Skip to main content

MBA Candidates Still Into Wall Street, Have Plan Of Attack For Dealing With Haters

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Gang, I want you to meet Ben Bloomfield, a first-year at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Why is Ben so excited to be holding a phone to his face that presumably has no one on the other line? I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that Ben's pretending his new colleague, Brian Moynihan, is on the other line, talkin' deal-making, acquisitions, and lunch with Angelo Mozilo, cause Mr. Bloomfield? Just scored himself a summer internship at Bank of America. This is apparently not an isolated incident: Kwame Yankson, who last year had to settle working for an education nonprofit organization but come this June will be able to proudly tell people he's a member of the Wells Fargo team. And they're not alone.

With banks climbing out of the recession, more business students across the country are finding banking jobs and internships, enrolling in finance clubs and going on class trips to Wall Street, universities say. “The banks this year kept saying, ‘It’s a good year,’ ‘We just approved a lot of hiring,’ ‘The market is clearing up,’ ” Mr. Yankson said. “It was a completely different experience.”

Exciting! But how do these MBA'ers deal with their peasant friends who just don't get it? interviews with two dozen students and administrators at several business schools across the country, there was growing optimism about banking jobs. Many students said Wall Street remained a dream destination, even if they occasionally had to explain their dream to friends.

“The answer is the level of knowledge that can be gained at such a young age,” said P. J. Martin, a first-year M.B.A. student at the University of North Carolina who is interning at Barclays Capital next summer, explaining his interest in investment banking. “You have access to top-level management, to the top minds in the finance field.”

And if all else, fails, they've got a plan.

Ben Phelps, an M.B.A. student at Duke who is going to work for Bank of America Merrill Lynch after graduation, was shouted at by a stranger on Wall Street during a summer internship. He and his classmates joke that they would sooner describe themselves as “bank tellers” than “investment bankers.”