APS11: Millennials Rock the Web: Your Best Web-based Project Leaders are Your Students

Jaymis Goertz, Web and Systems Specialist, University of Waterloo


The audio for this podcast can be downloaded at http://highedweb.org/2009/presentations/aps11.mp3


[Intro Music]

Announcer: You’re listening to one in a series of podcasts from the 2009 HighEdWeb Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Jaymis Goertz: So, yeah, this is the first conference I've ever presented at. I have to admit that right upfront. I've been to several conferences before. And I have to admit, I do have a little bit of performance anxiety. I've seen some really good presentations about some amazing topics by some amazing speakers. And due to that performance anxiety, I've decided to practice my presentation another two times during lunch and to skip the keynote.

So, I get through my presentation once. I guess you guys already know where this is going. So, one guarantee I can make you guys, I will try to be not as bad as the keynote. Hopefully, you guys will get a little bit more valuable information on my presentation. So, I'm going to talk about millennial and how your best Web-based project leaders are your students.

I'll just do a few introductions. On the Web there are some specialists for the marketing and undergraduate recruitment team at the University of Waterloo. We do all recruitment publications, websites, on and off campus events. I've been doing Web design development for about 12 years. And I really enjoy organizing disorganized workflows and do efficient cost-effective solutions. I really have taken that internal mass that we often encounter at universities and turn it into a nice, user-friendly formats and systems.

I'm just going to talk a little bit about the University of Waterloo just because it is a Canadian institution. We realized Canadian institutions aren't necessarily always well known in foreign places. Even United States is a foreign place to us. Waterloo is 52 years old and about an hour west of Toronto, with an undergraduate student body over 25,000; counting grad students and staff as well, I guess over 30,000. We started off as Waterloo College, which was an engineering school. Actually, in location where Wilfrid Laurier University is right now. And back then, it was just engineering. You graduate with a degree in engineering and co-op education, which I'm going to talk about briefly in the next slide. We started back then as well.

Co-op education is basically the lifeblood of the University of Waterloo and it started with our founding. Back then, 52 years ago, men were men; women were women. And when you got a degree in engineering, you got a degree in engineering. Nowadays from the University of Waterloo you can get 12 specific-discipline degrees in engineering, everything from systems design to comp eng and chemical engineering, the whole gamut. But 52 years ago, you graduated as an engineer and you got your specific specialization in the workplace, working. And they realized that one way that they could sell this brand-new school a little bit better to prospective students was to create co-op wherein you got work experience while you were studying.

So, I'm going to start briefly by co-op. I'm told by our people in institutional analysis and planning that I can say that University of Waterloo has the largest co-op program in the world. Some publications even say the best, although I don't know how we measure that. And basically, the long and the short of it is that Waterloo is an alternating four-month school semester, four-month work semester.

It's very labor-intensive. Eighty percent of our peripheral entry programs are either mandatory or optional in their co-op offerings. And 65%, almost two-thirds, of our student body is in a co-op program. It creates a very dynamic place at the University of Waterloo. Every four months, if you do the math, it's about 8,000 students finding jobs, leaving campus, moving away most times and then coming back four months later. And this constant, ebb and flow and it really shapes our culture, how we work at the University of Waterloo.

For the past five years we've had 95-99% employment rate each semester. We've done amazingly well. We have a whole building built for co-op with staff of people. All their duties to do is to go out, build business contacts and get jobs offered into the co-op system. We have whole staff, all they do is train students how to write better resumes and develop their interview skills, things like that. It's a really huge part of what we do at the university. We've had Bill Gates visit us twice. One stop, it was only a community stop on tour. I think at the second stop, he stopped at another community institution, something like Miguel or some school like that, I can't remember who.

The purpose of the slide isn't necessarily to sell Waterloo and our co-op program but just more the fact that we have a very rigorous program that takes millennial and churns out extremely good employees and very intelligent students, very adaptive and creative. And we have an extremely large alumni base working at Microsoft, working at RIM or working on the BlackBerry. I actually started off in mechanical engineering myself and dropped out. A lot of my friends worked for Rim right now, designing the cases for the Black Grooves and things like that.

So, my experience with co-op and working with millennial started out very interesting at first. When I was first hired by marketing and undergraduate recruitment, two months into my position my boss got some rare illness and was off sick. It was none of my threatening and all that, but basically she was gone for four months. And here I am, a guy who has been working for two months, barely even knows all the duties she is responsible for, barely even has enough time for the duties that he knows.

And then, one day someone came in and says, "Yeah, they need to hire a co-op student for the next semester." And my first response is, "Why the hell would I want to do that?" I barely had the time to manage my own priorities, let alone manage another person, give them duties, go through the whole interview and screening process. But nowadays I just can't imagine not working with a co-op student today.

In my group in marketing and undergraduate recruitment, we have a permanent full-time staff of 16. And we have three regular co-op position allotments. Technically, my position allotment is a technology associate, that's my official job title for this position because I'm only supposed to be hired two of the three academic semesters. And I've been pretty good at making a case for getting them hired for the third academic semester each year. And I have a sense of anxiety. The one time that I missed out on that third semester, it was like an immediate sense of dread like, "Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? I don't have a co-op student working with me." I rely quite heavily on them. We pay them extremely well as well, too.

So, what I'll talk about today is my experience as to how to hire the right millennial, effective communication, work millennial, strategies for entrusting a big projects with millennial I am going to go through a few case histories through this as well, some of the projects that we've had millennial work on as well. My team is a very project-oriented team. I'll also throw in a few case histories as we go along.

Audience 1: Will those be online?

Jaymis Goertz: Yeah, it will be posted online. It's not online yet. I want to take out the present announcement; we'll get it up there.

And so, talking about to hire the right millennial Basically, you not only have to write the job description but write the interview questions, let them run in the interview and hire the right student. When I say "them", I mean other millennial It's a bit of a chicken-egg scenario. If you are working in an office and you work for a millennial, someone in the age group of 15-25, use them, have them go through this process. And if you don't have someone, beg, borrow or steal. Usually, there's a staff member that you're aware of or work with that has someone in that age group. You can ask for their volunteer time. A lot of kids, a lot of millennial have a very strong sense of volunteerism and are more than willing to help out for projects like this because it is pretty cool being able to hire someone.

That's usually the route that we go through. I understand at the University of Waterloo, we're really intense in our focus on millennial and the hiring process. In some places, it's very hit-or-miss as to whether or not you have an opportunity to hire one. So, just adapt as you will but use a millennial to hire your millennial

So, basically in terms of millennial, write the job description. Position name is important; it's very key. We get tons of horror stories each semester from co-op education and recruitment services that the people who run the co-op program of students, there was 1-5% that don't get jobs. They actually have kids that refuse to apply to any job because the job title isn't good enough. They refuse to apply to any job that doesn't have a "manager" or "leader". If it says something like "associate" or "junior", they refuse to apply to it. They're very picky and they do a lot of position shopping. And sometimes that works against them.

So, position name is important. It's not something that will make or break a job per se. But it's a really simple thing to do that gets them more interested in your position.

Duties listed are also important as well. We understand a lot of positions for millennial, there's a lot of grunt work. It's a long work that no one else wants to do or just needs to get done. And you don't want to assign it to a regular, full-time permanent staff member. That being said, usually what we try to do is make about 20% of the duties something cool but very project-focused base.

We highlight both those things in the duties listed in the job description. Highlight the grunt work so they have a good understanding going into the job that there is going to be grunt work. But also highlight the cool projects and what they're going to get out of it as well, too.

And then, finally they're better at marketing to each other than you are. We actually had a co-op student. My last co-op student by the name of Eric is a CS student. During his job interview, he flat out told us at the end of the interview that our job description was terrible. Our job description for the technology associate position is terrible. And in the job interview, he wrote it and said, "Now, based on what you told me in the interview, this job is fantastic; I want it. But based on the job description, I applied on a whim. It wasn't that interesting to me."

And what we had done is just use the standard co-op boilerplate. We took their generic job description, added our job title to it, put in the skills and duties required and posted it online. He basically in the interview rewrote it and pressed it so much we basically offered him the job on the spot. Technically we're not supposed to do that sort of thing within our co-op system. But that's more or less what happened. And one of his first duties he was assigned when he started on his position was to rewrite our job descriptions on future years. It was exactly as he described it and would market a little bit better to other millennial Yeah?

Audience 2: What is the position that is this versus that?

Jaymis Goertz: Really, it's those adjectives we found out later, senior manager, team lead, project manager, things like that. A lot of the time, the really undesirable ones are coordinator, which is what we had in our job description; coordinator, junior, associate, things like that. millennial from our research really do have a sense of entitlement. We have built them up to believe that they're going to change the world, and by all means they could, right?

But they go into the workforce, all of them having a job, and I will talk about that briefly later on, believing that they're going to change the world, right? So, you have to sell them on that a little bit, play the game a bit.

Audience 3: Is that something that will go for them? The first job outside, they are going into?

Jaymis Goertz: Yeah. But with that being said, the junior position can still be a junior position. And again, they're still junior positions with grunt work. And they still at heart realize that. But there has to be that tangible benefit as well, right? You can't say it's all grunt work because you're not going to get anyone. Like in reality nowadays, no one is going to want to apply to that sort of work, right? You got to sell them on the good things as well, too, but also be fair and balanced. I can't believe I just said that praise. As a Canadian, Fox News scares me. Good, maybe some Americans are afraid of it, too.

OK, let them write the interview questions. This is the kind of a lot of fat. Again, we live in this hyper-realistic world at the University of Waterloo in terms of hiring. A lot of the employers ask a lot of the same questions. And co-op students can't do this and have pre-canned responses that are terrible. They don't get at the heart of what the question is asking.

Things like, "Use three words or phrases to describe yourself," get asked all the time. Each and every student that goes to the University of Waterloo can answer that in a split second. So, they tell us basically those sorts of questions. Ask questions or at least phrase them in a way that are a little bit more genuine and elicit better responses from them. And give them opportunities to shine as well, too.

Another really terrible one that gets often asked in many interviews is, the ending one, would be, "Why should we hire you for this job?" And it's a little off-putting to be asked that flat out on the spot why you're good enough to work here. You just rephrase that, tweak it a little bit, to be able to get more positives so that it gives them an opportunity to sell themselves and get much better response, much more genuine response from that sort of question as well, too. So, you could rephrase that question, "Why should we hire you for this job?" to something like, "What skills or assets do you believe would benefit our team if you are working for us?" Simple change of wording, right? And these kids are really good at coming up with these sorts of questions.

So, you let your millennial run the interview format, direction, introductions, questions, timing, the full line. That being said, you just don't throw them in there and let them do it. Your role is more a role of a mentor or a guide to help them through. You don't want to be sat down, being too ineffectual versus being too overbearing. You don't want to give them a script to literally run the interview by. At the same time, you don't want to sit by and just say, "Run the interview," because they're going to crash and burn. They've never done this before. So, you have to act as a guide to guide them through this.

And then, finally, let them hire the student. They went this far. You want to give them the opportunity to make the job offers. It's a very satisfying and rewarding thing for your volunteer or for your millennial employee to make a job offer. You're affecting someone's life in a very positive way, right? You're bettering them. They got a job. They have the opportunity to make money and afford a lifestyle, things like that. So, yeah, basically you let them lead just about every step of the hiring process, again, with your mentorship and leadership.

Another thing we also have to remember, too, is that hiring is a two-way street, right? Interviewing them as much as they are interviewing us. The way that we ask questions, the way we present ourselves is very important to millennial So, by having a millennial there with you running most of the interview process, they're going to say, "Wow! They really value them. They value their importance. They have the skills and abilities. And if I work for them, I'm going to have the opportunity to get those things, skills and abilities to interview other kids."

All right. So, next up. I'm going to talk about some effective communication with millennial So, my true recommendations, discuss your and their preferred methods of communication, have them perform a personality test or two and share the results with each other. This is standard practice within my team, within marketing and undergraduate recruitment, with any new hire, any full-time permanent staff members. Their manager and the new hire will sit down and go through this process. And then, one day we're like, "We should probably be doing this with the millennial, with co-op student hires as well, too." And so, we go through a little bit of a really quick process with this. But yeah, we do almost the exact same thing. Yeah?

Audience 4: [Unintelligible 14:08]

Jaymis Goertz: Yes, I will discuss about that. We will get to that in two slides. So, preferred methods of communication, I just threw a list up there. So far, I've had about 15 co-op students working with me under my direct supervision. I work with about three dozen indirectly as well through a number of projects. We hire a lot of kids at the University of Waterloo. And I've had kids who have had each one of these preferred methods of communication.

Now, you may expect with millennial that things like text messaging, instant messaging, social media sites being the more popular ones and that's true. But that's also a pitfall of branding someone a millennial, right? Not everyone has that preferred method of communication. So, it's important that you sit down and you discuss them.

It's almost important that you avoid the grumpy old pitfall. You sit down and you say, "Phoning is good enough for me, it's good enough for you. If you need to get a hold me, you phone. I need to get a hold of you, you phone. You answer your phone right away." And that happens. That happens more frequently than we'd like to think.

So, just make sure that when you sit down, you go through and you discuss your preferred methods of communication. You share yours, they share theirs and you agree to use each other's and to respond immediately. I personally prefer email. So, I'll tell my co-op student, "I prefer that you email me. And if you email me, I'll respond right away." They'll tell me what they prefer and I will use that method to get in touch with them so long as they correspond back to me immediately as well, too.

Now, personality tests that you asked about. There's two major ones that we use, My ers-Briggs and True Colors. My team uses My ers-briggs quite a bit amongst the full-time permanent staff members. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology. I know all about My ers-briggs and it being an excellent diagnostic tool, especially for interpersonal relationships. So, it can be good when problems arise and you have some interpersonal staff conflict and you want to facilitate it by counseling services and you have the two staff members write the test and discuss their feelings with each other, not that I've ever had to go through that before.

But I find these very long and very detailed but they can be beneficial as well, too. Personally the one that I would recommend is the True Colors personality test typing. For those of you who may not be aware of it, it's one with four personality scales. Myers-Briggs you can have 16. But True Colors is only one with four, orange, gold, green and blue. It's quick and dirty but it's really effective.

Another anecdotal story. My team used to be a part of the registrar's office. And we did the True Colors personality test as a group. There's about 80 to 100 staff all in all in those two groups. And the vast majority of them, over half of the registrar's office were blue. Blue is the emotional communicators. They like to share their thoughts and feelings and things like these.

And these really affected IST when they found out the results because we use PeopleSoft on campus for admissions and tracking systems. And whenever we do rollouts or whenever IST would do rollouts of new software, upgrades and things like that, they would always get this huge flack from their own. They never understood why.

And it was because over half of them are the emotional communicators. You change fonts and colors and layouts and things like that, they get upset. So, they've learned that it is quite important to include them from the very beginning. You let them know when you're planning a software rollout, what changes there will be. It's holding their hands a little bit more. And it has made the whole software update process a lot quicker and a lot easier and a lot less painful for everyone. And there's tangible benefits not just to groups but also individuals as well, too, by using Myers-Briggs or the True Colors personality type as well.

So, it's important that you share results. And I understand that everyone has unique communication style. In order for two people to connect and take into account the perspective of the other person. And it basically sums up generation differences, millennial, Gen X-ers, boomers, builders even further back. There is that kind of psychological concept of the emotional bond occurs between the ages of 15 to 25. Whatever is popular in culture and media, we tend to volunteer a little bit more in that age range.

And that defines generations. My grandfather really likes the radio. He still listens to the radio for the news for the state. He has a radio collection in his basement because that was what was popular back then. My dad has records. Myself has CDs. Even though I have an MP3 collection that could kill a horse, I still can't get rid of my CDs. I have that emotional bond. I collected most of them when I was 19 years old. I can trace back memories to music in that age range

And that really sums up generational differences as well, too, not just media but communication styles and things like that. I suspect with millennial we'll see social media sites would be a very important role when they're in their 40s and 50s. But they will evolve into very different things as well, too. It would be very interesting.

So, strategies for giving your millennial big projects. The biggest question I get asked is "why". Why would we want to give our big projects to millennial? Basically, they can do it a little bit better and faster than you. Let me share a story about our e-news letter for future students. It's an e-news letter that we produced for future students, the present millennial, once a month. And we have always produced this thing. It has been produced since before I even started working for marketing and undergraduate recruitment.

One day, during a planning meeting for the next e-news letter, one of our millennial co-op students asked, "Why don't we put our top 10 list in just a simple list format? It will be a lot more effective if we put it into a video format and embedded that into our e-news letter." And we sat back for a while and were like, "Yeah, let's do it. It's an excellent idea. There's no reason why we can't."

So, we set them up with a video camera and iMac and edited it in iMovie. It wasn't the highest quality. It wasn't the greatest film. But the best was we went out, asked the question to a whole bunch of students, got the top 10 responses, edited it down, put it into a flash video format, embedded it in our e-news letter.

My role is facilitating all these being the mentor and guide through it all was to embed some trackings. So, in the e-news letter, before we even put the video in, we put a little bit extra tracking more than what we would normally do. And then, e-news letter is afterwards. We still have that same tracking.

And our readership for our e-news letter, just by putting in a simple little video increased 500%, five times the amount. It was actually eight times the amount for that first month. And then, it also sustained five-fold increase in readership for our e-news letter. And all we did was just add a video. We advertised the fact that it was filmed entirely by our co-op students for the millennial generation just because we were also a bit afraid of the quality issues. We didn't want to set the kids up to expect this really wonderfully produced high-quality video. But yeah, the effects were immediate and amazing. Just a simple change like that and we were reaching five times the audience we had before. It just highlights the fact that they know how they communicate with each other better than we do.

So, strategies for giving the millennial big projects. We'll talk a little bit about skill building, the environment you want to set up, creating project contracts. I just attended Jesse Rogers' project management presentation, a very similar concept as to what he presented yesterday. And then, finally, I'll talk about one major pitfall with working with millennial, which is the timelines.

So, skill building. We've had all sorts of backgrounds. I've worked with all sorts of backgrounds. In terms of our co-op students, our millennial, engineers, CS students, statistics and actual science, English and psychology. These are fairly familiar fields in the development world. By the end of the co-op semester, each and every last one of these kids could code in at least one language, a vast majority on PHP. They could create databases and enter normal forms using MySQL. They could write JavaScript. And they could even do statistical analysis at tests and chi-square tests and be extremely proficient at these. You just need to tell them, "I need to do an F-test on our e-news letter," to see if this initiative is working on them or not.

I have to recommend a flexible computer. At the University of Waterloo we have a bit of a software monoculture going on. I actually like to support one computer technique with Windows. Whenever we buy a new computer, it has to go through IST first. They do their whole disk image thing. You get it back and can't do anything with it. We buy Macs for our millennial, not so much the whole Mac favoritism but more for the fact that he doesn't maintain them and they can install anything that they want. And we've had kids that found our major scripts and things like that to quicken up a lot of our processes that we've done in the past manually and make them a lot more flexible and faster.

Unhindered Internet access is probably a bit of a mute point with this audience, more corporate audience. It's actually becoming a bigger and bigger issue in Canada and I suspect here in the States as well, too. Personal space, giving them room to work in ideally an office just like everyone else, if you have offices or cubicle just like everyone else. Going back to Myers-Briggs, it gives the extroverts a kind of a place to personalize and call it their home. It gives the introverts a place to run away and hide to when they need to think about their feelings.

And then, finally, the most important resource is probably you. The one thing I always say to every boss that I've ever had is, "I don't work for you and you work for me." So, when it comes down to it, any good manager, he only needs to do two things for their employees. It's to provide them with the resources necessary to get their job done and to eliminate any obstacles that get in their way. And I communicate that to all my co-op students, all my millennials that I have working under me. I work for them. If they're having any problems, I have to be there and available and quick to help fix it as quickly as possible.

So, next up. You want a creative project charter before you hand off any big projects. So, sit down with them and write it together. Basically, you'd be writing things down, very similar to the whole concept of pure programming. But more in this case the importance is on them typing things down because that way you're putting down the goals of the project in their own words. It's always important that they write in their own words because that way, when they walk away from it, they know what they have to do.

And that's the next point, to make sure when they walk away they clearly understand the goals and you both sign it. And just signing it, it seems like such a silly thing but it makes things so much more salient to them, right? It becomes a contract in their head like, "I have to accomplish these goals by this date."

And then, next up, timelines. Biggest pitfall probably with working with millennial and my biggest warning I have to give each and every last one of you. We do three major surveys with students each and every year, one of them being incoming student survey. We survey all new undergraduate students coming to University of Waterloo. A third of them have absolutely no work experience when they begin to attend studies at Waterloo. That's a pretty big number and it's slowly growing. Our next incoming students are coming out in just under a month's time and it has increased.

Even then, the two-thirds that have had work experience, it's usually very low and remedial jobs, throw around, spend around the town money, things like newspaper carrier. We actually have kids put that into resumes or lifeguard, things like that, which aren't really all that relevant to an undergraduate degree.

And basically, the biggest pitfall we've come across is the inability to judge the length of time required to complete a project. Everyone wants to think they're Superman. You get into a fight and you can take down skies at once. And you get a project that's going to take you a week to accomplish it, when in reality it's probably going to take you three or four months.

And that's why I recommend you come up with a project charter with the goals so they're clear on what they have to do. But then, have another meeting with them and come up with gain chart. And that's another thing in Jesse's project management, he kind of bashed Gantt charts. I find that they're extremely important with millennial personally. I disagree on him on that one. Basically breaking down the project into its core components helps give them realization that, "Hey, maybe this project isn't going to take me a week. I'm going to have to factor in other things like eating and sleeping and things like that." And they end up stretching it a little bit more. It gives them a little bit more of a realistic interpretation as to how long a project is going to take.

And then, finally, I recommend that you go with the flow. You might as well give them this opportunity. Otherwise, they're going to do it themselves or criticize you on Facebook. We have a little piece of software running on University of Waterloo servers. We call this "Schedule of Classes Offered". It's basically where you look up what classes are being offered, when being topped by which professor. This piece of software is a little PerlScript. It's probably the cornerstone of just about every student's academic experience with the University of Waterloo. It has not changed since I was an undergraduate student. And I can't even tell you how long before then it existed. So, since 1997 the script has not changed.

They seem to get frustrated with it because it's not really user-friendly or intuitive. And they've actually written mash-ups with it that will pull the information from the databases and actually mash it up with RateMyProf. It was the last one back in 2007. So, you could look up your courses, see what professors are teaching those courses and at the same time have their rating for RateMyProf on there as well to help you decide which class you wanted to attend, which professor you wanted to teach you, too.

In terms of the Facebook thing, at the University of Waterloo we've recently undergone a rebranding process. And as part of that rebranding process we have a new logo that we tried to implement. We're not implementing it anymore. Pew! Pew! Pew! Lasers. It's a mean, yeah.

[Laughter]

So, the group that came up with this in communications. They probably first ran through a process. And they went through a fairly collaborative process. And I think they actually had the chance of selling it at one time. But I think their biggest downfall was that they weren't as open and collaborative with their students as they could have been. They got audience feedback from about 300 people. They probably should have rolled it out to a few more before exposing it to the wider world.

And yeah, Facebook group started out pretty quick. If you're on Facebook, you can search for Waterloo logo and there is some goodness in there. I have to recommend the images section. It's full of means and mimetic goodness. Yeah, it's great. Yeah. That was added in. It's hard to actually...

Audience 5: That's insane!

Jaymis Goertz: Yeah. Well, during fresh week in early September that was how people greeted each other, "Welcome to the University of Waterloo. Pew! Pew! Pew!" [Laughter] Yeah. It actually got old pretty quick. There's a few images with storm troopers with them on the Facebook site. I have to recommend it. It's good for a laugh.

So, engineers were spray painting it on the side of their cars. They built a giant effigy to it and burnt it on fire one night. If you don't give them these sorts of opportunities, they're going to start creating them. If you go into the Facebook group, there actually is some really good submissions or ideas for ultimate logos proposed by the students as well, too. It's quite amazing actually I kind of wish I was with them when they had taken to the whole design process. Yeah?

Audience 6: You know the lab focus but I wonder if you got to accomplish that goal. I'm sure the students probably figured what you guys got, they were able to go ahead and propose it.

Jaymis Goertz: Eventually it came around to that. Yeah. Initially it wasn't. It was a little contentious. They really want to break it down. I'm getting a little off the topic here. But I think there was a difference between industrial, the old age marketing, the mad man sort of marketing versus the more social media influence marketing. Yeah, it was an interesting time. There were a lot of hard lessons learned on all sides in the end as well, too. I have to admit that. I try to stay out of it as much as I can. But it is an excellent example of what millennial are capable of if you upset them.

So, we'll talk a little bit about some case histories. One particular content management system powering our admission site at the University of Waterloo went through a process to reevaluate our content management system. Once upon a time, we used to have only one staff member in charge of all of our content on the admission site. That way puts the history and it was really hard to change it. That staff member left and there was an opportunity for us to reevaluate and do things a little bit differently.

So, we entertained all options, purchased software, open-source software as well as rolling our own. We ended up rolling our own. We hired clubs specifically for this project. We decided this was all they were going to do for this project. This was why we were hiring them. And we based it around the tiny MCE and a lot of custom written PHP script thing. And we went through the whole process. We created a project charter with them. We created the Gantt charts and everything. We decided this was going to be a semester-long project. And we'd be happy if it would just got finish. The CMS got finished, not necessarily even our content in it and us using it.

He got it done in a month. I don't know what this kid was fueled by. He was by far the best coder we've ever had. But yeah, we gave him three months to improve it and do more with it. But in the end, our biggest issue and was a bit of downfall was his professionalism. Because he works so hard, he was putting in like 12, 16 hours a day sometimes, he would come in the next day to work with bags under his eyes.

In three separate instances, he fell asleep during team meetings when the director, not even my boss but the director of our department was speaking. One time, he was sitting directly beside her, flat out snoring. And I looked really bad. I have to admit it. It was a really low point in my career, too, because I had to talk to him. I got scolded three times about it. And I had to talk to him three times about it before anything changed.

And that's a bit of a downside to some millennial, that they've never had that work experience before. So, they don't know what is professional, what isn't, how to maintain a normal at least somewhat healthy work life balance because on occasion we do get kids like these that will work themselves to the bone and sometimes you have to tell them to let up.

Our online forum for admitted students was run entirely by millennial So, it was a marketing initiative that we used to do. We ended it about two years ago. Basically it was a forum. As soon as you got admitted, you're in UW system and you could log in to this forum software and ask all sorts of questions related to the admission process and things like that. And also, it was a place for students to socialize. We found the first few years that we did it, it was an excellent tool for kids to meet up before they actually move into residence and know each other's names before the all awkward introductions.

It was run entirely by millennial They would pick out software. They would download it and install it on the servers. They would customize the CSS. They get the authentication to work with the ALDAP. It was fantastic. The biggest problem was for some of them it was a time sink. Some millennial are extremely good at social media sites. They'll use it to ask questions, find resources, help and support from their fellow millennial And others will spend all their time there. They're the ones that have like 600 friends and post a picture of each and every last thing that they do each and every last hour of the day.

And for one in particular, a young girl by the name of Mary, it was actually the Cult of Mary set up around her. It also helped that she was pretty. I can admit that. And the kids clearly worshipped her. They would ask questions directed to her. And if she didn't respond, they would get quite upset. So, it ended up growing because initially it was supposed to be something else, 15-1/2 hour commitment a day. But it ended up being something that she spent like 4, 5 hours a day doing. So, it was one of those things, too. Again, there is that balance between being too overbearing and being too ineffectual on them. Back in the days, we were too ineffectual managing her time.

Chats. We have an online chat system that we use. Once we decided to eliminate the forum for admitting students with the advent of Facebook, we saw a decrease in our user ship down to 25% of the previous year levels. We decided to eliminate the forum and go to new strategies, one being a Facebook strategy, one being a chat strategy. Facebook strategy was more for the social and our old forum. And the chat strategy was more to connect with administrators on campus and get your questions answered about the application process.

It was the first time I actually was proven wrong quite openly by a co-op student. We were entertaining different pieces of software, proprietary, open source, writing stuff ourselves. And there is a proprietary piece of software that I was really pushing because I just figured it was a lot easier to do. There'd be a lot fewer headaches with IST being installed. But there is this open source piece of software that my co-op student had found.

And he was quite set on getting it despite the fact we had multiple meetings. I said, "No, my previous experience with IST tells me that it won't be possible for us to implement this software." He was quite persistent and got to the point where it was almost a disciplinary issue. He stood up to me in a meeting and it turned out I was wrong. He had actually done all the research. And it was a failure of communication on my part to actually find out that he had done all this research. It was an excellent learning experience, too, because it also highlights the fact they quite often know how to do their job better than you.

Well, I think there's one more after this. I only have five minutes left. We do Bayesian comment analysis, which is probably one of my favorite projects. It's really nerdy and technical. On our surveys, we do surveys. We just got over our campus events. I really like the open-ended questions because we get some really genuine feedback. But it's really hard dealing with all that feedback because they're just open-ended questions. You can get anything and anything written in those boxes.

We had about two years with the data where we had co-op students go through and then categorize each one of the comments. We gave them lots of different categories. And we realized that we could set up some Bayesian and filters and process these comments and create a system so that we could automatically process comments live as they're coming in, like trending with Twitter but I think a little bit more sophisticated.

And this is one of those cases where we created this wonderful, really complicated technical piece of software. But I decided to go on vacation when we were going to implement it. And the co-op student put it on our production server and put it into training mode and fired two years with the data into the system and crashed the production server on campus three years in a row.

I came back from vacation and had like an arm's length list of angry emails from IST threatening to behead me. [Laughter] And this kid was quite persistent if nothing else and uploaded the software three days in a row and crashed the server each one of those days. It was the server that ran our searches and our online course software and things like that. So, yeah, my big lesson from that one was be around when you're going to roll out a big software written by your millennial

Where we talked about the online video production, I was present in the e-news letter as I mentioned earlier. Following our virtual campus tour, that was our first project run entirely by co-ops. They basically said, "We need a virtual campus tour." I gave it to a co-op student to be the project leader and have four different co-op student working on different elements of the implementation. The co-op leader was in charge of getting it done. And basically it was a huge timeline crash. We expected it to be done in four months.

It's up and running now. It only took us an extra year. When we look back on this project now, we realized that we really didn't have a system to turn co-ops into project managers. They can be project leads. They can get stuff done with your oversight and help, of course. But in terms of getting in to be project managers, that's a whole other level. And basically, what I just presented you today with is what we go with them now. Whenever we want a co-op student to be a project manager, they have to go through, sit down, work with other co-ops that they're working with, do the personality testing, come up with project charters the whole night and we will have a lot of pitfalls as a result.

So, yeah, that's it. And our time is running out. Do we have any questions or anything? There has been a few during the presentation. Yeah?

Audience 7: How many people work in the office?

Jaymis Goertz: At any given time? In my office, in marketing and undergraduate recruitment, three. There's a technology associate, communications associate and visitor center associate.

Audience 7: So how can you get by and not use a therapist?

Jaymis Goertz: Not use you as a therapist? No. Actually, that's sometimes I think the role of a good manager. It's hard to account for because in reality there are, like I said with the personality typing, you could use that as a bit of a warning. Blues and introverts can cause problems. There's nothing wrong with being blue or an introvert. But sometimes those sorts of people need to talk about their feelings and emotions. And you're going to have to plan that into your workflow.

That being said, yeah, there's no way you're going to be able to get around it sometimes. It's also due to politics. We all work in academic institutions and politics are king. There can be instances where people act inappropriately. There's really nothing you can do about it but talk about it.

Audience 8: You said you like students very well. I don't know here in my university, they used to take students very well so they opened up. How would you suggest implementing this for the go-getters that make $6/hour. They really don't have the desire to do the job and sit behind a desk. How can you make them understand that this can help their career?

Jaymis Goertz: It would probably come down more to marketing positions, selling them on the really good duties, again being honest and saying there is some grunt work. I would recommend for those positions that you make sure that each one of them had something really cool that they can put on their resume. And you highlight the fact that it is something that's really cool that you can put on your resume that will get you employed by future employers.

Audience 9: If you can project to me that some people...

Audience 8: I've done pretty well. I have at least of my student workers went with us in other areas. I tried to count that, and that's some of the kids but I kind of acquire quite a few.

Jaymis Goertz: The other first two would be to find a way to increase your funding to hire millennial. In our case in particular, in marketing and undergraduate recruitment, in our visitor center we used to have two full-time permanent staff members there. One of the two positions really wasn't necessary to be a full-time position. So, we waited until the person left. In that position people would normally stay for like a year, year and a half tops, before they move on to greener pasture. As soon as the last person left, we eliminated the position and the salary associated with it. It made for a much easier argument for us to get three permanent co-op positions in our team as well, too.

Audience 10: [Unclear]

Audience 8: Half of the finance of them, that's what I had in them. And I needed that, so we created a plan there.

Jaymis Goertz: We have each student for four months. co-op system strongly encourages them to return to a job for another four months if they can. Very few students actually do it in reality, we find, just because they just like to try a little bit of everything. One of the biggest selling points of our co-op system is you can find which jobs you like and don't like.

That being said, in terms of training it usually takes us a week from start to finish. They're up and running and ready to do it. They may not be the most proficient at it but they'll get better as the semester goes by. But really, the vast majority of the hand folding takes place over the course of the week. Yes?

Audience 11: [Unclear]

Jaymis Goertz: No. This is an option within the co-op system. You can limit it to various years. We don't, though. And I have to admit some of our best workers, it doesn't really depend upon the year per se. I actually found there's a bit of a correlation with the discipline they're in. Engineers work extremely well, very proficient. But that's just my own personal...

Audience 11: How do you deal with it?

Jaymis Goertz: We have sometimes the opposite effect, though, too. Like sometimes they will take our job because admittedly our positions are seen as a little bit lower tier. But they take it because they want to have fun with it, right? And that's where we get some of the most creative ideas, too. It's from those kids, those up-year kids that just want to have fun with the position. Yes?

Audience 12: We have some that are involved in the hiring process and they hire their friends. What I do is they get paid, I think there should be something in the process that needs to be communicated so they can get person that's not in their generation to help breathe in. Because for me it's just wrong.

Jaymis Goertz: I'm sorry. I don't fully understand your problem.

Audience 12: OK.

Jaymis Goertz: No, please try to explain a little bit more.

Audience 12: I guess what I'm saying is... My job is to help you with your job.

Jaymis Goertz: Yeah.

Audience 12: OK. Now I was giving them a title that was not their rightful title. We gave them an office. In our organization, we do have a lot of choice. It hasn't turned into them with benefits. I sense it's something about their time, presenting it to them?

Jaymis Goertz: Maybe. Are you working towards like finding more office space and things like that for them? Are you communicating that to them, things like that?

Audience 12: We just have. There was communications, and space. I guess what I'm asking is if you are Gen X, how do you think we should do this style of giving that choice. But who am I to say, "Well, go for it!"? You're going to mess up and it's going to be things that you mess up.

Audience 13: We are told to mentor these students and teach them. Of course the result, they will not be as professional. But when they are evaluated on their work, they want us to make it look professional. I mean it's not fair because they get to do my job and have to make it look as professional as possible at the same time. And yeah, in they work, they might not be as professional.

Jaymis Goertz: Yeah. In all honesty, it sounds like you guys are being overmanaged too much. And my suggestion is you would have to improve that. Personally it would just be a matter of working the systems as best as you can, right? If you can pull a little bit, beg, borrow or steal. It's a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

I guess basically what you have to do it at least communicate with the co-op students, "You know what? Hey, things aren't going to be perfect but we're working on doing things better." And give them the opportunity to help you out, give you suggestions and things like that. And that will go a lot further with them.

In terms of dealing with your boss, who may be expecting a certain level of productivity, I would recommend get them to manage a student directly, right? In all honesty, it is the best experience for a lot of people. It's to go through it themselves and see just how much work and how difficult it can be. And hopefully, their expectations will change with that as well, too. Yeah?

Audience 14: It's just kind of something really interesting that I have experienced with a lot of the same stuff. Initially I was surprised that finding out what was amazing. It's really hard at the very beginning to empower them, really hard. But I guess you can see someone that, "You're not doing this the way that I do. Maybe you could be a little bit more professional.:

But then, I think it maybe has a lot to do with just the initial selection of students because in my first year, what I tried to do was often I had a couple of really good students that knew exactly what they were doing and they all took a good direction. And they had half or more than just offer them, like half of my time a lot of my time is putting out their fire. But the next year I did it. I used the students to help bring in more good students and in the end it got a bit more better. Now it's just like we want more of them. So maybe it's just the initial selection of students that you need to take more

Jaymis Goertz: Yeah.

Audience 15: I would agree with that. The slacker assigned to mine, how old she is. That was something really important to me.

Audience 16: A couple of things that had worked for me. One is you don't have 4 months, it's a really different thing. But basically we go for four years but it's a really different time. What we usually did was we just put a lot of our time into kind of early mentorship and being really available. And on trivial little, for us are really trivial, but we're still trying to have high expectation for those projects. And then, it also depends within that process, we get a sense of are they getting late? Is this stuff working? It's not you in the end but if things end and they work for some other parts of the college.

Jaymis Goertz: Right, that's it. I'm told I have to cut it. So, thank you. You can connect with me all these different ways. I also want to thank our HighEdWeb people for facilitating today. This is the last session. Saved the best for last, hopefully, during our time. I would just like to give our sponsors today our next round of applause.

[Applause]