Mayor Bloomberg may have his own personal army to keep tents out of Zuccotti Park, there's nothing he can do to make the "Big Banks" cool again to new college graduates.
As one professor of economics put it, "I teach financial markets, and it’s a little like teaching R.O.T.C. during the Vietnam War."
The new recruiting climate was on display at Yale in mid-November, when a group of Yale students turned a Morgan Stanley information session into a protest site. While their fellow students, clad in suits and clutching folders with résumés, filed into The Study at Yale, a local hotel, to learn more about the investment bank, a group of approximately 25 Yale undergraduates protested outside. They held signs and chanted slogans like “Take a stance, don’t go into finance” and “25 percent is too much talent spent” — a nod, protest organizers said, to the quarter of Yale graduates who typically take finance and management consulting jobs after graduation.
Yale, which has graduated financial heavyweights like Stephen A. Schwarzman, the co-founder of the Blackstone Group, is traditionally considered a Wall Street feeder school. But the Occupy New Haven movement wants to change the focus.
Alexandra Brodsky, a Yale senior who helped organize Tuesday’s protest, said in an interview that recruiting “serves to divide the campus.”
Ms. Brodsky added that she had recently begun openly questioning the career choices of her finance-minded friends, because “these are people who could be doing better things with their energy.”
Certainly not all new graduates will be able to resist the promise of high-dollar salaries and perks of the financial institutions, but how many of them are really seeking employment elsewhere?
The New York Times reports that a recent survey showed that the "most coveted positions among young workers these days are jobs at technology firms like Google, Apple and Facebook."
The Wall Street banks didn't even make it into the top 25 most coveted positions. JPMorgan Chase was the highest rated investment bank coming in at only 41st, with only 2 percent of those polled choosing it as their first choice for employer.
Heartbreaking, isn't it?