“It’s like applying to college all over again,” he added. “ ‘I applied to 8 to 10 Ivy League colleges, and I got in here. I applied to these 40 companies, and I got into these ones.’ It’s exactly the thing that appeals to the Harvard competitive spirit.”
Ironically, joining the finance world is not the same golden ticket that it was five or six years ago, as so many of these banks are imploding and shedding staff. Pity the kid who hates numbers but took a job at Bear Sterns just for the money.
I was aiming to join a different self-dubbed elite: the Devil Wears Prada, New York media set. This is just another brand of self-delusion, of course: "You work for fabulously wealthy people in divisions of multinational corporations, but are told you’ve somehow opted out of the consulting/I-banking rat race, because your filing and faxing and phone-answering is somehow edifying.”
Ultimately, all jobs have their venal aspects. I learned from some great mentors to respect people who work hard, play by the rules, and have the courage and insight to trust and develop their own unique capacities. And if the rules are too crappy -- change them!