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Millennials vs Gen Z: Shark Tank SAT tutor explains the difference



Shaan Patel
Shaan Patel, the founder of the SAT tutoring company
Prep Expert, has worked with thousands of high


  • Generation
    , the generation born after 1997, differs from millennials
    when it comes to how they use social media.
  • Shaan Patel, the founder of SAT tutoring company Prep
    Expert, said adults don’t realize how Generation Z is able to
    balance its use of technology and social media.
  • Teenagers today are also more eager to become
    entrepreneurs than the previous generation, Patel said.

Today’s teenagers are often accused of being obsessed with social

But one entrepreneur who works with them says adults aren’t
seeing the full picture.

Shaan Patel, the founder of the SAT tutoring company
Prep Expert,
worked with thousands of high schoolers through his mix of live
and online video courses since 2011.

In seven years, Patel’s customers have gone from the oldest of
the millennial generation to the youngest members of Generation
, defined as those born after 1997.

Although there’s no questioning Generation Z’s prolific use of
social media, Patel said teens today are better than adults at
knowing when to put the phone aside.

“My worry has always been that you become very distracted
with social media,” Patel told Business Insider. “I think
Generation Z, at least the students taking our courses, have
learned how to balance that maybe better than adults, like social
media addiction and things like that. They are so focused on
these tests, they are able to learn online and they don’t get

“They are really, really savvy about when to use technology
and when to not, and I don’t think we give them enough credit for

Another big difference Patel noticed between his older and
younger students was in their prospective career choices. Today’s
high schoolers, he said, take their inspiration from
entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, not to mention shows
like “Shark
” that reward entrepreneurs who build businesses from the
ground up.

“Seven years ago, almost everyone wanted to become a doctor, a
lawyer, an engineer, something like that. Today, entrepreneurs
are becoming the rock stars of society,” Patel told Business

“What’s really, really interesting to me is all these kids are
learning coding, learning about technology, they want to start
their own companies, they want to become an entrepreneur.”

On that front, Patel can relate to his Generation Z students.
He’s an entrepreneur himself, of course, and he even went on a
2016 episode of “Shark Tank” to pitch Prep Expert,
earning a $250,000 deal
from Mark Cuban. 

Patel’s experience getting his company off the ground helps him
relate to his Generation Z students, he said.

“As a millennial, I was never encouraged to consider
entrepreneurship as a viable career path growing up,” he

And his No. 1 piece of advice for the younger students he tutors?
No matter what the examples of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates
suggest, don’t drop out of college.

“They are the exception, not the rule. I tell kids to
continue to work on their business while pursuing their
education,” he said.

Not only did Patel stay in school, he recently earned both
an MBA and a medical degree, and makes time for his business
while he does his dermatology residency at Temple

“Generation Z student entrepreneurs are primed for success
if they stay in school as they launch their businesses.”

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