Are Columbia Business School Students Having Trouble Playing Nice With Classmates, “Smothering” Bankers?

According to this email, yes. Seems that the future business leaders of the world are just so excited to show potential employers what they’ve got that they 1) get up into recruiters’ asses more than is socially acceptable and 2) cockblock their friends from doing ths same. The lack of finesse is apparently embarrassing the school and has resulted in a list of rules to live by during networking events, with heavy emphasis on Circle Etiquette.

To: ‘’
Subject: [IBC] Break-out Sessions with Bankers–PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

Dear 1st years –

It has come to our attention that some of you have already managed to become notorious for their willingness to elbow their peers out of the circle around senior bankers and virtually attack the bankers with questions, thus preventing other students from networking and participating in the conversation. This is never a good strategy and acting in a socially undesirable way runs a strong risk of branding you as undesirable not just to your classmates but also to recruiters. Once you feel that you have asked a couple of questions, and perhaps received a business card, do not monopolize the banker’s time by standing around awkwardly or asking additional questions. Let your classmates play as well. Furthermore, such behavior shows that you are aggressive and non-collegial, and therefore not a pleasant person to work 100-hour weeks with.

Bankers are very observant people. Moreover, it is much easier to remember somebody with a bad impression than with a good impression – do not smother the bankers with too many questions.

§ If you see a classmate standing behind you, step aside and let them in the circle around the banker – it shows team work

§ Ask a couple of questions and then move on or remain silent and let your classmates interact as well

§ If there are 6-7 students around 1 banker, you do not want to ask more than one or two questions

§ If there are 2-3 students you can ask a few more questions if you feel you are bonding well, but always be considerate toward your classmates – use your best judgment

§ If you feel you have spend a good 15-20 minutes with one banker, it is ok to excuse yourself politely and ask for a business card

§ If the banker has run out of business cards and you have one, offer to share with your classmates

§ Remember that these events are also meant to screen for those who can one day win business from clients – treat the recruiters the way you would treat a multi-billion dollar client

§ Do not monopolize recruiter’s time – especially the senior bankers. Talk to the junior bankers as well – they often are take the first stab at drafting invite only lists

§ Do not be fake and superficial in your attempt to shine – bankers interact with tens of people on a daily basis and can easily spot fake from genuine behavior

§ Do not overwhelm bankers with questions when they are taking a small break (i.e. chewing food) – remember they are also human beings and have had a very long day at work.

§ Do not get drunk or gobble down food in front of bankers no matter how hungry and tired you are

§ Do not be intimidated to let your personality shine – being stuck-up is never a good strategy – be pleasant, be fun, smile, and stay professional

Your aim at these sessions is not to compete with your classmates, but to impress the bankers. Be smart about it – this is not rocket science!

Use your social intelligence and best judgment. Be a team player. Be considerate to your peers. This will help not only you, but also the school, look professional and desirable.

Thank you and good luck.

IBC Board

(hidden for your protection)
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76 Responses to “Are Columbia Business School Students Having Trouble Playing Nice With Classmates, “Smothering” Bankers?”

  1. Columbia_2011 says:

    Didn’t see any mention about hiring a prostie to interact with bankers on my behalf. Should I take that to mean it’s still okay?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Most importantly, make sure to let your female classmates get up off their knees before you trample them. Teamwork people, teamwork.

  3. Guest says:

    Dear IBC Board,


    1st Years

  4. Guest says:

    LOL at the notion that the male classmates aren’t offering B and HJ’s in exchange for a job.

  5. Bernard 'Beanie' Campbell says:

    I’m here for the gangbang

  6. NakedShort says:

    Really throw those senior bankers and your classmates for a loop and ask them the best way to get into retail.

  7. Guest says:

    Smothering a banker is the NKI.

  8. Anti DB says:

    I have a 4.0 and can sign 300 mortgages an hour
    CBS 2012


    Yes, bankers are very observant people. Now watch this banker get titty slapped by a coked out Russian stripper.

  10. guest says:

    “Furthermore, such behavior shows that you are aggressive and non-collegial, and therefore not a pleasant person to work 100-hour weeks with.”

    Columbia administration ending a sentence with a preposition in the NKI.

    • Maynard Nipple says:

      Also, the you/their pronoun disagreement in the first sentence. Methinks this email was written by an ESL board member.

  11. Mike M. says:

    I so vividly remember these events. God, what an awful experience.

  12. Hamilton says:

    Do asspiring CFAs also smother?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Go big or go home- ZJ’s for all VPs and up from major banks.

  14. Dr. Rosenrose says:

    Not to mention “It has come to our attention that some of you have already managed to become notorious for their willingness to elbow their peers…” That ain’t legal either dude.

  15. CBS 2012 says:

    Bess, we got another batshit insane email over the weekend from these funbags about “personal hygiene”.

  16. Anonymous says:

    bah that’s perfectly fine English and better than “…person with whom to work 100-hour weeks.”

    This sentence on the other hand is gobbledygook:
    “Talk to the junior bankers as well – they often are take the first stab at drafting invite only lists”

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am having troble with my ettiqute. Can anyone inform me if it is wrong to blow off the same Russian “model’s” tit as the senior banker, or should I be doing it off the junior bankers ass?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Exhibit 27a as to why engineers shouldnt be let into Bschool.

  19. Derivative deviant says:

    only if she is female…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Only if enough pressure is appled to the pillow to stop air flow.

  21. Supraman says:

    “If you feel you have spend a good 15-20 minutes with one banker”

    As a proofreading exercise, this list is the list that just keeps on giving.

  22. Mack says:

    Smother me in gravy you big dirty man

  23. Guest says:

    isn’t this just the new normal?

  24. Guest says:

    erroneous on both counts!

  25. G. Gekko says:

    Events like these are why I avoided banking like the plague. It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would elbow through a pack of greaseballs just to kiss the ass of a beleaguered, overworked banker—in a pathetic attempt to join the ranks of the beleaguered and overworked—when cushy buy-side jobs offer all of the pay (and then some) with none of the bullshit. Perhaps someone here can enlighten me.

  26. Columbia Admin says:

    “Furthermore, such behavior shows that you are aggressive and non-collegial, and therefore not a pleasant person to work 100-hour weeks with, asshole.”

  27. Mikael says:

    buy side is the new sell side ( interact with the clients whose money we blew) and sell side is the new backoffice . if you get my drift… we are all going down a rank

  28. guest says:

    how do they make those bullet points?

  29. The Real General Tso says:

    what a bunch of GD nerds

  30. Guest says:

    the DB-fu is within you, my son.

    ~ the ghost-spawn of GM/Kouwe

  31. 1_upper says:

    I have a 4.0 and can sign 300 foreclosures an hour.

    HBS 2011

  32. John Q.P. says:

    Screw these bankers, and the wankers who love them!

  33. Richard Cripples says:

    Normally, we tell people to “be themselves” in situations like these. For CBS students we tell them “be someone else, someone normal and not annoying… in fact, be the exact opposite of yourself.”

  34. CBS Alumni Interviewer says:

    Use your social intelligence and best judgment – presumably they already are

  35. Guest says:

    “bankers interact with tens of people on a daily basis” my god, bankers are awesome. HOW DO THEY DO IT??

  36. Guest says:

    “bankers interact with tens of people on a daily basis” my god, bankers are awesome. HOW DO THEY DO IT??

  37. Maevejameson says:

    Do not expose the banker to bright lights.
    Do not get the banker wet.
    And never, never, feed the banker after midnight.

  38. Lew Dunbar says:

    I was never able to become a banker.

    [Newman has a revelation.]

    Newman: Banker! So you’re killing yourself because your dreams of becoming a banker have gone unfulfilled. You-you-you-you can’t live without being a banker.

    Kramer: Yeah, yeah. If I can’t be banker, I don’t wanna live.

    Newman: You must be banker.

    Kramer: MUST be banker.

  39. Guest says:

    I can’t help but think that most of the people mocking this are the same assholes who piss off the bankers. Retards. Learn to take some constructive criticism from someone trying to help (even if it is to ultimately help the school image).

  40. Guest says:

    Poor attention to detail IBC Board. You just got bottom tier comp for the year. Remember when sending condescending emails to your peers, write them as if they were going to a multi-billion dollar client.

  41. Guest says:

    FYI 90% of the people mocking this are likely either bankers or buyside.

  42. Guest says:


  43. anonymous says:

    seriously – there must have been a real reason to send that email – real complaints from recruiters. the student was just doing their job, trying to prevent the issues pointed out to occur again. such emails are sent out all the time schools and companies. it is unbelievable that somebody would leak such email out of context.

  44. ColumbiaBschoolalumni says:

    this smells like bullshit to me
    (Columbia Business School alumni ’03)

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  63. I think bankers will always be smothering..

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