From time to time around these parts, we like to offer tips for those looking to successfully make the jump from one firm to another. Obviously a solid record of making money for your employer will help but in addition, or perhaps in lieu of that, nailing the first and last interview is key, and whether you’re a college senior, a third year analyst or a 20 year veteran of the industry, the interview is something with which some people still struggle. While eye contact, handshakes and how to discuss your “worst quality” have all been covered, one topic we haven’t yet discussed is what to do in the event the person conducting your session asks for your thoughts on sex abuse. Specifically, the sex abuse scandal that went down at your respective alma mater. Luckily, career services at Penn State is all over it. Read more »

Earlier this week, a young financial services employee posed a question to the universe about a problem vis-à-vis size. He wrote:

I have a serious question for all of you. I am a rather large man (both in stature and in the pants.) I played D1 football as an offensive lineman. I am currently 6’1, 250lbs. However, I am very lean and at around max 10% body fat. I worry that my overly muscular stature will not bode well with company culture. After leaving an interview, I was told that I have a “vice grip” for a handshake (I received and accepted their offer.) Not to sound conceited, but I have honestly never come across anyone even close to the size I am at the office, or even walking around down town. I was being silly before about the penis size comment, but I am an attractive guy and present myself well. I don’t look even remotely out of shape or fat (some of the shorter muscular guys can look like that in a dress shirt.)

This a clumsily worded post but I suppose my main question is if anyone has witnessed any type of discrimination towards large, muscular guys at the office. Is this something I should be concerned about? I suppose I could loose 10lbs of muscle or so (I’d truly rather not) if it would help me fit in. Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated.

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  • 18 Oct 2011 at 4:34 PM

Diane Passage Will Boost That Bottom Line Of Yours

Though she need no introduction, for the uninformed, Diane Passage is a former Scores girl, former wife of money manager/convicted Ponzi schemer Kenneth Starr and full-time hustler/life coach. Recently she’s been making the rounds doling out advice to current and would-be Wall Street wives and today offered the women of the world 8 tips for “how to have men eating out of your hand.” What does this have to do with you? While some of her suggestions have little relevance, others can be readily applied to your situation, like repeating the mantra “My presence is a gift- I know my value” come bonus time, remembering it’s your “right to act bitchy on occasion” before going into major negotiations, and, particularly if you work at a Swiss bank “I can create my own outcome and accomplish any goal.” Read more »

Why do people work on Wall Street? Some do it for the money. Some the love of the game. And some to put enough in the bank that they can one day leave the industry and finance their true passion. And, as a comprehensive survey shows, for many, that passion is dolls. Barbie dolls, cabbage patch dolls, celebrity dolls, dolls with creepy painted faces. Whether or not you’re ready to admit that to your colleagues, friends and, most importantly, to yourselves, I don’t care. What I do care about is you remembering all the accumulated wisdom you picked up on Wall Street and applying it to your new gig. And not making the same mistakes at this guy. Read more »

As previously discussed, Raj Rajaratnam is scheduled to be sentenced next week for his insider trading. The prosecution would like the Galleon Group founder to go away for twenty to twenty four years, while the defense would like way, way less time than that and are banking on the judge being swayed by the argument that Raj is in far too fragile a state for such a lengthy stay, owing to “a unique constellation of ailments ravaging his body.” Whether this excuse will work remains to be seen (and the prosecution has already put it out there that they’re calling bull shit) but today we’ve learned that what appears to sort of work, if you’re writing these down for potential future use, is saying that your kid’s less than stellar crawling skills and/or ability to color within the lines precludes you from going away for too long. Read more »

As we surely needn’t tell you, when one is a high-powered college student expecting to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Penn next year, one does not have a lot of time on his or her hands. Every moment is precious and efficiency is of the utmost importance. While you might think you already do a fairly good job when it comes to a) time management and b) effectively communicating the fact that taking ten seconds to, say, personalize a job solicitation letter, is a waste of your fucking time that just cost you $10,000, it’s never to late to pick up some new tips. Examine, if you will, the following case study. Read more »

Remember Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher Jr.? He’s the veteran of Wall Street who last month laid out some tips for making your firm a runaway success. They included making math work for you (Fletcher says his firm has “more than $500 million of assets under management. But it appears to arrive at this figure by counting some assets more than once…A more orthodox way of measuring assets under management would produce a figure of about $200 million for one recent year.”), getting creative with guarantees (“a former Fletcher deputy chief executive…says the use of the term “guarantee” [investors were promised 12%] was “colloquial” and not meant within “the legal definition”) and coloring outside the line when it comes to fulfilling redemption requests. For instance, when the Firefighters’ Retirement System of Louisiana said they wanted some of their cash back, instead of giving it to them, Buddy chose to send promissory notes that promised to pay up within two years.” That response really chapped some hide in Lousiana–and prompted the firefighters to ask for all all of their money back– particularly considering Buddy Boy and Co made a big show of how quickly investors could redeem during their pitch, which someone down south had the foresight to record. Read more »

  • 29 Aug 2011 at 7:06 PM

What Wall Street Can Learn From Serena Williams

From time to time around these parts, we like to canvas the world outside Wall Street to see how they deal with certain issues, particularly those related to crisis management. Often times, there are helpful tips to be borrowed and applied to any pre or post Code Red office situations in which you might find yourselves. For instance, thinking about taking a few minutes to evaluate the attractiveness of your co-workers to the guy or girl who sits next to you? Consider not doing it over the PA system, into a bullhorn, or near a recording device. Love to upload home videos of yourself sucking on a partners’ toes to the internet but value your privacy and/or have a board to answer to that doesn’t want to read about your personal life in the press? Rather than telling the press “this is a personal matter,” don’t return their calls. And in the future, consider 1) investing in one of those machines they use to throw voices (like in Scream) and 2) not letting your face appear on camera or, alternatively, have a mask created in your sworn enemy’s likeness to wear while you are filmed using jello molds in a way they were definitely not intended. Do or say some stuff in public that makes you sound a little nuts, that 10 years ago no one would’ve cared about but in this killjoy day and age would get a lot of panties in a lot of bunches? Lay low for a while and later, if asked about it later by some pissant reporters, tell them you really can’t recall if you told someone “If I could, I’d take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat.” Read more »