Because of the pandemic, college students and recent grads may be lacking in some soft skills that employers expect and that will help them get ahead. Things like how to dress for a job interview and how to speak with other professionals.
Michigan State University's business school is stepping up to help, with a class that the school claims is one of the first of its kind in higher education.
"Business Major and Career Exploration" emphasizes the basics of business etiquette.
"Prior to the pandemic, it wasn't as necessary to spell out," Marla McGraw, director of career management at the business school and a teacher of the course, told Crain's Detroit Business.
"Students could pick up a lot of stuff by osmosis. On an internship they'd hear a lot more information than if it were just one person on a screen looking at another person on a screen."
But with remote and hybrid work, some young people aren't learning the skills that working professionals take for granted.
"They think [networking] means shrimp cocktail and wine and everybody really dressed up," McGraw said. "We talk through that networking is just connecting and meeting with people and it doesn't have to have an element of formality to it."
It's a great idea, but I don't think that a lack of soft skills is a problem that's exclusive to Gen Z. Take it from someone who's been interviewing and hiring folks for 30 years — there are plenty of baby boomers who can brush up on their manners!