Should it surprise us that undergraduate students at the nation's top colleges still want to work for the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley after these two firms, along with their brethren in banking, nearly killed our economy, proving themselves to be, if not morally bankrupt, seriously short a moral or two?
Not if they're still offering six-figure paydays it shouldn't.
This is the suject of a Times piece that quotes several folks from Harvard and Penn concerning their involvement with the recruiting efforts of the world's wealthiest banks (which are now well into their annual recruiting seasons, meaning they're visiting campuses across the country, interviewing hundreds of young prospective bankers). In case you don't speak the language of investment banking recruiting, we've gone ahead and translated for you:
Robin Mount, Harvard’s director of career services: "Weve had strong interest in finance. A lot of students feel that this is an interesting time to be involved in our economy, and employers are more gung-ho this year."
Translated: "Students still want to go into banking because no other industry aside from professional sports and pop singing offers the prospect of making several million dollars a year before you reach the age of 27."
Dan Green, a Wharton senior from Atlanta: "It's so cutthroat here. I've been to maybe 25 info sessions in the past two weeks, and there are always giant circles of people surrounding the analysts, all trying to get their foot in the door."
Translated: "I have no social life, never kissed a girl, and due to all these investment banking information sessions that my entire life depends on, my nose is so freakin full of the wet brown stuff that you can smell it from two blocks away and my tongue is so raw that I can't even taste cheese whiz anymore."
D.J. Kim, Wharton senior: "Everyone at Penn is smart enough to do this kind of work, so you have to make yourself stand out somehow."
Translated: "We're all so desperate to say we work for a bulge bracket bank that we'll sell our mothers' souls for the chance at a nod from the likes of Goldman or one of the Morgans."
Patricia Rose, Penn’s career services director: "Banks do a super job of recruiting here."
Translated: "Thanks to the banks, our alumni are able to send us some pretty nice checks each year. Who the hell do you think we have to thank for our endowment, the publishing houses?"
Patricia Rose: "I haven't heard of any student rejecting an offer from a bank because of moral qualms."
Translated: "A 21-year-old kid reject a $100,000-a-year offer due to morals? Are you insane?"