When Business Insider warned this year's crop of Wall Street loafer-wearing serfs interns to stay the f*ck out of The Hamptons, they must have wondered, "Who are we even lecturing, tho?"
Well, they asked an expert.
As the founder and CEO of Training the Street, Scott Rostan has been teaching financial-training courses to interns and analysts at Wall Street firms as diverse as Credit Suisse, UBS, and the Blackstone Group for more than 15 years.
An intern whisperer... cool.
What's he seeing on the terrified and exhausted young faces around Manhattan?
Most notably, Rostan said, "the students are definitely getting more sophisticated."
They're coming in with much more capital markets knowledge and corporate valuation knowledge than they did 10 or 20 years ago.
Savvier is always better when you invite a kid out of his dungeon shared cubicle, but where are they getting these smarts?
Rostan said a lot of financial news relates to technology and products that young people use in their everyday lives, which helps to boost their interest. Plus, he noted, the dotcom boom in the late 1990s really brought investing to Main Street and into the mindsets of young people.
Thanks, media! But isn't there a downside to having these noobies know too much stuff?
When he graduated from college in 1995, [Rostan] said, new Wall Street recruits came in cold. Now, he added, new interns are fully aware of important companies, deals, and market-moving news. Often they already have an opinion on it, too.
An opinion? Yo bro, if you really had an opinion, a junior analyst would have told you about it.
What kind of toddler talks up when he should be listening?
Traditionally, students head to Wall Street for internships in the summer after their junior year of college.
But now, Rostan said, there is a growing percentage of students in each intern class who have just finished their sophomore year of college.
Well, that's just adorable.
So, these kids are younger, more informed, and - like any millennial worth their salt - prone to being a little lippy. Sounds like there's been a seismic shift in who's looking to get an internship on Wall Street these days...
While interns still tend to be mostly white and male, Rostan said, this deficit of diversity is not for lack of trying. The banks, he said, "would like to become more diverse" and are actively trying to recruit more women and minorities.