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A new study offers a few possible answers, all of which suggest the decision to join banking or consulting has little to do with the students themselves.

Are top recruits brainwashed into taking banking and consulting jobs?

It’s seemingly a rite of passage, and one that doesn’t make all that much sense on the surface. A class of elite college students accept jobs at banks and consulting firms, complain about the hours and the toll it takes mentally and physically, and then eventually burnout and quit. Or at least a lot of them do. Then, the next year, the same thing happens again. Why?

A new study offers a few possible answers, all of which suggest the decision to join banking or consulting has little to do with the students themselves.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego interviewed 60 students and recent graduates of Harvard and Stanford. What they found, according to Quartz, which first dissected the study, was that many students joined the Ivy League with no real dreams of a career in banking or consulting. Some even entered college resenting those industries.

However, at the time of graduation, that sentiment had changed. One reason is the aggressive nature of the firms’ recruitment programs. They would pay the schools for premium access to elite students, including obtaining email addresses, renting out the most impressive banquet rooms and the best tables at career fairs.

Banks and consulting firms would even receive “bundled delivery of applicants’ resumes” from the schools, according to the research paper. One source told Business Insider earlier this year that her firm now spends around $50,000 per recruit (note: recruit, not hire).

Banks and consulting firms also have a way of using peer pressuring against elite students, whether advertent or not, due to their recruiting schedule, which begins incredibly early, likely before many students are ready to commit to a career path. Some who may not have dreamed of becoming a banker may feel pressured to hop on the bus before it takes off, the report suggests.

Surely the prospect of money and prestige add into the equation as well, but maybe there is more manipulation at play during the recruitment process than we all thought.

It makes some sense though. Elite students have been proven to be more “sheep-like” than your average shmoe, according to a separate study.

The Boutique Bank Everyone Wants to Work For (eFinancialCareers)

The top of the latest “best bank to work for” list offers no real surprises. Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan fill out the top four, in that order. But number five may shock you a bit.

Why Elite Students Make Serious Career Mistakes (eFinancialCareers)

Are you a student at an elite university? Have you fallen into investment banking/strategy consulting/other such elite occupations as a matter of course? If so, a former professor at Yale University is reaching out to you.

A Sign of Good Things to Come? (NASDAQ)

Jefferies just posted a great quarter in which fixed-income revenue increased to $207 million, up from $33 million a year earlier. This could be a great sign for all of Wall Street, considering Jefferies often acts as a barometer for the investment banking industry as a whole.

Nomura Needs U.S. Bankers (Bloomberg)

Nomura plans to do more hiring in the U.S. The Japanese bank is on the lookout for qualified investment bankers with strong industry coverage skills.

Humphrey Goes Against the Grain (WSJ)

Deutsche Bank has hired Tom Humphrey as its new head of corporate banking and securities for the Americas. Humphrey is coming over from GoldenTree Asset Management, making him one of the few to move from the buy side to the sell side.

Goldman Alum Denied Bonus (Bloomberg)

Former Goldman Sachs trader Deeb Salem lost his arbitration case in which he was seeking $5 million in bonus money on top of the $8.25 million he earned in 2010. Salem said he helped Goldman earn $7 billion during his time there. Elsewhere, Goldman won’t have to pay the legal fees of a once-convicted computer programmer who allegedly stole some of the bank’s trade secrets.

Madoff Son Passes (ABC)

Bernie Madoff’s son Andrew died on Wednesday of cancer. He was 48. The 67-year-old Ponzi scheme artist has now lost both of his sons since the fraud was exposed. Mark Madoff committed suicide in 2010.

Buzz Around the Office

Cloudy Reporting (Buzzfeed)

The U.K. may not be up-to-date on fancy new technology terms, like the cloud. Following the hacking of several celebrity iCloud accounts, both the Daily Mail and the BBC felt the need to explain to their audiences that the term has nothing to do with actual clouds. The BBC camera even panned to the sky to hammer home the difference.

Quote of the Day: “My brother has ADD, which is weird because he drives a Ford Focus.” – Zach Galifianakis

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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