We sat down with three incredibly talented millennials in the supply chain and procurement industry, and winners of THOMASNET.com’s 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star Program for a unique podcast conversation on what their generation offers organizations. Together, Amrish Lobo of Baker Hughes, Aisha Khan of Johnson & Johnson, and Michael Croasdale of Source One Management Services, LLC discuss what being a millennial in the supply chain and procurement means to them, beyond the negative stereotypes and misconceptions the generation has acquired in the work place.

“A generation without borders.”

Lobo explains that millennials understand the importance of collaboration in the workplace. Millennials are no stranger to “sharing”. The most obvious example of this is the use of social media channels – many of which are rapidly advancing as real-time sharing platforms of events happening in the moment such as Facebook Live and Snapchat. Beyond sharing their life on social outlets, millennials are also happy to share resources. Consider the boom of Airbnb and Uber. As a money-conscious generation deeply affected by the economic downturn in 2008, millennials frequently share their resources in an effort to reduce costs. And, the trend of sharing doesn’t end there. Programs such as Google Drive and Hangouts, are rapidly becoming go-to collaborative tools for working with colleagues in any location – wifi permitting of course.

“Avoid a blanket strategy”

Khan explains how she appreciates management that challenges her and suggests that employers ned to recognize that not all millennials are the same – despite what the stereotypes might imply. The solution: get to know your millennial talent individually and take the time to understand their goals to help them reach their full potential. As the most educated generation, millennials are eager to apply their degrees in their work and they are driven to advance. However, that drive doesn’t necessarily mean they are willing to “job-hop”. Employers should strive to challenge millennials by rewarding performance with new responsibilities and opportunities to grow.

“Gaining exposure to a wide range of business units”

Croasdale shared his motivation and passion for the supply management field. He shares that as a procurement consultant, he is routinely challenged to think critically to present clients with solutions. Offering a unique perspective as a consultant specializing in strategic sourcing, Croasdale explained that his career has given him exposure to a wide range of business units but also industries.

All three unanimously agree that supply chain management offers fantastic career opportunities for millennials. Their advice? Work hard and don’t look back. Don’t be afraid to be innovative and pursue what makes you happy!

Millennial talent management is a major topic of discussion for procurement leaders. During the Institute for Supply Management’s Annual Conference (ISM2017), Source One will be presenting a session titled: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Led by Source One Associate Director and recipient of the Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Emerging Leader Award Diego De la Garza will explore dispel the millennial myths and offer career guidance that garners a strong relationship between millennials and their employers. 
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