Meet Carrianne Howard. She’s the woman pictured at left in red. Some of you may not recognize her but if we took away the dress and diploma, that’d probably jog the memories of those who’ve spent time at the Lido Cabaret, a topless club in Cocoa Beach, Florida. That’s where the 26 year-old now works, for $400 to $1,000 a week, where she landed after a stint doing “adult web chats.”
It’s not the career trajectory Howard, 26, envisioned for herself, when she enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and had her parents plunked down $70,000 in tuition and fees for her to earn a bachelor’s degree in game and art design and, per usual, there’s one person or group of persons to blame. Goldman Sachs.
The bank owns 38 percent of the Art Institute’s parent, Education Management Corp., and according to the latest issue of Bloomberg Markets Magazine, that’s reason enough to make the leap in logic that Howard’s life of stripping (and her parents’ current financial struggles– they sold their home to pay for their daughter’s schooling at a time when neither of them had jobs) is Goldman’s fault. Don’t ask me for reasoning, it just is, okay? They (partially) own the school, so the fact that Howard graduated in December 2007, got a job from which she was later laid off and had to take up the pole to pay the bills is Goldman’s doing. To that end, how are Lloyd et al going to make this right? They put the girl in this situation, basically, and unless they want to suffer any more bad press, they’re going to throw her some sort of bone. Should they:
a) Require that all client meetings to take place at said titty bar, with generous tips going towards CH.
b) Put her through business school (“Howard now hopes to save enough to go back to college and get a business degree”) and maybe have LB writer her a rec for HBS
c) Offer her a gig as co-head of GSAM
d) Show her they get it, that they understand, that they know what she’s going through (women love that stuff) by having Lloyd come down to Florida and walk a mile in her shoes for a week
e) Your call