As one watches Darius Fewlass ’01 jumping around his room, talking about the Brooklyn apartment he will share with his friends next year, it becomes hard to call investment bankers soulless.
Fewlass, like many other graduating Yalies, is eagerly awaiting his entrance into the fast-paced world of New York economics.
One of the advantages of attending Yale is the availability of high-paying jobs upon graduation. While some Yale students are still looking for positions, many Yalies, like Fewlass, have landed lucrative jobs, especially in consulting or investment banking.
Fewlass is one of a number of Yale seniors who will be doing investment banking for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter after graduation. Fewlass said he will work as an analyst, advising corporations on issues of debt and equity.
Those working for Morgan Stanley and other firms were uneasy about disclosing their exact salary. They did say salaries usually started around $50,000 and have yearly bonuses described as “quite substantive.”
In the next few months, they’ll get a chance to spend their newfound income.
“New York is expensive, especially if you choose to be part of that social scene,” Fewlass said. “If I had no loans, it would be a freakin’ party, but you have to strike a balance between what you’re supposed to do, what you can do, and what you have to do.”
Other students echoed these sentiments, feeling that their debt to Yale will largely eat up their salary, however large.
“Next year, I’ll be paying off my Yale education, but I’m also trying to save,” said Molly Padien-Havens ’01, who will be joining Fewlass at Morgan Stanley.
For other students, they will save for future loans.
“I’m working for a couple of years because I wanted to live in New York, but I also want to save up for medical school,” Abigail Phillips ’01 said.
Phillips began by looking at employment opportunities in non-profit organizations, but is now deciding between two New York consulting firms.
Some economically-minded students who felt that investment banking and consulting weren’t for them took less popular paths.
Amy Mechur ’01 will be working in the domestic research section of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., examining economic trends and writing briefings.
“I had to ask myself if I want to be doing economic research or working in the private sector,” Mechur said. “I took the job I did because I had a really good internship experience early in my career, and wanted to work with economic policy.”
But government jobs come with their drawbacks.
“Because it’s a government job, my salary will basically pay for my living expenses,” Mechur said.
One of the parts of public and private jobs alike that students are most excited about is the opportunity to live and work in a city. Many plan to live with their college friends.
“I consider myself really fortunate, being in New York, with friends,” said Fewlass, who will be living with other Yalies also working for Morgan Stanley.
Yet no matter how promising any job sounds, many only last for short periods. Investment banking and consulting contracts often last for only two years, then students often head to other careers.
“Basically, there are two tiers of positions: those who have Ph.D.s, and those who don’t,” Mechur said. “After a year or two, I’ll have to go back and get a Ph.D. in economics or political science.”
Not everyone has a clear vision. Padien-Havens was uncertain of what her future held.
“I don’t know what I want to be doing in the long run,” she said. “That’s a good question. I wish I knew the answer.”