Service And The Millennial Business Student: The Motivating Influence Of An E-Book Class Project

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William W. Arnold


Millennial Service, Millennial Volunteering, Business Curriculum, Student Service, E-Book Class Project


A commitment to voluntary service that benefits others was reinforced for students who authored an e-book on service as a class project in a senior business course. The immersive experience of writing short essays that focused on service shifted students’ motivations toward service and solidified their intentions to continue with service after graduation. The article reviews millennials’ characteristics and their activities related to volunteering services. The concerns of generations covering the past 100 years illustrate the shift from physical hardship and a rudimentary standard of living in earlier times toward present-day issues of millennials, namely economic security, technology change, globalization and meaningfulness in life and careers. A 4-stage model shows how student engagement in creating the e-book influenced commitment to service. The stages include (a) salience (being tasked with the assignment), (b) reflection (thinking about service), (c) internalization (deciding about service in their own lives), (d) commitment-action (resolve to actively integrate service into future life). Examination of millennials’ values and work styles indicated the e-book as a class project matched their preferences. Each of 5 teams was tasked to complete deliverables, which the students produced operating under a “leaderless classroom” structure. Corporations that encourage employees to offer pro bono services have recognized benefits to their employees, reinforcing the need for business education programs to include service-related experiences.


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