Over the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of communities and universities that are working directly with Industry to ensure tomorrow’s talent is prepared to fill the giant void being left as Baby Boomers retire from many industries. Of all of the individuals I’ve met on my travels, few have understood the dynamics playing out in the new world of work as well as Chad Kopitzke. He is as we say, a true Maverick of Management.
Chad oversees the internship programs at UW-Oshkosh and is a perfect example of someone living right between the two worlds of the hierarchy and the network. I had a chance to catch up with Chad last month to talk about what he sees as some of the biggest trends impacting organizations’ ability to bridge these two worlds and ultimately build organizations ready to compete in the new world of work.
Below is the Part 1 of our conversation. Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 later this week.
**Tell me a little bit about your work at the BSC at UW – Oshkosh?
A large percentage of my time is focused on running our staffing agency model internship program within the Business Success Center. Specifically we help organizations that may not have the resources to go on to campus and recruit, screen, and interview potential student candidates. We’re able to do this work for them.
They provide us with a general idea of what they’re looking for through job descriptions and requirements and we’re able to go out and find, select, and screen options; ultimately providing them with potential candidates.
On the flip-side we’re helping students by getting them real world experience in their desired fields and ultimately help them find full time positions after graduation.
***What role do you think the University plays in helping students make the transition to the world of work?
I can’t speak on the University’s behalf but I can talk about the organization we run. Our job is all about professional development. It’s about finding students real world experiences so they can go out and figure out what they like and ultimately help them identify careers that they can care about.
Throughout the whole process from early internships to graduation, we’re developing them. Whether that’s looking at and providing feedback on emails they send out to potential employers to hand shakes and interview techniques, our mission is to help these individuals grow professionally.
**How can the University more effectively collaborate with Industry to ensure the two are aligned around solving the talent gap?
I think we need to start aggressively engaging the business community. Yes our role is about creating a well-rounded individual that will contribute to society, but we need to be outwardly focused as well.
We need to bring industry leaders into the University and put them on advisory boards so we can figure out what’s going on out there.
Bottom-line, if we’re going to start building skills sets for jobs that we don’t even know exist yet, we need to collaborate with outside leaders. Collaboration is key.
**You sit squarely between the two worlds of the hierarchy and the network - specifically where do you see those worlds collide? Ex. Communication, Expectations, Work Ethic, Innovation, Etc.
I think your presentation nailed it. This shift that’s playing out changes the way we think about our work. How do we recruit this next generation? Where are they? Ask them where they go to search for information about jobs and they say Google. They go to Network.
I see it play out every day. You’ve got managers in their 50s that have done a great job managing their organization on the manufacturing side, but, for example, the way some of them have traditionally motivated people is by yelling at them. You can’t do that to the millennial generation.
I also see this play out in terms of where and when work happens. Specifically I’m seeing this go from a presence model to a performance model. This generation is growing up in a world where they can do things from anywhere at any time, and to them it doesn’t matter where the work happens as long as it gets done. This can be challenging for leaders who grew up in the Hierarchy where work happened within specific parameters.