Sad, Young, Demoralized Ivy League Bankers Making Less Money Now

Amidst the tumult of nationwide protests, it’s reassuring to know that we haven’t totally forgotten the unsung victims of the stagnant economy:

Bankers aren’t optimistic about [private sector] gains. Options Group’s [Michael] Karp [a headhunter] said he met last month over tea at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York with a trader who made $500,000 last year at one of the six largest U.S. banks.

The trader, a 27-year-old Ivy League graduate, complained that he has worked harder this year and will be paid less. The headhunter told him to stay put and collect his bonus.

“This is very demoralizing to people,” Karp said. “Especially young guys who have gone to college and wanted to come onto the Street, having dreams of becoming millionaires.”

Working hard. Drinking tea. Getting rebuffed by headhunters. And no longer making 500k.

Once again: What hath god wrought?

The Facepalm Hall of Heroes:

Inductee #2: Penn Student Sends Email, Shames Penn

When we first conceived the Hall of Heroes, our intent was simply to single out Ivy students whose opinions deserved a gentle bit of mocking. But then we happened upon the following story, which doesn’t precisely fit this column’s mission, but certainly produced the same end result: FACEPALM.

Most college seniors are probably sending out a veritable avalanche of cover letters these days. The economy is getting worse, and nobody has a job, so it’s time to pitch your skills like a common whore, at the street corner of every I-bank in lower Manhattan. Pretty standard.

But one unidentified Penn senior, in his job-seeking gusto, accidentally sent out one mass-email to every single person on Wall Street. Wall Street then proceeded to mock him vigorously.

Here is the offending correspondence:

Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 $;31 PM
Subject: University of Pennsylvania Senior interested in Analyst Position upon graduation


My name is <redacted> and I will be graduating from the University of Pennsylvania this may. I am very interested in pursuing a career in investment banking upon graduation and I wanted to know if your firm would be hiring analysts this coming summer. I know you are busy and would appreciate any time you could give me. Thank you in advance and I hope to hear from you soon. My rsum [sic] is attached.

Best regards,


And, behold, an unbelievable screen-grab of the actual email, right after the jump!  Read the rest of this entry »

The Vids are Back in Town! Aleksey Vayner and Pi Phi, Love Everlasting

Every now and again, we over here at IvyGate — purely in the interests of town-criership and good fun — repost some juicy nugget of self-promotional multimedia, fresh from the minds of uppity Ivy League resume-hounds. Then, for reasons unbeknownst to us, after these videos — which were created for the express purpose of exposure, marketing, back-slapping etc. — go online, receive ten-thousand-or-so viewer eyeballs, and subsequently rebound across the web, their creators inexplicably pull the content! (and threaten to sue us! whoa!).

We graciously gave Vayner’s video resume the attention it deserved; he pulled the footage and called the lawyers! Now tons of people know about the controversy, but have never even seen the masterwork that sparked it… Oh, and we helped the Pi Phi video reach national renown; they took it offline! Honestly, it all smacks of ingratitude to one’s fellow man/blogger…  All we’re trying to do is spread the good word!

And, with that in mind, we’re pleased to present two of our all-time Ivy Video Faves, back online after languishing for far too long. Happy viewing after the jump!

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For Those About to Graduate, Obama Salutes You—NOT!!!

obamajpgIn an “After the Recession” interview with the New York Times, today, President Obama slammed the quality of education at U.S. colleges in the age of grade inflation, naked parties, and IvyGate.

The somewhat convoluted criticism outlines the difference between the high school education his grandmother used to ascend to corporate vice presidency and the college education most kids are currently using to ascend the stairs of the local unemployment office. And he trashes the letter-writing skills of University of Chicago Law School students!

She went to work as a secretary. But she was able to become a vice president at a bank partly because her high-school education was rigorous enough that she could communicate and analyze information in a way that, frankly, a bunch of college kids in many parts of the country can’t. She could write —

Today, you mean?

THE PRESIDENT: Today. She could write a better letter than many of my — I won’t say “many,” but a number of my former students at the University of Chicago Law School.

So you’re probably thinking where’s the Ivy? Who needs to know how to write a letter when some can pull in six figures for kissing great ass? Excellent question, Watson! No matter what the name of the school is, the recession is slapping the meaning of employability across its status-obsessed face. And even Obama’s Columbia-Harvard one-two doesn’t mean a thing if you have no real abilities.

After the jump watch some Wharton students wipe their noses on the cuffs of their Thomas Pink shirts.

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Penn Alum Tells the Truth about New York, His Feelings for Asians Too

Penn grad DJ Lubel ’05 popped back into the spotlight this weekend with his video about the Ivy League swill in Murray Hill. The video references to “Jew geography” and Lehman Bros emeriti in that elevated piece of Manhattan in the 30s on the East Side. Cool, but it’s worth watching for the dood-bros mooning the camera in front of the stretch Hummer at Joshua Tree.

The song’s audio has actually been floating around the Internet since last year or so. NYMag nailed it when they summed up the point:

We all go to temple but we worship the dough
We’ve got more Japs than all of Tokyo
Pour me a Grey Goose and Red Bull
As I take this Adderal pill
Tonight I’m blacking out up on Murray Hill

Watch Lubel sing about (not) having sex with Asians and how much he loves Rick Moranis after the jump.

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I-Banking Grads to Real-World: What, Us Worry?

1329063dollarsjpgRecent Dartmouth graduate and current investment banker Ursula Grisham published a piece in the latest ’08 Class newsletter that is unconsciously emblematic of the Ivy League’s blithe, proud role in this recession.

The letter, a warm smile towards the mirror, recounts Grisham’s time as an investment banker in Europe. Reveling in her “ambitious, if not whimsical” career choice, she delves into the “aesthetic” dimensions of her experience—thus running like hell from every imaginable real-people consequence of having played house with the global financial system.

After comparing the walk home from her bank to walking home from a frat party, she pulls the blinders tighter:

“One could argue that if there ever were a good time to be in finance, it’s now. There’s no way to learn like being thrown into the middle of a raging storm.”

And the ideal of the liberal arts turned over in its grave. So as not to totally berate Ms. Grisham, there’s a pretty well documented (and perhaps problematic) trend in the appeals of an Ivy-fueled finance career. As so many decorated coeds haven’t learned in the career services office, i-banking on the brink is not about the welfare of billions but about massaging one’s skill set into greater earning potential. Ivy Leaguers are among the only people at no risk of real hardship these days, and here we are, looking for the benefit.

What benefit? Check after the jump. It involves cash and Sarah Palin.

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Banker on Students Vying for Internships: “They’re Done”

Remember how students were gearing up for i-banking internship interviews this time last year? Well, an Ivy grad banker working at a bulge bracket firm thinks they may as well start studying for the LSATs. Below, an exclusive interview with this still-employed financial services professional:

IvyGate: What’s going to happen to students applying for internships this year?

Banker: They’re done. They need to say goodbye to their Wall Street dreams. It’s not going to happen.

IvyGate: What do you think they should do instead?

Banker: I don’t know. They’ve gotta figure that out.

After the jump, this anonymous banker tells us what he thinks of Obama’s dream team and why the recession is about to get worse. Read the rest of this entry »

Recent Grad Starts Online College Guidebook Called Unigo

Do you ever have great ideas for future businesses? Me too! But while I’m trying to settle on a name for my 2.0 erotic literature site, guys like Jordan Goldman are actually starting real companies. Goldman, Wesleyan ’04, just launched Unigo, a site that’s kind of like CollegeHumor without the boobs or jokes. The website, which Goldman considers more a “national grassroots movement” than a website, is essentially an online student guidebook: it contains brief staff-generated descriptions of the colleges and a growing amount of student commentary. That’s right: students are logging onto this site and reviewing their colleges (and posting pictures and videos). Let’s see what they’re saying:

Alli at Columbia:

Columbia social life is what you make of it. At a glance it is incredibly lame, but if you meet the right people and can make your own fun it is a great time. The Greek life seems to be run but neonazi’s as there is basically no such thing as a frat party anymore. There seems to be a war on fun at our school and I hear people complaining all the time. There are ways around it and as I said if you know the right people and put yourself out there, a good time can be had.

War? Nazis? Frat parties? Columbia exactly.

After the jump, Lamonster laments the exodus of Harvard grads into i-banking (I think this was posted before September).
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Whartonite Wins Lottery, Poor People Pissed

Whartonites worried that the recent i-bank apocalypse will spoil their plans to bathe nightly in a sea of money, fear not! There’s always the lottery, an institution weirdly remniscient of Ivy League admissions, anyway. (Fill out bubbles in #2 pencil, wait anxiously, be disappointed 99.9% of the time.) In an article titled “RICH GET RICHER IN LUCKY $CRATCH,” the Post reports that the first-ever winner of the “$1 million a year for life” lotto is a dispassionate i-banking Whartonite:

Keenan Altunis, 33, a banker raised on Long Island and now living in London, accepted his prize with a smug shrug, noting he’s already a multimillionaire.

“Is it going to materially change my life? No,” he told The Post. “I have been a very blessed and fortunate person.”

And if that isn’t an argument for spreading the wealth around, how about this: Since he lives in Britain, Altunis, an executive at the European banking firm Unicredit, will have to pay New York but not federal taxes on his winnings, which means he’ll net $931,500 a year for the rest of his life.

Irony Gods, are you serious?

“Don’t get me wrong, no matter how rich anyone is, a million a year is a lot of money,” he said. “But I don’t expect this to change my life very much at all.”

The family left New York yesterday for a vacation in the Caribbean – one that had already been planned and paid for prior to his winning ticket.

Apparently so.

There is a chance that every single news outlet misspelled Altunis’ name (sweet justice?) because the only Keenan Altunis we can find in Penn’s records is one Kenan Altunis (Wharton ’97), whose sole claim to fame was being in a frat and being quoted in the DP once about beer. IronyGoddammit.

It’s a Family Affair: Ivy Leaguers Manage, Lose Alma Maters’ Money

If we have learned one thing from market meltdowns, it’s that Wall Street is utterly glutted with the Ivy League’s overeducated ilk, from top to (curvaceous) bottom and everywhere in between. Now, another wrinkle: An Ivy League university’s funds, temporarily frozen and cruising for annihilation at the hands of financiers educated at that same institution.

We are talking, of course, about Penn. According to the DP, Penn keeps a small portion of its coffer at Commonfund Treasury, a $9.3-billion operation specializing in the management of educational cash, helmed by a handful Princeton, Yale, and Wharton grads. Wachovia (a Commonfund trustee), announced today the coming termination of all short-term Commonfund accounts. Something about liquidity and distributing assets? Foreseeing the pandemonium this announcement would cause, Wachovia helpfully froze affected accounts to prevent the First Horse of the Finance Apocalypse: A Bank Run.

Luckily, the entirety of Penn’s frozen funds is a measly $100K, which means all they have to do is, like, cash two undergrad tuition checks, and they’ll be back in the black. (Although perhaps with a shittier credit rating.)

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