The Next Generation

Last week was the final class for the spring semester of Professor Wales’ Entrepreneurship class at SUNY Albany. I made it in to class four times throughout the semester and was able to work closely with the students as they took their venture from idea to reality. In the final class, they presented the results of their ventures as short videos. For many students, this was their presentation in their final class before graduation.

After coming out of this last class all I could think about was how excited I am for this generation of students to hit the workforce. It’s easy to take a headline or a story from a friend and extrapolate it into a worldview of an entire age group if you don’t have exposure to them.

The students I saw were all incredibly passionate. They get technology because they’ve always had it. They value more than just price: they want to know the when, where, why, and how behind a product. They care about social entrepreneurship. They want to work on meaningful things, and if they do they’ll work hard as hell to produce great work. I was taken aback by how many students came up to me after class to thank me for being there, to chat about their future plans, to talk more about their projects even though their college careers were over.

I don’t ever want to be that person that thinks my generation is better than the next generation, because that’s rarely (never?) the case. Being a part of these classes keeps me optimistic that the kids we’re graduating today are going to do incredible things for the world.

2 comments on The Next Generation

  1. Dale says:

    Adam, it’s great to see you take this semi-contrarian view. I actually think EVERY generation thinks the one after it is spoiled and entitled (and it’s kinda arrogant). Great to hear you have a refreshingly different view!

    • Adam McFarland says:

      I actually think EVERY generation thinks the one after it is spoiled and entitled (and it’s kinda arrogant).

      Totally agree! I went on a kick years ago reading F. Scott Fitzgerald. A lot of his early writing is about how misunderstood his generation (our great grandparents) was. It’s a never-ending cycle.

      Getting to know them beyond superficial interactions and beyond what you hear in the news is important. I’ve been lucky enough to get to spend time in an environment where I can get to see them thrive.

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