Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The soulless intern

I read this article today: 32 Idiotic Mistakes Wall Street Interns Make Every Summer and it bothered me. No, it completely pissed me off and made me so glad I have a finance internship in the laid back city of Denver. The article isn't all of it, there's a forum that started the madness... It's epic. Anyway...

Here's why I'm so GRRR about this:
  1. Elitism at its best: It's ridiculous to tell interns that the Rolex watch or [insert fancy suit brand here] makes them look spoiled while also telling them that they can't wear Hermes ties until they are full time employees.
  2. Dehumanizing perspective: People are more than just their work. If Wall Street wants faceless drones to produce analyst reports, I hear machine learning is getting very sophisticated. I prefer to work with people and that starts with really seeing them.
  3. Conformity rules: Lip service is paid to diversity but the real truth is that no one cares what color your skin is (or if you're male or female) as long as your suit is navy, your shirt is pressed, your shoes are leather, and you work way harder than your internship salary pays you to do. Also true (in my experience) is that the subset of people willing to put up with this shit with smiles on their faces are not a diverse subset of the population - not even of the ones interested in finance.

It's a high stress world and 99.9% of the people who succeed can put up with all this. I wouldn't last a week with my purple suit, cheap shoes and complete lack of regard for all things conformist.

But that's ok. I have my own plan.

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