Investment banking is something of a tradition at Harvard.
Every year, about 45 percent of the senior class goes through February recruiting. Of the more than 300 companies which come to Harvard to recruit, half are consulting firms or investment banks, according to Assistant Director of the Office of Career Services (OCS) Marc Cosentino.
Like the QRR or Expository Writing, many students could not imagine preparation for the real world without going through the rigorous interviewing which screens those seeking access to the high-paid, highstress world of investment banking.
This year, however, was slightly different from previous years.
A downturn in the financial world made the job market more competitive than it has been in the past.
"Wall Street is traditionally a great resource for us. But this year was a bad year," says Cosentino, who is the OCS business counselor.
"Firms did about 20 to 25 percent less hiring this year than last year," he adds.
Nonetheless, a new crop of investment bankers will head to New York and San Francisco this June to begin training for the exciting world of finance.
According to OCS Recruiting Coordinator Judith Murray, Wall Street's downturn does not seem to have adversely affected the opportunities of Harvard students.
"With 13 companies making 66 offers, that indicates [graduating seniors] are getting a lot offers," Murray says, citing information collected to date from OCS surveys.
Graduating seniors say investment banking allows recent college graduates an opportunity to assume a high degree of responsibility.
"It's just an exciting and fastpaced industry. The job offers a lot of challenges that are really enjoyable," says Adam L. Berger '95, who will work at Goldman Sachs next year. "You get a lot of responsibility when you're very young, and you certainly
"You get more responsibility than you would getin a lot of jobs right out of college," saysMeredith E. Bagby '95, who will work at MorganStanley next year.
Students also describe investment banking as away to try something completely different from theacademic world they are leaving behind.
"I think there's maybe a desire to learnsomething really practical, after four years ofliberal arts," Bagby says. "I didn't want to goback to school any more. I was sort of burned outafter four years."