Outsourcing: Dashing Wall Street Dreams For Ivy Grads

Outsourcing is here, it’s growing, and it kind of sucks. First it was limited to low level work: call centers and their ilk; things American college grads weren’t competing for. But now, more and more, outsourcing is rapidly encroaching on jobs that have historically gone to Ivy League students: analyst positions at New York investment banks.

According to a recently published article in the Times, Wall Street’s woes have fueled a bona fide bonanza of work in cheaper locales like India and Eastern Europe, where the research tasks that were once handed to newly-minted college grads and M.B.A.’s for salaries in excess of six-figures can be had for a fraction of the cost.

At India-based Copal Partners, which “churns out equity, fixed income and trading research for big name analysts and banks… business is up about 40 percent this year alone.” Similar upturns in work have been seen by other third-party firms as well.

It doesn’t seem like outsourcing will stop just there:

After research, the next wave may include more sophisticated jobs like the creation of derivative products, quantitative trading models and even sales jobs from the trading floors… In the future, executives in India like to joke, the only function for highly paid bankers in New York or London will be to greet clients and shake hands when the deals close.

More sobering quotes for all you finance types after the jump.

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Your Olympic Hero: Anna Willard

Track and Field is kicking off this Friday and there’s no better time to introduce your next “Olympic Hero,” Anna Willard. This Brown ’06 alum and Greenwood, Maine native is a professional runner for Nike, which is probably a good company to be a professional runner for. Meet Anna:

Name: Anna Willard

Ivy Affiliation: Brown ’06

Major: Environmental Studies

Sport: Track and Field (Women’s 3000m Steeplechase)

1. Are you going to win?

You never know what’s going to happen, but I’m going in ranked 8th.

2. Is this your first Olympics?


3. What’s on your ipod when you’re running?

I never, ever run with an iPod.

4. Which is the least athletic Ivy and why?

Honestly, probably Brown! It’s hard to make training a priority when we’re protesting, being vegetarians and singing in an a capella group.

5. For the rest of your life, you have to give up either running or missionary position sex. What’s your choice?

Oh come on, obviously missionary. It’s worthless anyways.

All the questions you really want after the jump.

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Egotistical Princeton Freshman Wants to Rule the World

It’s a fact of life: Facebook has made incoming Ivy League freshmen retarded – at least until they arrive on campus and reveal how awkward and un-cool they truly are. Meet “Stephany Her RoyalHighness,” Princeton ’12, author of a ludicrous post on the discussion board of the Princeton 2012 Facebook group. She writes:

Dear Class of 2012,

I only hold you to the same standards I hold myself to and I HATE being disappointed.

Having said that, do not let ANYONE tell you that you are not better than them, because you are. We are the elite, we are the 0.0000001% of the world who have spent the last four years of our lives either blackmailing or working our asses off. There was something that got you here—whether it was daddy’s money or your #1 ranking in the nation, you are here and you are better. You have mercilessly beaten out your friends, your girlfriends, your boyfriends, your brothers, your sisters and every one you have loved. Don’t apologize for it, revel in it. YOU. ARE. BETTER. Why deny it?

Don’t be held back now—you are in your prime. Starting from the first day you step on campus, there is no past, there is no judgment. You are beautifully brand new. Wherever you came from, whatever you have been through, whoever you knew: that counts for nothing now. It only matters who you are now.

Try everything once: Pilates, squash, open mic night, tantric sex. What do you have to lose? When you risk everything, you have anything to gain.
If someone says you can’t. Don’t answer. Walk away and prove them wrong.

Princeton is famous for its elitism and for fostering loyalty among its students and alumni but “Stephany” – if there’s really an incoming Princeton freshman behind that facile alias – is someone different altogether. Read her post in its entirety after the jump.

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Former Wharton Student Discovers Recession-Proof Industry

Things were looking up for former Wharton student and recent Columbia temp employee Chris Clemente in September 2005. For one, Clemente, 37, had just been released from prison after serving 15 years for heroin and weapons possession. But even better than his freedom–he allegedly discovered a new and promising illegal scheme! A friend tipped Clemente off to an MTA machine that was malfunctioning and giving out free fares, authorities said. Over the course of the next three years, Clemente and two others, Cary Grant (that’s his real name) and Lisa Foster Jordan, allegedly stole more than $800,000 worth of MTA money from this Penn Station machine.

In a New York Post article, an MTA spokesperson explains how this mechnaical error probably happened:

The odds of [the suspects] stumbling on this were astronomical,” MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said. The scenario “would only happen if you used an active debit card but had insufficient money in your account and it was from a smaller, nonlocal bank.

In other words, if you were broke and had an account at a nontraditional bank, you too could have taken advantage of the MTA.

What could have possibly brought these three down? According to this Post article, it was a “routine agency audit.” Yeah, I guess an audit conducted every three years is kind of routine.

Our Man in Beijing: Doug Lennox

Not too long ago, Ivygate interviewed Puerto Rican Olympic swimmer and Princeton rising senior Doug Lennox for a feature called “Your Olympic Hero.” Doug’s answers were so witty and disarming I suggested he blog about his Beijing experiences for Ivygate. Doug mentioned something about being busy competing in the Olympics. But busy or not, Doug managed to fire off some observations about what it’s like on the ground in Olympic Village. Here’s what the Princeton swimmer has to say:

August 1st the Puerto Rican delegation left from Newark Airport on a direct flight to Beijing. We arrived in China August 2nd at 1 PM local time, 1 AM EST time. This flight was probably the shortest 13 hour flight I have ever been on…I watched a few movies, read a book, and talked to some random girls from San Diego who weren’t too afraid to approach me and my teammate in row 40 of this massive Continental airplane. People asking for autographs, wishing us luck, and blatantly staring at us left me excited. I have known I was going to compete in the Olympics since April, but nothing in my life had really changed at that point. Now, on my way to Beijing, dressed in team garb and (I guess) looking the part of an Olympian (or maybe being with others who look the part like the judo teammates and weightlifting females whom I traveled with) I have begun to feel the energy and adrenaline that come hand in hand with the Olympic Spirit.

When we landed the Puerto Rican team was met by some pretty excited Chinese officials. On the bus we were given waters and taken for a relatively short ride through the city of Beijing. We saw a lot of people waving, jumping up and down, and chasing our bus. Of course, they then realized we were Puerto Rican and immediately stopped. Nah, they didn’t. They were excited to just be hosting the Olympics and to the very friendly hosts we are all just Olympians. It’s pretty awesome.

Upon arrival in the Village…I get through the security, and a Puerto Rican delegate and I are escorted to our room where our team has already arrived. Our guide is a very nice retired Chinese gentleman who very genuinely told me that I am “a strong and handsome” man. I smiled, said thank you, and asked him to continue — but he didn’t know enough English. Oh well.

Read about Doug’s substandard room and the massive athlete cafeteria after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Luis Martinez Was Formerly a Member of ’11

Okay, okay. So maybe we rubbed off as a little mean in our previous post on Luis Martinez, organizer extraordinaire for Harvard’s incoming class of 2012. But we felt slightly vindicated after receiving this anonymous tip from a self-described “IvyGate superfan”:

Hi IvyGate!
I don’t know if this is any use to you anymore, but as an IvyGate superfan I felt obliged. Luis Martinez was in the Class of 2011 and started the year. He also friended everyone in that class and proceeded to join about every organization on campus, or “205 or so” according to him. I know him personally and have been friends since high school with his former roommate. He happens to be a pathological liar so you can’t really be sure of anything he says. Before leaving Harvard, he claimed to be writing a history book about racial relations in the south in the 1920s and 30s for which he was receiving advice from Drew Faust herself (and who he refers to by her first name). As dubious as this sounds I do believe that the part about being advised by President Faust is true, although he might have duped even her about his history book.
The rest of the email and some more commentary after the jump.
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Overachieving Koreans Have No Life But Excel at Ivy Admissions

At certain moments in my month-long stay in Seoul, say when I was navigating about its immaculately clean subway system or gorging myself on endless supplies of Korean short ribs, it occurred to me that it wouldn’t have been half bad if I had been born and raised there. But then I’d watch my seven-year-old cousin race off to his test-prep center after class every day, see uniformed high-schoolers trudge back to their apartments past midnight, and I’d silently thank my parents for immigrating to America.

Given the madness I observed in Korea firsthand, I was hardly surprised to see Newsweek write an article on two of Korea’s top high schools, focusing particularly on their success at sending students to elite colleges in America. At Minjok Leadership Academy, for example, 25 of its 77 graduates who applied to American colleges were accepted to Ivy League schools. Daewon Foreign Language High School, which is similarly competitive, had 36 students get into the Ivy League last year.

All of this has its price – assuming, of course, that one manages to do well enough in middle school to get in:

Typically, students study well past midnight, sleeping four to five hours a night. The coed Korean schools also have tough rules on dating and other behaviors deemed distracting. Hand-holding is banned.

More insanity after the jump:

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Harvard Freshman Just Wants to Help (Spam Your Inbox)

Though members of Harvard’s class of 2012 haven’t moved in yet most are already familiar with Luis Martinez. He’s that guy that’s been Facebook-messaging them registration instructions, financial aid deadlines and prayers for good housing placements. According to an anonymous tipster (and Martinez’s own messages), this future class leader was admitted to Harvard in 2011 and elected to take a gap year. Apparently, he spent that gap year creating “Harvard 2012” Facebook groups and familiarizing himself with the school’s courses, advisors and housing system.

Over the course of the summer (that is, if the summer began in late April/early May), Martinez has been regularly sending out messages to the “Harvard Class of 2012” Facebook group. To be fair, his messages are probably helpful to the incoming frosh. What’s more, it’s not like Martinez is being compensated for his efforts (unless ridicule on Ivygate is a form of compensation). In one of Martinez’s more recent messages, he even humbly offered to cede officership in his various Facebook groups to whoever is willing to shoulder the burden:

As you look through the groups, you will notice that I’m listed as the administrator for all of them. For now. Not only do I hope that these groups will foster unity and community, but I hope that some of you would be willing to take the time and make the committment to showcase your leadership and teamworking skills. With that in mind, I will remove myself as admin of all the groups as soon as people start receiving their rooming assignments and will open up the floor to those who wish to help their dorm through its Facebook group. If you are interested in becoming an admin for your dorm’s group, please message me as soon as you get your letter, and I will make it happen. My goal is to have 2-3 admins per group. The main responsibility of the admins would be in the coming week, to compile and actively update a list of all the people in the dorm and their room numbers, so that people crusing through the groups can quickly glance and check if their name is on your dorm’s list. (This also avoids having to go through pages of wall space to find out if you’re listed somewhere on it.)

So there you have it: Luis Martinez, annoying control freak and community organizer. Martinez does have a fan on Harvard’s gossip blog GossipGeek. Hear what Martinez’s admirer has to say after the jump.

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Summer ivyTunes: Miss Vintage

Here at Ivygate we like to put a critical eye on things. You readers are smart; if all you wanted was feel-good propaganda you wouldn’t bother visiting us – you’d turn to one of China’s state-controlled newspapers or your alma mater’s alumni magazine. Sometimes, however, we come across men and women like Joey Cheek and Alicia Sacramone, individuals who are so un-Vayneresque that we temporarily lose our capacity for snark and vitriol.

The same holds true when we discover intelligent and inventive bands like Miss Vintage. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist Jason Min, Penn ‘05, Harvard GSE ‘07, the band’s sound falls under the genre of art rock, a term that allmusic defines as having “experimental or avant-garde influences” and being “intrinsically album-based, taking advantage of the format’s capacity for longer, more complex compositions and extended instrumental explorations.” (If all this music jargon is addling your brain, just think Explosions in the Sky with vocals or Coldplay without as many pop-y hooks).

Since forming in Philadelphia in 2006, Miss Vintage has played at over 150 rock venues and college campuses, mostly on the East Coast, and has released one album entitled Runways. The band’s second LP, Our Lives Are Not Through Just Yet, will not be released until later this month, but we were able to finagle two of its tracks for your enjoyment: “Trains,” and “The Last Time We Cried”.

Miss Vintage – Trains

More review and another song after the jump.

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Your Olympic Hero: Susan Francia

In this installment of “Your Olympic Hero,” Ivygate introduces Susan Francia, who is the second attractive female Olympian to have a post devoted to her this evening. While I don’t have any Youtube videos of Susan drop-kicking fans, I do have a charming interview with the Penn alum.

Name: Susan Francia

Ivy Affiliation: Penn ’04

Major: Criminology

Sport: Women’s Rowing (Women’s 8+)

1. Are you going to win?
We’re going to try our best!

2. Is this your first Olympics?
Yes, it’s my first Olympics.

3. What’s on your ipod when you’re erging?
Lil Wayne, Jay Z, and German techno.

4. Was Penn your first choice?
Good one! Yes, coming from a suburb of Philly, Penn was an institution that I prayed that I would get into. It’s an awesome school and I’m glad I went there.

5. Which is the least athletic Ivy and why?
Rhode Island School of Design, enough said.

6. For the rest of your life, you have to give up either rowing or missionary position sex. What’s your choice?
You mean coitus?

Sorry, but all of the best questions are after the jump.

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