Yale senior English major and president of the school’s College Democrats, Marina Keegan, certainly a bone to pick with the hedge fund and investment banking recruiting process on college campuses.In an opinion piece for Dealbook she points out how these firms strategically market themselves to the students.
This strategic marketing might include enticing the students with fancy popcorn to munch on during the recruiting events.
“Last May, one of the largest hedge funds in the world paid me $100 to eat gourmet popcorn and explain why I wasn’t applying for one of its (lucrative!) jobs. As I sat in a hotel suite with six other Yale students – musicians, biologists, dramatists, other-ists – and answered questions about my future plans, I got this uneasy feeling that the man in the beautiful suit was going to take my Hopes and Dreams back to some lab to figure out the best way to crush them.”
We’re not sure which hedge fund provided the students with the gourmet popcorn, but we’ll let you know when we get to the bottom of it.
All of this sounds strikingly similar to the campus recruiting at fellow Ivy league Dartmouth.
Back in August, Dartmouth student Andrew Lohse wrote an incensed op-ed claiming the campus recruiting process, which many of the major financial firms participate in, “has siphoned off some of our great minds into a dead-end field that sanitizes the intellect.”
What’s more is he called out Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates — the biggest hedge fund in the world — for paying a student $100.
“At a party last week, a friend told me that Bridgewater Associates paid her $100 to write a statement explaining why she didn’t participate in sophomore Summer corporate recruiting. 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.”
Of course, Bridgewater’s Greg Jensen responded to Lohse and said the firm did not pay students $100 to write a statement. They gave them a $100 gift card to participate in a 90-minute conversation.