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Harvard MBAs Ignoring Wall Street, But Who’s At Fault?

The cream of the crop appears a bit leery of taking a job on Wall Street. Or maybe their shiny Harvard MBA degrees are failing to impress investment banks, private equity firms and hedge funds like they once did.

Roughly 27% of Harvard Business School’s Class of 2013 has been hired by financial services companies, down from 35% in 2012 and 48% in 2008, according to a new survey. The numbers are preliminary – not all graduates have found work – but you can safely assume the trend is legitimate.

The biggest falloffs are occurring in the areas that you’d likely imagine. Firms that specialize in investment banking, sales and trading, and investment management hired fewer Harvard MBAs in 2013 than they did the year before.

Consulting firms are enjoying the benefits of the shift, where roughly one-quarter of Harvard MBAs have found work. Others are moving into technology and healthcare.

On the surface, the reason for the exodus seems obvious. There are fewer, great-paying jobs on Wall Street and the industry’s reputation has taken a hit. But digging deeper, as Poets and Quants did, Harvard’s admissions staff may have something to do with it as well.

The school admitted a significantly fewer number of candidates with backgrounds in private equity, investment banking and venture capital. The end result was a seven percentage point decline in the admission of students with financial backgrounds year-over-year.

Harvard is now paying the price. Graduates moving away from financial services have negatively altered an important number for the institution. The average graduate makes $5,000 less than they did a year ago. Say what you want, but healthcare still doesn’t pay what Wall Street does.

How to Get a Full-Time Offer at Goldman Sachs (eFinancialCareers)

Getting an internship at Goldman Sachs is no easy task. This year, roughly 17,000 people applied for its investment banking summer internship program. Just 350 interns were hired. So what’s the key to finding the golden ticket?

Landmark Victory (WSJ)

Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre was found liable of misleading investors in a soured mortgage-linked deal. He will likely face a fine and could be banned from the securities industry.

Three Person Race (Bloomberg)

Former Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn has been added to the list of candidates President Obama is considering as the department’s next chair. Kohn is up against Larry Summers and current Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, who would be the first woman to hold the position.

What a Big Five Failure Teaches SAC Capital Employees (eFinancialCareers)

Are tarnished reputation at a big name firm doesn’t have to sink your career.  The majority at Arthur Andersen, the only other financial firm ever indicted, quickly got hired, so there might be hope for those working at a place prosecutors have called “a veritable magnet of market cheaters.”

Commodity Hiring (Reuters)

Every bank is firing in commodities, right? Nope. Brazil's BTG Pactual has been hiring dozens of traders in London, Geneva and New York.

Fired Up (NY Post)

A food truck driver was fired after tweeting about getting stiffed by a group of bankers. Brendan O’Connor reportedly cooked up $170 worth of food for employees of Glass, Lewis & Co., who declined to tip him. He went to Twitter to complain. The firm called his boss.

Higher Fees (WSJ)

Bank of America is changing the fee structure for its Merrill Lynch wealth management arm. Some customers could end up paying 50% more, and advisers worried about losing customers aren’t in love with the plan. Still, advisers continue to leave their firms for Merrill.

‘We Want More’ (Financial News)

Asset manager Jupiter appears poised to expand beyond the U.K. “We have a global presence, but we just want more,” said Chief Executive Edward Bonham Carter.

Buzz Around the Office

Technically, It’s Not a Lie (MSN)

An Australian woman posted an ad on a message board looking for two iPhones. Another woman responded, saying she had two “Apples” that she’d be happy to sell. After trading goods for cash, the woman found she had bought two pieces of fruit – actual green apples – for $1,500.

List of the Day: Dealing with Recruiters

Recruiters can be a great source for finding work, but you have to be strategic to find success. Here’s how.

  1. Be inquisitive about all details.
  2. Use your personal email address to correspond.
  3. Be professional – blowing off a recruiter can hurt you down the road.

(Source: Glassdoor)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor
  • Vo
    Voice of Truth
    5 August 2013

    This is the best news that I have heard in years.

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