The Truth Behind Wall Street's School-Prestige Addiction

by Derek Loosvelt | February 02, 2011

  • My Vault

A research report written by Lauren Rivera, a Kellogg School of Management professor, about the recruiting tactics of investment banks, consultancies and law firms has recently been receiving a whole lot of blog time, even though, as CNBC points out, the report highlighted "something most of us already know: elite investment banks, consultancies and law firms are education snobs."

Rivera's report also noted that "attendance at a super-elite university was insufficient for success in resume screens." Which is why, in addition to a school-screen, employers "import the logic of elite university admissions, performing a secondary resume screen on the status and intensity of candidates’ extracurricular accomplishments and leisure pursuits."

To that end, glaringly missing from the report is the following well known, heavily-studied formula used by elite Wall Street recruiters for the past three decades when evaluating an applicant's resume:

(1) If applicant's resume from [INSERT "STANFORD UNIVERSITY" OR IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL OTHER THAN BROWN, CORNELL OR NON-WHARTON PENN, A.K.A. THE ONLY SCHOOLS AT WHICH WE RECRUIT] includes "president" of any club (other than math, chess or equestrian), please add 0.25 to applicant’s GPA; if club is legit (has more than three members), add 0.40; if club is math, chess or equestrian, subtract 0.40;

(2) If applicant's resume contains "captain" of a varsity sports team, please add 0.50 to GPA; if said team is NCAA Division I, not fencing or cross country, and any good (had more than three wins in one of the past three seasons), add 0.85; if team is fencing or cross country, subtract 0.25; and

(3) If applicant's resume includes the words "Bowling Green" or "raquetball" anywhere, in any form, please shred said resume ASAP and/or burn.


(Related: Columbia and MIT Are Second-Tier Schools, Say Recruiters)

Filed Under: Finance

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