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Career Advice: Consider Ops

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Having an entire month on Wall Street under their belts, summer analysts are probably at this point fending off a lot of pitches from a lot powerful people on the opportunities in corr trading or FIG M&A. And considering for most of their lives they've dreamed of being a hitter, and a little hard work isn't going to deter them from taking the most high-profile job they can get, it all sounds pretty enticing. Before anyone makes any serious decisions, however, they might want to hear out a few monkeys, who think they might be making a mistake.

Laurence R. Gesquiere, a research associate in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton, and colleagues report in the journal Science that in five troops of wild baboons in Kenya studied over nine years, alpha males showed very high stress levels, as high as those of the lowest-ranking males.

The stress, they suggested, was probably because of the demands of fighting off challengers and guarding access to fertile females. Beta males, who fought less and had considerably less mate guarding to do, had much lower stress levels. They had fewer mating opportunities than the alphas, but they did get some mating in, more than any lower-ranking males. After all, when the alpha gets in another baboon bar fight, who’s going to take the girl home?

Baboon Study Shows Benefits for Nice Guys, Who Finish 2nd [NYT]


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