National / International News

Top students turning down Wall Street life

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 14:26
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 18:24 Mark Garrison/Marketplace

Princeton students study for midterms at a campus café

Wall Street is starting to lose a war it has long dominated: The battle for talent. Elite schools that once sent hordes of brainy undergrads to big banks aren’t sending quite so many these days. A growing number of America’s top students are joining tech companies to seek their fortunes, or choosing to improve others’ fortunes in the non-profit world.

There’s a snapshot of what’s happening nationally at Princeton University, one of Wall Street’s favorite hunting grounds. As one of the America’s most selective schools, the university has already done some of recruiters’ work for them by bringing the nation’s brightest to campus. Year after year, banks and consulting firms arrive on campus to make their pitch. Students don ties and pantsuits for interviews, and not just economics majors. The banks pull from across campus.

Any bank recruiter would love to snag senior Malik Jackson. Wall Street prizes Ivy League athletes and Jackson plays quarterback. That means there’s a front row seat reserved for him on the train that has long carried Princeton grads to banking.

But he’s not taking it.

He’s going back to his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida to teach middle school social studies via Teach For America.

“As a student body, we all have such distinct interests,” Jackson explains. “It would be a disservice if all those interests were only focused on one field.”

He’s one of a growing number of students resisting the lure of finance and choosing to work in the non-profit sector, a big change from years past.

“I saw just about everyone headed to banks and consulting firms,” says Wendy Kopp, who graduated from Princeton in 1989.

Seeing so many of her classmates students sucked into finance frustrated her. She felt their talents could be put to better use elsewhere. That led her to starting Teach For America, the non-profit which steers talented undergrads to teach in needy classrooms. The program has grown rapidly, drawing heavily from Princeton and other selective schools. Kopp is now CEO of Teach For All, a global network of educational non-profits.

Non-profits got a big assist from Wall Street during the financial crisis. Banks blew up, cut jobs, and students questioned working for the firms that wrecked the world’s economy. Occupy Wall Street grew popular on campuses. When JPMorgan’s recruiters came to Princeton in 2011, a group of Occupy protesters disrupted the meeting. It wouldn’t be the only such protest.

“When I was a freshman, a lot of my upperclassmen friends would tell me about how their friends were going into finance and consulting,” says junior Damaris Miller, one of the Occupy protesters disrupting that recruiting session. “I find that a lot of my friends are not.”

Among Princeton’s 2006 graduates, 45 percent with full-time jobs worked in finance, according the Princeton University Office of Career Services, which surveys where students land a few months after graduation. That number nosedived after the financial crash. By the time the class of 2013 had entered the world, only 24 percent of those with full-time jobs were in finance. (The University’s data include finance and insurance in one category.)

[Note: For the Classes of 2006-2010 there was a 3-month survey follow-up period following graduation. In 2011, the follow-up period was changed to 6-months after graduation.]

Figuring out what students want and how to get them there is the challenge for Pulin Sanghvi, who runs Princeton’s career services office. A veteran of both Morgan Stanley and McKinsey, he understands that today’s students aren’t as easily swayed by the giants of banking and consulting that have traditionally had dibs on elite graduates.

He says today’s students want jobs that have meaning to them. That can mean non-profits, but not necessarily. The day Sanghvi showed me around his offices, Kayak was there interviewing students. Tech companies and startups are scooping up many who might have gone to Wall Street. The percentage of grads finding work at tech companies is soaring as the numbers for finance sag.

“Many [students] are getting excited by the opportunity to disrupt industries, and create new enterprises, and build organizations that may create thousands of jobs,” Sanghvi says.

Part of the reason banks had such a tight grip on elite schools for so long was their hefty recruiting budgets. Many students who weren’t sure what to do just defaulted into finance. Now, they’re going elsewhere.

Plenty still go to Wall Street, of course. Those who are most certain about it gathered recently for an evening meeting of the Princeton Corporate Finance Club. Sophomore economics major Darwin Li is president. Though most undergrads do just one finance internship after junior year, he did his first straight out of high school. He’s now looking ahead to his third, and says he already has a summer offer from a hedge fund.

Li doesn’t come across as careerist or greedy, just genuinely passionate about finance. Someone who should be a banker.

“Growing up I’ve been very numbers oriented, competing in math competitions. I’ve had a very quantitative mindset. I played chess,” he says. “The thought process to accomplish those things is pretty much the same thought process used in a lot of financial fields.”

The campus doesn’t give the impression of disdain for students who go to work for banks. It’s more of a suspicion of those who seem to be doing it for the wrong reasons.

“I wouldn’t say that people are very antagonistic toward people who are pursuing careers in finance, but are more antagonistic to people who originally give the impression that they wanted to work for a non-profit and then switch over,” explains Prianka Misra, an associate editor of the student paper’s opinion section. “It seems like their intentions are entirely at odds with each other.”

Soon-to-be teacher Malik Jackson has no problem with friends going into finance, tech, non-profits or whatever, as long as they’re following a passion, not just a routine.

“You could be a company man and that is totally cool,” he says. “Or you could maybe start your own company. Or you could maybe just try to make the world better. There are so many ways to do it.”

Wall Street is freaked out about elite students passing it by. Banks are changing their recruiting pitch and work environments to compete. But it may be the students they can easily get are the ones who really want to do banking. That could be good for the banks. It certainly seems good for the students.

Marketplace for Thursday, March 20, 2014by Mark GarrisonPodcast Title: Top students turning down Wall Street lifeStory Type: FeatureSyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No

Large fire shuts part of city centre

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 14:25
A large fire at a multi-storey car park leads to parts of Derby city centre being closed off.

Rwanda ex-spy chief jailed in France

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 14:19
A French court jails former Rwandan spy chief Pascal Simbikangwa for 25 years for complicity in the 1994 genocide.

Man in iconic WW2 kissing photo dies

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 14:09
A Texas man who claimed to be the US Navy sailor kissing a nurse in an iconic end of World War Two photo dies at the age of 86.

VIDEO: The war within a war in Syria

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:49
The BBC's Jim Muir gained rare access to a new front in the Syrian civil war as Kurds in the north clash with Islamist extremists and other rebel groups.

Boeing 777 Pilots: It's Not Easy To Disable Onboard Communications

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:48

Four commercial jetliner pilots say they would need to pore over checklists and other aircraft documentation to figure out how to disable radios and a text-based automatic communication system.

» E-Mail This

FDIC Sues 16 Big Banks, Accusing Them Of Fixing Interest Rates

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:40

The lawsuit claims the banks' manipulation of the London interbank offered rate caused failed U.S. banks to suffer substantial losses.

» E-Mail This

For-profit colleges and concerns over 'gainful employment'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:38

The Obama Administration has unveiled proposed new regulations on for-profit colleges and vocational programs. They're known as the "gainful employment" rules because career colleges are supposed to prepare their students for gainful employment.

That means jobs that pay enough to pay off those sizeable loans so many students take on. This isn't the first time the administration has tried to crack down on the multi-billion dollar for-profit college business.

Here's a look at some of the numbers involved in the rulemaking:

841 Pages

The number of pages in the U.S. Department of Education’s new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which spells out new guidelines on for-profit colleges and vocational programs. A previous version of the so-called "gainful employment" rule was tossed out by a federal judge, so the latest draft is an attempt to be "as legally bullet-proof as possible," says New America Foundation policy analyst Ben Miller. 

$150 Billion

The approximate size of the federal student aid program. Career programs that don’t meet the proposed new guidelines could lose access to this huge source of revenue. 

30%

The maximum default rate for career programs eligible for federal student aid. Under the proposed rules, programs risk losing eligibility for federal student aid if more than 30 percent of their former students are in default after three years of leaving school, or if graduates have to spend more than 8 percent of their earnings (or more than 20 percent of their discretionary income) on student loan payments.

16%

The estimated percentage of programs that would fail under the new guidelines. Most of them are at for-profit colleges. Programs would have time to improve before becoming ineligible for aid.

60 days

The number of days the public has to comment on the draft regulations before they're finalized.

Militants 'attack Nigeria barracks'

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:35
Suspected Islamist militants from Boko Haram attack an army barracks in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri., with deaths reported on both sides.

The 5 second rule actually works

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:34

The five second rule: The idea that if you drop food on the floor you can still eat it, provided you pick it up fast enough.   There's a study out of Birmingham, England on the topic. They tested toast, pasta, biscuits (the British kind), ham, dried fruit, and a sticky dessert, dropped on both smooth tiles and on carpeting for anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds.   The upshot?   Carpets leave less bacteria than tiles...and five seconds is basically alright.        Also, they found 87 percent said they would eat food that had fallen on the floor, with more than half of them women.

Ulster 26-13 Scarlets

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:20
Stephen Ferris returns after a 15-month absence to help Ulster secure to a 26-13 bonus-point win over Scarlets.

US accuses 16 banks of Libor fraud

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:19
A US regulator sues 16 banks - including some of the world's largest - for allegedly manipulating the London interbank offered rate (Libor).

Russian diplomat 'stabbed' in fight

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:11
A Russian diplomat was found stabbed following a drunken quarrel in Ottawa, Canada, according to local media.

Edwards praises record-breaking prop

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:07
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards says Gethin Jenkins is one of the most intelligent props to have played the game.

US entrepreneur jailed for beating

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 12:55
The co-founder of frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry is sentenced to seven years in prison for beating a homeless man in Los Angeles with a tyre iron.

Peer 'concern' over crash helicopter

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 12:53
A Northern Ireland peer killed in an air accident in Norfolk along with three others, had raised concerns about the helicopter that crashed, the BBC learns.

FBI-sting paedophile jailed for life

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 12:46
A former trainee teacher caught 11 years ago in an FBI sting targeting paedophiles is jailed for life for trying to abduct two girls.

Life in 'misery city'

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 12:43
Is Singapore really the world's gloomiest place to live?

'You're too smart,' and other jibes about being single

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 12:39
'You're too smart,' and other jibes about being unmarried

Benefit changes tackle 'dependency'

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 12:32
Big benefit changes, which start being introduced in Wales next month, will help transform a "dependency" culture, according to Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud.

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life. Renew here or visit KBBI by April 21 to enter to win one round-trip airfare with Era between Homer and Anchorage. Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

ON THE AIR

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4