As the new generations start to sweep into the workplace, we decided to take a peek into what Gen-Z looks for in their career. This post features two SAS employees from different generations. Our more senior employee, Savera Tanwir, asks questions of our Gen-Z mentor, Yutika Aggarwal, to take a peek into what careers look like from her perspective. But first, let's meet our mentor and mentee:
Savera got her Masters and PhD from the Computer Science department at NC State University. She worked as a Graduate research assistant at SAS while studying. After graduation, she joined SAS full-time and is now a Senior Technical Architect on the Justice and Public Safety team at SAS.
Yutika has been an AI intern on the GTP Pre-Sales team at SAS since May 2022. She is currently studying at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she is pursuing a double major in business administration and computer science.
Savera starts off the interview by asking Yutika what she is seeking in a career.
As Yutika states, being able to leave work and still have time for family in the evenings was critical when looking for a career. It allows her to have a personal life and be happy outside and inside the workplace. A good work/life balance certainly doesn't just apply to Yutika, either. Forbes magazine surveyed Gen-Z'ers with this same question and a resounding 73% of respondents said having a work/life balance and workplace health was one of the important factors.
In the fast-paced, tech-heavy workplace of today, Gen-Z is all about speed. They talk, think and act quickly. But does that come at a cost? Some may assume that this "need for speed" translates into impulsive and poor-quality decisions. However, they may have just figured out how to utilize their resources to become more efficient. Upcoming generations are similar to the generations before them. They strive to create efficiency yet still have substance. Gen-Z has other generations to thank for the building blocks to become fast and efficient without sacrificing quality. Yutika elaborates more on this:
The most recent years and generations have brought on a wave of buying from companies that align with your beliefs. This also applies heavily to corporate culture. More than past generations, Gen-Z is inclined to work for companies where their values and interests align. Having grown up in a time with misleading marketing and constant greenwashing, Gen-Z is very careful and aware of when a company may not be all it says it is. Yutika points out that this is a big reason she appreciates SAS. One way she sees her values align with SAS is in its Data for Good projects.
For this last question, Yutika wanted to learn a bit from Savera. Women in technology sometimes have to fight extra hard for their voices to be heard. Savera is not a stranger to this and reminds Yutika not to be afraid of presenting her ideas. Yutika brings up a point that women's ideas can be glazed over sometimes but focused on more when a male in the room presents the same idea instead. Savera advises women to combat this and emphasizes the importance of having allies and being bold.
This experience shows that generations may be similar. We learn from those before us and grow. While our culture may change from age to age, it is crucial to work together to continue to become more helpful to the world around us. If you want to read another reverse mentoring blog post or hear these conversations as a podcast, let us know in the comments below.
Olivia Ojeda is an Associate Communications Specialist on the Thought Leadership, Editorial and Content team at SAS. In 2023, she graduated with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing from North Carolina State University. Day-to-day she helps write and edit collateral and enjoys creating colorful and creative blog posts.