REVESZ: A harmful career fair

As graduation looms, the class of 2013 must make difficult choices. Asset management or derivative design? Financial analyst or management associate? Most critically of all: investment banking or consulting?

Perhaps there is life after Yale that involves neither of those two professions. But one would not know it from Friday’s career fair, where the vast majority of company interviewers represented financial institutions or consulting firms. Students seeking other options were largely out of luck.

For me, the fair was an eye-opening experience. I had never fully understood why so many graduates joined the financial sector. After all, how many freshmen enter Yale thinking that, in four years, they will end up on Wall Street? Yet I have seen many students, most with no interest in stock markets or management, abandon their passions for careers in consulting or banking. Many say they will trade currencies only for a few years before applying to graduate school, but my observations suggest that those plans often don’t materialize.

The career fair is not the sole cause of this phenomenon, but it is emblematic of a campus culture that pushes students towards those fields. The bulk of Undergraduate Career Service’s advice focuses on hedge fund interviews; the global affairs major requires students to play the role of consultants in their senior project. English majors are often reminded by administrators and by Masters’ Teas that they too can pursue a corporate career, as if that were the only path that does not demand a specific skill set.

With this monoculture, who can blame students who come to believe consulting and finance are the only postgraduation options? Why conduct an extensive job search when financial firms come to us offering sushi, sake and a simple application process? Events like the career fair give this process Yale’s imprimatur.

Such a focus seems odd for a university that prides itself on its commitment to public service. Yet the career fair had precious few nonprofits or governmental agencies represented. Certainly, those organizations are less likely to be able to afford extensive (and expensive) recruiting strategies. But if Yale takes its civic responsibility seriously, it should do more to counterbalance that hurdle. Otherwise, too many students will continue to believe that lucrative financial jobs are the only worthy career path.

Public service is not the only option sorely lacking from the fair. Journalism and public health were professions conspicuously missing from the event, as were all careers having anything to do with the fine arts. Surprisingly at a university that seeks to better develop its science and engineering offerings, technology firms were largely absent as well, although investment banks seemed eager to recruit that sort of talent.

This financial fervor is bad for Yale. It repels prospective students who seek a less career-oriented, more liberal arts-focused environment. It must disappoint faculty, who see their favorite students abandon their fields in favor of consulting posts. Graduate investment bankers may be good for Yale’s endowment, but a lack of alumni career diversity surely weakens the University’s brand.

Nor is this trend good for America. The whole nation loses when many of its smartest graduates spend their 20s playing the zero-sum game of finance, pioneering increasingly risky strategies to outperform each others’ firms. Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have called for our greater civic commitment from our generation. We cannot fulfill that obligation by sitting in cubicles formatting clients’ quarterly reports.

Some students will always feel called to finance or consulting. So be it. Such careers could be socially useful, in moderation. But no senior should ever feel like those professions are the only option for graduate life. Success at Yale should not be measured by first-year salaries or by the relative lavishness of on-campus recruiting potlatches.

Yale’s policies currently reinforce this damaging culture. Instead, they should combat it. Administrators should take care not to portray these careers as the natural next step after a Yale education. Perhaps more radical solutions could be considered: The University could offer more funding to subsidize public service jobs, or pay for underrepresented career options’ presence on campus.

More simply, Career Services should reach out to other sectors so as to ensure its career fair reflects an accurate view of postgraduate life. Inviting representatives of a less skewed set of companies would be a good first step. Otherwise, the career fair will continue to paint a skewed, damaging picture of life after Yale.

Joshua Revesz is a senior in Calhoun College. Contact him at joshua.revesz@yale.edu.

Comments

  • yellowasp

    Do you honestly think any Yale grad only chooses from I-banking or consulting? And I guess that the Navy and Marine Corps don’t fit into your idea of public service, so they don’t count. You’ve also failed to mention the numerous stands devoted to education which didn’t draw much student attention. Frankly, it’s harder to break into banking than other professions. Any “Save the World” group will take any free labor it can get, but the career service needs to teach students how to go through a rigorous vetting process for finance. Also, your “accurate view of post-graduate life” seems to mean “a view of post-graduate life that I like.” If you want an accurate view, well, you saw the career fair.

    • Jess

      The world is not divided into “Save the World groups” and finance. Which is kind of the point.

      • River_Tam

        > The world is not divided into “Save the World groups” and finance. Which is kind of the point.

        But Mr. Revesz is the one specifically drawing this distinction – he specifically complains that more Yalies aren’t going into “public service”.

    • SY10

      I guess this depends on your definition of “harder,” but for Yale students (and students at the few other schools that are recruiting targets for these firms), getting a job in finance or consulting is much more straightforward than getting a job in pretty much anything else, except the few large non-profits (mainly TFA) that have adopted a consulting-style recruiting strategy. For Yalies, all of whom made it to Yale in part by being extremely good at hoop-jumping, I think getting a job in those fields thus ends up becoming the easiest option. Which is sort of the point of Josh’s article; Yale has made these options the default, rather than simply one path out of many that graduates can pursue.

    • the_rivers_of_babylon

      To be fair, Mr. Revesz is an expert in “Save the World” groups and clubs.

  • RexMottram08

    The biggest missing piece: Entrepreneurship.

    We are lightyears behind Stanford, Harvard and MIT.

    Banking is for pedants. Non-profits are for mediocrities.

    Yale’s best and brightest need to be STARTING and CREATING things.

  • ALS

    As a recent alum who returned to the career fair last week to recruit, I can say with passion that while the problems Mr. Revesz points out are still relevant ones, UCS has made exceptional strides towards improving the diversity of employers attending the fair.

    UCS receives much (well-deserved) criticism, but in this case they are actively working to improve the situation. When I was a junior and senior, there were several consulting firms, lots of financial firms, and two or three teaching jobs. The FBI was also there but showed no real interest in hiring. On Friday there were all of the above plus consumer products companies, non-profits, start-ups, engineering and manufacturing companies, and half a dozen government agencies, all of them genuinely excited to talk to students.

    More work needs to be done, but students like Mr. Revesz should help UCS by suggesting specific sectors and employers they think would be a good match.

    • Mme

      I agree but I don’t if the criticism is that ‘well-deserved.’ There is responsibility on the student’s end as well to take initiative

  • River_Tam

    > It repels prospective students who seek a less career-oriented, more liberal arts-focused environment.

    The career fair repels prospective students who seek a less career-oriented environment. Brilliant.

    > Yet I have seen many students, most with no interest in stock markets or management, abandon their passions for careers in consulting or banking.

    You mean people gravitate towards the best-paying jobs? I am shocked – shocked, I tell you.

    And what about those people who DISCOVER their passions for consulting or banking through these career fairs? Oh, you don’t think people like that exist. And your proof is, of course, that everyone hates these jobs so much that they immediately leave them, right? Right??

    > Many say they will trade currencies only for a few years before applying to graduate school, but my observations suggest that those plans often don’t materialize.

    Oh god, and then they actually LIKE the jobs they choose? Oh god, the horror! Make it stop!

    > Why conduct an extensive job search when financial firms come to us offering sushi, sake and a simple application process?

    They’re practically giving the jobs away! Has someone notified Obama? This must stop – the madness of it all!

    > Otherwise, too many students will continue to believe that lucrative financial jobs are the only worthy career path.

    Emphasis on the “lucrative”, really. Jobs in consulting are not inherently “financial” in any practical sense of the term (some consultants end up doing more financially-oriented consulting, I suppose). What you’re saying is “too many students will continue to believe that they should find a high-paying job”.

    Aside: There’s a moment on Friends where Ross says: ” I just never think of money as an issue.”, and Rachel responds: “That’s ’cause you have it.”

    That’s how I feel reading this column. I notice that these columns tend to be written every year by students from wealthy socioeconomic backgrounds and well-to-do highly-educated parents. It’s almost like people who’ve never gone hungry don’t care about money as much as people who have.

    > Public service is not the only option sorely lacking from the fair.

    According to the YDN: “24 percent of the class of 2010 survey respondents listed in the OIR study went into education, the highest percentage of all categories.” Oops.

    > The whole nation loses when many of its smartest graduates spend their 20s playing the zero-sum game of finance

    Banking is not zero-sum. Consulting is certainly not. This is trivially easy to prove. Certain types of trading may or may not be, but at the point where this column fails to differentiate between “any job where you have to wear a suit”, I don’t feel the need to go more in-depth on this point.

    • jwr

      Someone is grumpy today!

      Three points to this comment specifically:
      1) I tried to be very clear in my piece that I do NOT think nobody should go into consulting or investment banking. Yes – some people will choose these careers because they discover they like it! Some people will choose these careers because of their financial situations! All of that is well and good! I just don’t think that it should feel de rigueur for Yalies wanting jobs to choose finance. And – with the notable exception of Teach For America, to which you point (and I’ll leave discussion of TFA to someone else because I know very little) – I think that’s the state of the world now.

      2) It seems to me that all forms of investment banking are zero-sum. Consulting is not, which is why I didn’t say it was!

      3) Your point about how horrible it is that people stay in their jobs is pretty disingenuous, I think. You know that there are many reasons for path dependence, only one of which is “I like the path I’m on.”

      • River_Tam

        > Someone is grumpy today!

        Check your privilege.

        > I just don’t think that it should feel de rigueur for Yalies wanting jobs to choose finance. And … I think that’s the state of the world now.

        What do you think they should choose instead where they can earn an (even remotely) comparable amount of money? I’d say engineering, but – hey – they’re all English majors after all.

        > 2) It seems to me that all forms of investment banking are zero-sum.

        Buying a company is zero sum? A merger (or an acquisition) is zero-sum? An IPO is zero-sum? Issuing debt is zero-sum? Or do you not know what investment banking is?

        > You know that there are many reasons for path dependence, only one of which is “I like the path I’m on.”

        Yes, and you never differentiate between them. Your entire piece is predicated on the belief that all the people going into finance could not honestly like it (and you provide no evidence to this effect except that not all the people going into the industry had planned to).

        On the flip side of this argument, why is not “the money is better than you can find elsewhere” not good enough? I know it’s gauche to talk about things like paying bills, but I stand by my point – that people who have grown up with an abundance (or at least not a scarcity) of money don’t really understand the value of it.

        • jwr

          Too much of your argument is predicated on the weird assumption that basically all people go into the relevant fields because they in any sense need the money. I know that is true for some, and I certainly am unwilling to cast any aspersions on those folks’ career choice!

          But I think that if we sent out a “check all that apply”-style survey to alumni going into banking (and somehow forced them to reply honestly), many would not check “I need the money” as a reason. Many would not even say “this is something I’ve been interested in for a long time.” And to me, that’s the problem!

          • River_Tam

            > Too much of your argument is predicated on the weird assumption that basically all people go into the relevant fields because they in any sense need the money.

            “Need” is such a silly term when it comes to money. Millions of people live on $30,000/year. People get by on $50,000/year in Manhattan. But is it nice to have the sort of financial security that you don’t get from an Americorps job where you’re living on foodstamps? Hell to the mother-fcking yes it is. Is it nice to not have to complain about student loans (because you paid them back in the first three months of working), not have to worry about paying for a plane ticket home, and not be afraid that if you choose to quit your job, you’ll be end up being a burden on your parents within the month? Yes it is.

            No one in America “needs” a six-figure job if we’re talking about being able to eat dinner every night and sleep on a bed. But there are some people who take financial security for granted – and don’t think about money on a daily basis. That’s a lot of Yalies.

            Then there are the people who want to get to that point too, and who want to make sure our kids turn out to be the same privileged, entitled Yalies that we went to school with. That’s me. That’s a lot of middle-income kids who go into finance. I don’t have a survey on this – I’m just speaking from my personal experience and interactions with people in the industry. Lloyd Blankfein’s dad was a USPS clerk.

            > Many would not even say “this is something I’ve been interested in for a long time.” And to me, that’s the problem!

            But why? Why is it more noble to go into a profession that you’ve been interested in for years than in one that has captured your attention only recently? This is exactly the reason that finance and consulting get so many recruits – they don’t require people to have years of preprofessional experience.

            Good luck finding a job at the NYT without years of journalism under your belt or a place in med school without taking the premed courses. Want to work at Microsoft? Oops, you can’t – because you majored in English. Want to work for Brookings? But you’ve never shown an interest in public policy work. You’re interested in working for Random House? But why didn’t you major in English? You want to work at a Art Museum? Well, we generally like to see an advanced degree in Art History, so why did you major in philosophy?

          • HighStreet2010

            Talk about projecting yourself. Someone really is grumpy today.

            ‘Check your privilege’ is a completely bitchy thing to say. The author isn’t talking down to anyone. Yet you feel the need to be a holier-than-thou asshole to him.

            If ‘a lot of Yalies’ live in this fanciful world of privilege, but people only go into finance because they’re middle income and just want to make a way for themselves, why do so many Yalies go into finance? Or, perhaps you’re painting an incomplete picture – your self-justification of going into finance. That’s OK, everybody has one. Yours is just a little nasty because you seem to have a persecution complex behind it.

            And yes, it is sad to go into something because it’s easy and makes a lot of money. No matter the income level of a Yalie, it is disappointing when they take their position and use it to better themselves first and others maybe never. Where has the idealism gone?

            The point is that the career fair shouldn’t be showing off just the easy paths. Does the NYT take anyone without a journalism degree? There must be demand for science and industry writers, but who knows they don’t come to the fair. Do they need bloggers or engineers? Why not have more niche-type employers at the fair? Why not let students see what it takes to work at an art museum, or what type of people are in demand at a publisher? Is there really just no demand for Yalies in those areas?

            PS Cool story about Blankfein, bro

        • jwr

          One last thing: I don’t at all predicate my piece on the belief that people going into finance don’t like it. This is a ridiculous argument because the counterfactual is untestable – we don’t know how those people would have liked the jobs they might have gotten were finance less pervasive.

          • River_Tam

            So you’re essentially complaining that Yalies are finding and staying at high-paying jobs that they like just as much as any other job they might do.

          • jwr

            No! I’m saying that you and I both have no data about who likes what jobs, so you shouldn’t assume people in finance like those jobs, and I shouldn’t assume they don’t!

            Now I’m prepared to go a step further than that and deny the idea that Yalies liking jobs in certain industries is a good reason to defend those industries! I assume you agree that there are some professions you would speak out against students going into en masse, even if everyone who went into them liked them.

          • River_Tam

            But you haven’t made that critique at all! (except for one throw-away line about finance being a zero-sum game and the vague sentiment throughout that there are other industries that ‘deserve’ their labor more). What exactly is your problem with Yalies taking jobs in finance and consulting?

            If I wrote a piece about how too many Yalies were going into the field of law, I’d sure as hell devote part of my piece to explaining why exactly it’s bad to be a lawyer.

          • jwr

            As I tried to argue in my piece, a big problem with so many Yale students going into these fields is that it creates a monoculture at Yale. I argue that such monocultures are bad even if their effects are fairly pleasant for the individuals (and again, we have no way of knowing that)!

            Alas, I have to abandon this thread soon – but will you at least concede that many Yalies choose finance because of the campus environment? If so, I think that’s a problem that the UCS should remedy, not exacerbate.

      • sonofmory

        JWR are you seriously defending your own article in the comments?! amazing!

        • ldffly

          I wish this would happen more often.

    • grumpyalum

      Also, one last thing: as someone whose family was on food stamps, I hate this canard that only rich people complain about ‘financial/consulting’ jobs. I think they are a terrible thing because they feed in a terrible system which rather than help ameliorate the problems, only helps perpetuate it.

      You don’t help your community in the long run by being a standard financial employer. Maybe if you were extraordinary (but those people then usually don’t support the communities at the end anyway, so…)

      • RexMottram08

        And all of those leeches masquerading as “community organizers” are helping?

        Anyone who goes to work every day, earns a paycheck, houses/clothes/feeds his family is doing more for his community than the armies of non-profit and government goobers.

        • grumpyalum

          Hehe. This is funny.

      • River_Tam

        > You don’t help your community in the long run by being a standard financial employer.

        lol. keep telling yourself that. It’s my taxes that pays for the food stamps that my Americorps classmates are on.

  • River_Tam

    > The bulk of Undergraduate Career Service’s advice focuses on hedge fund interviews

    They don’t, actually, but that would require you to know the difference between a hedge fund, an investment bank, and a consulting company.

    > the global affairs major requires students to play the role of consultants in their senior project.

    Yes, it requires them to create and defend specific policy prescriptions instead of complaining about problems, hypothesizing causes, and then not having any real ideas or suggestions. Shocking that a major in public policy would require students to suggest and enact policy.

    Hm… I wonder if this piece would benefit or be harmed by Mr. Revesz suggesting concrete policies and substantiating his claims as to the origin of this supposedly toxic culture he bears witness to.

    > English majors are often reminded by administrators and by Masters’ Teas that they too can pursue a corporate career, as if that were the only path that does not demand a specific skill set.

    Translation: English majors are lied to and told that “learning how to think” is just as valuable for employers as “learning how to think AND learning about something besides literature”.

    > Yale’s policies currently reinforce this damaging culture.

    How? This is an assertion unsupported by this article.

  • River_Tam

    > Surprisingly at a university that seeks to better develop its science and engineering offerings, technology firms were largely absent as well, although investment banks seemed eager to recruit that sort of talent.

    Okay, I’m going to get to the point here. The career fair is NOT AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF EMPLOYERS OF YALIES. It is overwhelmingly skewed towards financial firms and consulting firms specifically because – as you point out – students don’t think about going into these industries until they’re informed about them. People who want to do journalism or medicine or software development or law often know exactly what they’re interested in. Microsoft doesn’t have to sneeze to get a hundred applicants from Yale every year. The New York Times probably has a pile of Yale resumes and portfolios. NYU Law gets applications from Yalies year in and year out. But if some consulting company decided not to show up at Yale’s career fair, no Yalies would apply to it. If one of the major banks didn’t show up and splash its logo everywhere, it would see a huge drop in Yale applications.

    That’s why all the banks and consulting companies show up every year, and that’s why they make up 90% of the career fair but the percentage of grads who work for those companies is much smaller. Heck, there are even boutique hedge funds and trading firms that show up, conduct on-campus interviews, and hire zero applicants – they’re looking for that one candidate that may or may not materialize. Because that guy or girl – who may LOVE trading or management consulting – has never thought about it before now. But they have people like you reminding them every day that they should be thinking about public policy (but not the global affairs major, since that’s evil).

    • grumpyalum

      Oh no, that poor boutique firm, whatever shall it do?

      Look, is it that hard to admit that most Yalies end up following routes which which reach out to them, treat them like rock stars and then pay them loads of money? Yes, we know there are people that really enjoy the myriad of financial and consulting opportunities because they’ve always wanted to do that.

      But let’s get real. You’ve spent a lot of time being VERY defensive about this (not quite sure why, maybe it hit a sore spot? No, you are going to claim that it’s because you want to blah blah blah, something dumb).

      Hell, I’d expand Josh’s critique: UCS is basically useless if you want something that’s not medicine, law, finance or consulting. Education people used to get sent to TeacherPrep – now they just get sent to their local TFA recruiter.

      And the thing about banks and firms not getting any apps if they didn’t show up? That’s blatantly a lie. People know of Goldman, McKinley and all the big firms. If none of them came for four straight years, they’d still get a ton of applicants.

      • River_Tam

        > Look, is it that hard to admit that most Yalies end up following routes which which reach out to them, treat them like rock stars and then pay them loads of money?

        I not only admit it, but I applaud it.

        > But let’s get real. You’ve spent a lot of time being VERY defensive about this

        I’m not defensive in the least. Like I noted above, you’re demanding that I “admit” something that I have openly proclaimed already. Of course Yalies like jobs that pay them well and treat them well! I’m not surprised, and you shouldn’t be either!

        > People know of Goldman, McKinley and all the big firms. If none of them came for four straight years, they’d still get a ton of applicants.

        (First, it’s McKinsey)

        Second – yes, Goldman and McKinsey are household names (although it depends on the household… these are big firms if you grow up on the Upper East Side), but most of the firms that come for the career fair are NOT these name-brand companies. The overwhelming number of finance and consulting firms results from THEIR presence, not the presence of the name-brand firms.

        I’ll throw out a few names from the list of participants on the UCS website: Cambridge Associates, Centerview Partners, Five Rings Capital, Jump Trading, LLC, Cornerstone Research, Susquehanna International Group, LLP, Standard Chartered Bank.

    • jwr

      This argument I simply do not buy! You’re drawing distinctions where none exists.

      Okay, people who want to do journalism know what they’re interested in. Yet…people who want to do finance – they also know what they’re interested in! Yet the vast majority of seniors who DON’T have a specific career path in mind should be exposed to more than a handful of options. Seems like that should be uncontroversial.

      • River_Tam

        > Okay, people who want to do journalism know what they’re interested in. Yet…people who want to do finance – they also know what they’re interested in!

        A lot of people go to a career fair saying “I dunno what I want to do”. These people will end up in something like consulting and not something like journalism, because if they wanted to do journalism, they’d know by now (and they’d also need to have a portfolio assembled by now, and have written for the YDN for years, etc…) If they wanted to work for Microsoft, they would know already and have needed to major in something technical already. If you want to go into medicine, you should have been doing premed courses for years.

        But guess what – you’re in luck! If you have a 4.0 and no relevant skills, Oliver Wyman will hire you and train you up! Can you make a spreadsheet and do basic math (sometimes)? Citi will love you! Can you convince a room full of people that prostitution should be legal? Well, then Bridgewater is the place for you. You can’t get that kind of deal in other industries.

        In other words: your argument would make sense if this was a “what are your options going to be in four years” fair, instead of a “what job can you get hired to do 6 months from now” job fair.

        • jwr

          It is simply not true that finance and consulting are the only fields that do not need a clear skill-set / a lot of coursework / etc. to go into. I think that idea is part of the problem.

          • River_Tam

            You’re right. You can also do TFA (what industry is number one for Yalies, again?) and law school (never a shortage of Yalies going into law school), or industry (will suffer from the same problems as finance/consulting in your book — no one ever dreams of working as a middle manager at GE when they’re a kid).

          • HighStreet2010

            Yes, those are the only three options.

            You are the internet-posting embodiment of the Yale career fair.

          • River_Tam

            Please tell me Princeton, what else you can do with a BA in English?

        • joematcha

          I think this is the heart of the matter and that you are right (in pretty much all of your posts here) in the practical reality and how it probably is not as problematic as Mr. Revesz thinks it is.

          However, in a way the senior career fair is a “what are your options going to be in four years fair” in a small way because of how the rest of the classes see the seniors and their options. The undergraduates see and hear more about the recruiting for the various distinct financial fields since it happens on a larger scale and over fairly clear timeline. Is that affecting the way non-seniors approach a post college job market? Probably! Is it actually that much of a problem? Only if Yale isn’t accepting and cultivating people who can think independently.

        • sre2012

          “Can you convince a room full of people that prostitution should be legal? Well, then Bridgewater is the place for you.”

          Hahahaha, excellent.

      • Mme

        There are more ways to be exposed to careers other than going to a fair. Just because newspapers, magazines, non profits don’t attend a career fair diesn’t mean they don’t offer jobs nor does it mean your career center doesn’t have resources to help you. I don’t know why the writer and others don’t get that! It is so easy to criticize isn’t? I bet if the career center did away with the fair altogether, you guys would complain about that too!

  • The Anti-Yale

    The Yale Corporation used to have an activist on its Board, Bishop Paul Moore.

    Where is his likes now?

    Not on the Corporation, I can assure you.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/02/nyregion/episcopal-bishop-paul-moore-jr-83-dies-strong-voice-social-political-issues.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    He took me under his wing 35 years ago at Yale and taught me that raising hell can be a “calling’, if not a “career.”

    Carry on.

  • Credo

    … I like this article a lot more than I expected.
    Despite what apparently every other commenter seems to think, I’m impressed that you could criticize the career fair without just attacking consulting and finance jobs at large. That’s an important distinction that makes this critique of UCS a hell of a lot more insightful.

    Well said

  • Skeptic

    Think about it.. .career fairs are for recruiters who have a fairly reliable list of positions to fill. If they did not have a predictable need for a reasonably large number of recruits, it would not make economic sense to participate in such events. The one opening in public broadcasting in Omaha will not be advertised at the fair, whereas the 25 openings due to biennial turn over (exodus to law schools, grad schools, etc) at the big financial house in NYC make participation in job fairs worthwhile, if not essential. The best example is the military, of course. It takes recruiting offices across the nation to keep filling the jobs vacated by people leaving the services at the end of their “stint.”

    Job fairs are fine, but it is illogical to think they are in any way representative of the opportunities out there, just the ones that make participation in the fairs cost-effective for the recruiters.

  • yalengineer

    Someone probably has yet to receive that email about the UCS Non-Profit Organization Career Fair.

    I used to care that there weren’t tech companies recruiting at Yale at the career fair but really, why bother to go to a big career fair where 95% of the attendees are completely useless when you can do a private sessions with the Engineering school where 100% of the attendees are at least interested. And yes, there were a lot of those private sessions when I was an undergrad.

    Someone probably has yet to receive that email also.

  • ldffly

    ” Yet the career fair had precious few nonprofits or governmental agencies represented.”

    Does this mean that the CIA didn’t show?

    • ldffly

      Or maybe they did show, but did so undercover.

  • btcl

    The reason there are so many i-banking and consulting companies at the career fair is because those are the companies that make the effort to show up. It’s not as though 500 companies apply to have a booth at the career fair, and UCS chooses from among them. Every company that wants to have a booth can. I would assume more i-banking and consulting companies are able to send reps to the career fair because they have more money to spend on on recruitment. But if your argument is that your liberal-arts minded peers should turn away from their more lucrative options and accept a job with fewer benefits in the name of dedication to the liberal arts, then they and you should start accepting now the drawbacks of working for a company with less money. There are plenty of nonprofit opportunities out there, you just have to work a little harder to find them. Since you advocate learning to live with the less well-paying options, that’s a battle you may as well start fighting now.

  • JohnnyE

    This article is the YDN opinion page in a nutshell: Another kid who has had $40k+ per year tuition for his entire life handed to him thinks he has the world figured out and lambasts (mostly) middle class people for considering the financial aspects of looking for a JOB.

    The option to work some job that no one cares about enough to pay you for is a **privilege** afforded only to those as well off as you. Don’t fault your peers for wanting to provide this privilege to their own children.

    • jwr

      The weirdly personal tone of this comment aside, it is simply not true that the only well-paying jobs are in finance or consulting, nor is it true that Yale students are being forced to choose between going into those fields and “work[ing] some job that no one cares enough to pay you for.”

      • River_Tam

        But do you agree that there’s some trade-off here? People don’t do finance for the hours or the work/life balance, you know. You’re positing a world full of uniformed gullible Yalies – I’m positing one where people gravitate to the highest-paying job.

        • jwr

          Would you be happy with a Yale at which everyone gravitated to the highest-paying job? Seems like that would be a somewhat dismal environment.

    • grumpyalum

      Also, once again, I imagine that this comment section is, as a whole, pretty well-off. Stop talking for Yalies (and alums) who also agree with Mr. Revesz.

      Just because you are from a working class family does not mean you think the only job is that which makes you as much money as possible without any regards for something else.

      • River_Tam

        > Also, once again, I imagine that this comment section is, as a whole, pretty well-off.

        Why do you imagine this?

        > Stop talking for Yalies (and alums) who also agree with Mr. Revesz.

        I don’t think JohnnyE was claiming to speak for anyone but himself. Save the faux outrage.

  • sre2012

    I’m confused about this conflation of consulting with banking. For some of the consultants I know, management consulting has had them working for the governments of impoverished African nations to design more productive agriculture sectors. It has meant working for the Gates foundation, the federal government, a state university, a hospital etc. Management consulting provides incredibly diverse and interesting opportunities that encompass both the public and private sectors and often lead to super interesting follow up positions.

    You sound ignorant when you dismiss consulting without seeming to have any idea of what it entails.

    • River_Tam

      > You sound ignorant when you dismiss consulting without seeming to have any idea of what it entails.

      Hey, I’m not too thrilled of his treatment of finance either – dismissing finance as a “zero-sum game” is hilariously myopic.

      • sre2012

        Oh sure, I’m with you, but at least he HAS reasons for dismissing finance (be they trite and ill-conceived).

  • Mme

    The writer mentions journalism jobs in the article. I don’t think the National Enquirer hires in large numbers that warrants their presence at a career fair. And have you checked out the calendar to see that the international fair and health-fields fair is next week? I didn’t think so. It’s too easy to criticize but would take far more compassion, intellect and understanding to appreciate all that is offered to you. Be grateful. AND be willing to do the work to carve out your own destiny.

  • basho

    everyone has the same damn talking points. LAME

  • jamesdakrn

    No actually people like Mr. Revesz are generalizing an entire campus and demonizing finance/consulting. Kinda insulting actually. Also like River Tam said, I grew up in a family where I had significantly less than those around me. Financial security and $$$ mean a lot more to me, more than “saving the world.” Sure, I wasn’t what you would call welfare-poor. But I nonetheless had to sleep on the floor for the first 9 years of my life in the United states, from the age of 9 to 18. I barely saw my parents because they were busy working in those 9 years, never had the fancy toys and Christmas presents that the white kids in my neighborhood did. I want to be able to take my future children in a vacation to Hawaii, with a nice house that would let each of them have their own room, be able to provide for my parents’ rising health care costs, and be able to have some luxury in my own. If prioritizing that over “saving the world” is a problem, go F yourself.

    • jamesdakrn

      Oh and I know that I still was blessed to still have the things I did. I’m grateful for that. Still, I think that wanting more, wanting a bi tof some security and stability financially should not be demonized by people like Mr. Revesz