Institutions such as Princeton and Harvard often have an effect on a student’s individual interest when it comes to Wall Street. In “Biographies of Hegemony” by Karen Ho, she expresses how these type of institutions are always after the students, through a means of interviews, observation, social events, presentations, and even conferences. When in these type of “ivy leagues,” Ho writes how everywhere a student goes he will end up surrounded by someone marketing Wall Street and they know that it will not be hard recruit and convince students that it is the path that they want to go down.
The reason that this happens at these institutions is because at Wall Street, they only look for a specific category of people, that look a certain way, usually white, and that are considered “smart,” and not just smart, but the smartest individuals in this world. This demographic of people are targeted because this is what Wall Street classifies as perfect and it is what they view as high class and smart. Adding on, Wall Street would come to these Ivy League institutions because these are the type of people Wall Street wants. They realize at Wall Street that these individuals at the university are the target and key to their industry.
Already by then, it is apparent how excelled and smart these people were because they were established to such prestigious schools. Ho in her essay analyzes and talks about the recruitment that Wall Street has. One would think that just because Wall Street is so powerful and smart that they would not go out and recruit anyone, but really they are always on the run trying to convince and recruit more and more people from these institutions. Knowing how powerful and big they are, Wall Street knows that advertising to the people they are looking for would not make a difference to their level in society.
Ho writes in the very beginning of her work, “When I began to conduct fieldwork in 1998 and 1999, delving into the network of contacts, coworkers, and friends I developed at Stanford, Princeton, and Bankers Trust, it struck me how often my informants ranked and distinguished themselves according to their “smartness. ” This quote shows how all the people that worked at Wall Street came from such prestigious colleges and were always from these specific number of universities. These students knew that they were smart, and smart was what Wall Street was looking for.
Even the people that worked at Wall Street knew what they got themselves into and how they were known as the smartest and most elite group in the world; Ho writes, “Almost all the front-office workers that I encountered emphasized how smart their coworkers were, how “deep the talent” was at their particular bank, how if one just hired “the smartest people,” then everything else fell into place. ” This shows that for someone to work at Wall Street, they must be extremely talented and smart, basically a blend of everything that would help Wall Street prosper.
Ho is saying how the “deep talent” helps with the business because she saw that these people were different and were geniuses that knew how to get the work done. Deep talent would be to be extremely smart, and also it was a talent that was alike all the coworkers, and these are the types of people that Wall Street wanted to hire. Although Wall Street would go and try to “recruit” students at times at certain and specific universities, sometimes they would get applications from elsewhere.
Even though Wall Street says they recruit all the “smart people of the world,” certain investment banks do not even bother looking at a student’s application if he did not come from a college or university that they are looking for. They mostly only look at applications from Ivy League students. Ho writes, “If you really narrowed down the universities where the investment banks recruit. your number probably will not exceed fifteen to twenty universities. ” When hiring it is evident that they have a hiring standard, besides just looking if they are from a specific university.
Before Ho starts her essay, she gives an outlook of Wall Street and a little of what she’s seen from them and she writes about the type of worker that they look for which is, “a worker who is constantly retraining, a worker who is constantly networked, and worker whose skill set is very interchangeable, a worker who thinks of downsizing as a challenge – a worker who thrives on this” This is not the lifestyle of an ordinary worker and that is why Wall Street has its own distinct group of people that come from these elite universities.
These groups of people are extremely different from a regular worker and both a combination of hardworking and smart. By seeing how Wall Street is always targeting these individual campuses and elite universities, we could see that they are altering and affecting a person’s individual interest and that is because they want these type of people to work for them.
Even if a person is initially going into another position or major, by seeing how much Wall Street puts themselves out there on these campuses, they would affect individual interest and would cause these people to look into finance and business because they would be convinced and “guaranteed” a spot on Wall Street. Ho writes, “In 2007, the year before the recession began, more than half of Harvard’s graduates chose careers in business or a related field. Two years later, thirty-six percent of Princeton’s most recent graduates took a job in finance.
This is showing how when in a university like this, more and more wellgroomed white people, who are targeting by Wall Street, are switching and looking forward to business because their individual interests are affected by Wall Street recruiters and promoters. It is marked by now that Wall Street is doing something, not only because we would be able to physically see them if we were on those campuses, but also because of the indicators, such as the Wall Street promoters on campus, that show ties between Wall Street and Ivy Leagues.
When looking for candidates, Wall Street would often look for people with “smartness. ” Smartness was a term that they always looked for and believed that it was what they need to be classified as to enter their group. Even so, when looking for these individuals, they would know who it is because they are a different set of people that stand out by physical appearance, such as skin color and style, and are in the “culture of smartness.
Ho writes, “In other words, smartness must be represented and reinforced by a specific appearance and bodily technique that dominantly signals that impressiveness; not surprisingly, such characteristics as being impeccably and smartly dressed, dashing appearance, mental and physical quickness, aggressiveness, and vigor reference the default upperclassness, maleness, whiteness, and heteronormativity of ideal investment bankers. So besides being just the ordinary genius in these elite universities, obviously Wall Street is not going to accept every single one of them. They start out by heading to these universities knowing this is where the best and smartest people of the world are, and from there they would look for a specific appearance that would fit Wall Street, which is usually a white male.
When on Wall Street, Karen Ho explains how “smartness” doesn’t just mean someone with a lot of knowledge, but much more than that. Ho writes in her essay, “on Wall Street, “smartness” means much more than individual intelligence; it conveys a naturalized and generic sense of “impressiveness,” of elite, pinnacle status and expertise, which is used to signify, even prove, investment bankers’ worthiness as advisors to corporate America and leaders of the global financial markets.
Meaning that even though these people in the universities might be extremely intelligent and almost exactly the type of people they are looking for, they still might not be the specific type of person Wall Street is looking for, because this person might not fit the physical characteristics of “Wall Street. ” When on Wall Street, one would also have to look a certain way to be considered “smart. ” When on these campuses, Wall Street knows what they are doing and seem to differentiate the numerous people and target the ones that seem would fit the job, because obviously they are all smart over there.
To conclude, it is evident that in Karen Ho’s “Biographies of Hegemony,” she shows a strong relationship between Ivy Leagues and Wall Street. She explains and analyzes, through her experiences and time with Wall Street, the recruitment that Wall Street has and the strict guidelines for accepting an individual. Wall Street promoters would set out to just lvy League universities and would find and convince people there. By doing this, it causes a lot of individuals to switch into a business or finance major, so they could go into investment banking. When looking for a job on Wall Street there is a lot that needs to be considered.
Ivy League universities may be targeted by a whole by Wall Street, and even though these people are the utmost people of the world, they still might not be the specific targets that Wall Street is looking for. Wall Street is always promoting and talking about themselves and are all over campus convincing individuals. When Ho says what she says in the text, about the recruitment, the promoting, the qualities to join Wall Street, she knows what she is talking about because she is someone that worked with Wall Street and had an inside view of what was going on.
The description describing Ho states, “For one thing, the time she spent working on Wall Street gives her an insider’s eye, but she is also an anthropologist who believes the Street has created a distinctive outlook that threatens to remake the whole society in its narrowing image. ” We could see that Wall Street is an extremely elite group that focuses on recruitment of the finest people on this planet and are always on the campuses of Ivy Leagues to alter and affect an individual’s interest and views on the future.