The Intern

The Intern

The Intern is a 2015 American comedy directed, written and produced by Nancy Meyers. The film stars Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway and Rene Russo. Seventy year old widower Ben Whittaker (DeNiro) applies to a senior citizen intern program after retirement becomes too boring for him.”

CEO Jules Austin (Hathaway) is a successful internet clothing millennial who is the crazed out-of-control entrepreneur that Whittaker mentors in both life and business.

The Evolving U.S. Workforce

As daunting as it may seem, the Millennial generation have surpassed the Baby Boomers and Generation X members as the largest demographic group in the U.S. Workforce.

There has been much to date about the attributes and differences of the generational workforces.

In the future, the most valuable person in the workforce may be the person that can take in tremendous amounts of data and manage it into valuable insights. While this is a strength of the worker of the millennial generation, their limitations often are the in-person communication skills as they grew up in a world of helicopter moms, hand-held devices, and social media.

But one thing is certain, there is no denying the impact that the millennial generation will have in our workforce over the next decade.


Reverse Mentoring

In the film The Intern, the topic of mentoring depicted the traditional role of the older baby boomer worker mentoring a younger millennial worker (albeit the millennial was the CEO entrepreneur of the Company).

One of the new trends in the workforce is the concept of reverse mentoring with millennials teaching us (the Baby Boomers and Generation X) the new world of integrating the new tools of social media into our business practices.

Target and United Healthcare are amongst a couple of examples of a growing number of large companies that have implemented these types of programs into their management training regimen. Not only is it educational, but it is a way to meld the generations into one collaborative workforce and breaking down the traditional walls of office hierarchy.

Lisa Walden, a generational expert with Bridgework Consulting says “Millennials are a generation that have grown up with a lot of technology. They are very tech savvy. They know all the ins and outs of Microsoft Office. They know all these things that may not be quite as easy for older generations.”

In Closing

I am not sure that I am qualified to understand this newest generation that is entering the workforce. Since I have three millennial children, does that make me an expert? I think not.

Perhaps we baby boomers have it all wrong. Perhaps it is not about molding this new generation into our own image. Perhaps it is a two-way endeavor. We will teach them about the virtues of hard work and about in-person relationships (business and personal). And they will teach us about collaboration and how to reach a whole new generation (the millennials) of business owners whose attributes include engagement, social causes, and philanthropy and how to make a better world.

If you have not already, your strategic plan for 2018 should integrate and incorporate assumptions that include the millennials as a substantial part of the workforce and, in a growing part, as new business owners and entrepreneurs that will become consumers of PEO services.

If you have any questions or comments on the content of this article, please do not hesitate to contact me at

To you and your friends and families, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy Holiday season.


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The Intern (2015 Film)

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