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Morning Coffee: Wharton student details horror of trying to get into banking. Louboutin finance tyranny

If you've studied an MBA at Wharton, getting into an investment bank should theoretically be comparatively easy. - The University of Pennsylvania’s business school regularly ranks towards the top of the places banks like to hire their associates from.

However, a new diary from a student at Wharton reveals that getting into banking isn’t easy at all. It’s arduous, and it has to be combined with relentless studying.

The student, whose name isn’t divulged, applies for a summer associate position with Barclays’ Investment Bank in New York City. It’s not the 50 minute initial phone interview that’s the killer. Nor is the three days of interviews and networking events that make up ‘Barclays Junior Success Program’ and that culminate in a ‘Super Day’ of final interviews. Instead, it’s these and the interminable campus events to be attended (‘endless phone calls, dinners, information sessions, mock interviews, coffee chats….’), and the need to keep up with a demanding program of studies.

At one point, the anonymous student finds herself starting the revision for a difficult corporate valuation paper at midnight the night before her exam.  “I had spent my weekend memorizing common interview questions and being mock-interviewed by my senior friends,” she says, “A job was, after all, more important than a single grade.”

Separately, the case of the PWC London receptionist who declined to wear shoes with heels between two and four inches in height and was therefore sent home, might be expected to resonate with young women in banking. – Except that none of them responded to our inquiry on the social tyranny of heels in the City. So, maybe there's no issue after all.  “I’m pro-shoes,” one ex-Deutsche VP turned fashion designer told us: “The higher the better. The extra height gives you gravitas and a better posture.”


Barclays’ performance appraisal reveals trader criticized for lacking ‘big game temperament.’ (Bloomberg) 

A trader dismissed from Citigroup for FX manipulation says he was made a scapegoat. (Bloomberg) 

Who Carlyle’s David Rubenstein likes to hire: People with a good work ethic, who know how to focus, who make themselves indispensable, and who learn how to communicate. New hires should also have well-developed ethical skills and want to give back to society. (Wealth Management) 

New career opportunity for retired fixed income traders – join the FICC Markets Standards Board. (Reuters)

The former global head of trading at Blackrock just joined this ‘outsourced trading firm’ which aims to service small to medium sized hedge funds and asset managers. There, he will be building a team. (Telegraph) 

Debt advisory firm Marlborough Partners just appointed Tim Metzgen as managing director to build up its UK corporate practice. (Reuters)

Citadel’s trying to buy Citi’s electronic trading unit. (Bloomberg)

Man Group's shifting the focus of its Oxford University research department to artificial intelligence. (WSJ) 

BNP Paribas is cutting up to 40 jobs from its cash equities business in Asia. (Bloomberg) 

Work friends are exhausting, but they do make you more productive. (Inc) 

Being married to Chelsea Clinton is no guarantee of a successful hedge fund. (NY Times)

Star Morgan Stanley broker denies that affair with billionaire client was all about getting his trades. (The Star) 

Men who tell a good story are seen as more attractive and as of higher status than those who don't. (BPS) 

Changing careers at 40 taught me what a bad decision that was. (Clickhole) 

Photo credit: Louboutin  by Pierre Anquet is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Sh
    16 May 2016

    At Morgan Stanley the women were never made to feel like they had to wear heels, at least not within IBD. In fact, I wore heels often and many would actually ask me how I managed to do it.

  • Su
    12 May 2016

    That's outrageous! This is in London??! I mean personally I have always worn heels because I am tiny. And it would be difficult for me to speak to very tall people (for some reason very common in banking). Also heels make me look somewhat better...

    But always felt that it's a psychological thing rather than forced. It would be outrageous to send someone home for that...women are hired to work not to be on display in their heels

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