. However, as we enter summer intern season, we have access to first-person insight as to what the highly talked about generation of workers wants.

We took the opportunity to interview our three summer interns to find out what they are looking for in employers, what type of community they are seeking, if they plan to stay in the Quad Cities after graduation and what they believe are the biggest misperceptions about the millennial generation.

Summer internships offer our community a unique opportunity to showcase the region to college students and soon-to-be-graduates, and we roll out the red carpet to them through a program called InternQC. Please consider enrolling your interns in InternQC and let us show them that the Quad Cities is a top-notch place to live and start a career. 

Meet the Chamber Interns

Name: Olivia Bussert

Hometown: Port Byron, IL

Education: Pursuing a degree in Strategic Communications from St. Ambrose University

Role with the Chamber: Spearheading the InternQC program and general Chamber events

What are you most looking forward to this summer in the Quad Cities?

I’m from here so this isn’t my first summer but since starting this position with the Chamber, I’m seeing the Quad Cities in a completely different way. Growing up here, I’ve often heard “there’s nothing to do here,” but that is a misconception. I’ve been with the Chamber over a month now and I’m learning about new things to do and opportunities every day.

I am most looking forward to the networking opportunities that the Chamber will continue to provide for me, especially through the InternQC program. I can’t wait to meet other young people and experiencing the quality of life offered in the Quad Cities.

Do you plan on staying in the Quad Cities after graduation?

Yes! The Quad Cities is home and where I would like to stay.

When you think of your future career, what do you envision?

I love to write. This is the generation of the hustle, and I can’t help but think of ways I can incorporate starting a blog or writing a book and having a full-time job that allows me to pursue my dreams and thrive outside of work. I’d love to be at an organization like the Chamber, it’s like its own open community – one that encourages networking and sharing ideas. I do not want to sit at a desk all day, I want to get to know people and make connections.

What do you think is the biggest misperception about people your age?

I don’t believe in putting a group of people in a box and making broad assumptions and generalizations. With any generation, nobody is the same. Millenials aren’t all unmotivated, or not driven. For instance, I had plans to attend college since kindergarten. I think people have a misconception that we don’t care or that we want everything handed us. I’ve worked hard to get where I am and will continue to.

When considering future employment opportunities, what qualities do you hope to find in an employer?

I want to be at a place that emphasizes making connections and one that builds on your strengths. I also think it’s important that employers look at their relationship with their employees as a two-way street. They consider not just what the employees can do for the company, but what they can offer employees. I want to work for an employer that wants me to thrive, not just consider me as another body in a company.


Name: Kelly Curran

Hometown: Annawan, Illinois

Education: Pursuing a degree in Marketing and Management from St. Ambrose University

Role with the Chamber: Leading volunteer management for events with Downtown Davenport Partnership

What are you most looking forward to this summer in the Quad Cities?

This will be my first summer living in the Quad Cities. I am most excited for all of the different events. It will be nice to be able to enjoy downtown while the weather is nice. And of course, being deeply involved with Downtown Davenport Partnership events is a really exciting opportunity, I will get to experience them in a unique way.

Do you plan on staying in the Quad Cities after graduation?

Possibly, it all depends on the job search, if I land a job here – I would like to stay. When I think of quality of place, I’m looking for a city with a vibrant scene, diverse places, and I want to be around younger people.

What does your dream job look like or when you think of your future career, what do you envision?

I’d like to experience working in a large corporation and a place that is not too stuffy of an atmosphere.

What do you think is the biggest misperception about people your age?

That we don’t work hard! I don’t think that’s true at all. Millenials just work differently, we work from home, and often it seems as though we never stop working because we are constantly connected through technology and can answer 24/7.

When considering future employment opportunities, what qualities do you hope to find in an employer?

I want to work for a company that cares about their employee’s growth, an organization that prioritizes investing in people. I think when you do that, employees are more motivated and have a sense of excitement about getting things done.


Name: Jess Campione

Hometown: Detroit, MI

School: Graduated with a degree in Liberal Arts and Psychology from Scott Community College

Role with the Chamber: Managing vendors for Downtown Davenport Partnership events.

What are you most looking forward to this summer in the Quad Cities?

Hands down, being a part of the events, especially the new festival - Alternating Currents. It is so cool to be a part of this from the ground up. I have a lot to learn and am looking forward to the opportunities through the downtown partnership.

Do you plan on staying in the Quad Cities after graduation?

Yes, I really want to work full time for events in the Midwest. I originally thought I would have to leave the area to work in this field but I’m finding many opportunities exist right here. There is a growing music scene and I like the pace and opportunities of work-life balance this region provides.

What does your dream job look like?

My dream job at its core is making music and art happen for other people. This is my passion and I can do that through organizing events and growing the community.

What do you think is the biggest misperception about people your age?

That we are lazy and not involved. Especially that we aren’t involved, because soon enough we are going to be the ones leading, it’s unavoidable. I don’t think we get enough credit for the potential we have. I know a lot of people that are creative, and filled with energy – maybe we are too all over the place. I think that’s where the older generation can help us, teach us how to harness that energy and make good things come of it.

When considering future employment opportunities, what qualities do you hope to find in an employer?

I hope to find flexibility, room to grow, and a company that’s established but not so established that they are set in their ways. It’s so important for companies to be open to feedback and open-minded to new ideas. I don’t want to work in any company that’s too stuck in their ways to see if things aren’t working or if there needs to be a change. I also want my job to be fun, filled with people willing to laugh at themselves.


Want to learn more about InternQC?

Over 200 interns from local companies are already registered to participate in a summer-long tour of the Quad Cities through InternQC. The program provides budding young professionals a sampling of all that the Quad Cities region has to offer. Interns will experience our local arts and culture, volunteerism, networking opportunities with local young movers and shakers on entrepreneurship and civic engagement, and a lot of fun, including local sports, music, recreation, festivals, and so much more.  Enroll your interns today>>



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