Why Should Banking Get Our Best and Brightest?

by Tony Chavira

Get this: a consulting firm held an undergraduate recruiting event on the Dartmouth campus and one of the brighter students didn’t want to go. The corporation, Bridgewater Associates, was flabbergasted. Why in God’s name wouldn’t a highly intelligent undergrad want oodles of money? It goes beyond comprehension!

So naturally they offered her $100 to explain to them why she didn’t show up. When she told this to her friend, (I think) he took the proper amount of offense:

The sheer arrogance and senselessness of this anecdote made me sick to my stomach, partly because, as planned, the exercise made her second guess her choice. But I had to admit there was a certain conceited logic to it—if this company can pay her $100 just to explain why she did not want to work for them, it’s easy to imagine how much cash she could rake in if she decided to pursue the job.

After I was done vomiting in my mouth, thinking of all the people who desperately need that hundred dollars, I began to think about the depth to which the recruiting culture has permeated our College. It has siphoned off some of our great minds into a dead-end field that sanitizes the intellect, offers almost nothing to human society, and conditions people to act in ways that are decidedly inhuman.

This got me wondering why local governments don’t actively/aggressively recruit our best and brightest undergrads. Sure, government can be a burdensome beast, but surely a fresh crop of highly intelligent people can quickly see where and how things can be better and shift the direction of agenda in positive directions. Best of all, they’re young enough to be idealistic and have the energy to pursue their idealism!

Or else work for a save-the-world non-profit. There are definitely plenty out there.

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