Millennials ask why - and that's healthy

Millennials have taken a bad rap in the workplace, said Holly Paul, U.S. recruiting leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the big four accounting firms and one of the major recruiters of college graduates.

"I think Millennials are fairly often misrepresented," she said.  In the past, it might have been OK to tell a young worker, "just do what you're told and wait your turn," she said. "Millennials aren't geared that way. They ask questions. People are taken aback, but I think it's quite healthy. They want to know why. They are asking for feedback."

Paul said that this year, for the first time, her company is back to its 2006 recruiting levels, recruiting for both interns and full time hires. About 60 percent of full time hires are drawn from the company's interns. She said her company recruits at about 200 campuses including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Villanova and St. Joe's. To get in, students need to have a grade point average of 3.4 or better.)

Yes, she knows that it is hard for college graduates to find jobs. (You can read more about that in our Inquirer series "Struggling for Work: The Broken Dreams of New Generation.") And part of the problem is that young people really have very little idea about the range of possibilities and how to think about their strengths when it comes to choosing a career.

That's why PwC launched  "PwC Personal Brand Experience." It's a website that is designed to help young people sort through their talents and experiences and figure out what careers might be useful. It's an interesting website -- and of course Paul's company has an ulterior motive.

As frustrating as it might be for some college grads to get nab even one interview, let along a job offer, "for top students, it's hyper-competitive," Paul said. "We want to get our brand out there."  

Tomorrow: Paul has some advice for college graduates looking for work.