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  • November 25, 2014 11:36 AM
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From the Street to the Boardroom

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I recently read this interesting blog on "Building Character on Wall Street":

LINK: http://bank-o-nomics.blogspot.com/2014/10/building-character-on-wall-street.html  

As much as I respect my fellow Princetonian author Michael Lewis - on this particular topic of Wall Street as a training ground for future success - I am siding twice over with my New York University Business school professor, Roy Smith!  As a former executive recruiter for Wall Street ( and former investment banker ) I can attest from multiple angles to the invaluable experience that a few years "on the Street" will provide. As can Michael Lewis, who must surely remember getting his start on Wall Street as an Analyst at Salomon Brothers :D

Wall Street - as either a short-term or long-term career - is not right for the majority of individuals . The work itself is very tough, the hours are grueling, the competition internally and externally is incredibly intense, the clients and bosses are both demanding, and the travel can be wearying (thinkrushing to London for just three hours). But then,  think of the reward -  and no, I am not referring to compensation!  You learn to produce your very best possible work under extremely tight deadlines in a charged environment that does not allow for mistakes . Period.

If anyone out there can name a business that does not value this hard-won skill-set, please let me know…I am anticipating the sound of silence.

And I would like to break that silence by saying that my own career path is an almost too-perfect example of how being an investment banker for several years was pivotal to my successin other fields that where I found myself very fulfilled. After I became an investment banker, I realized that what had enticed me to Wall Street was the plethora of highly intelligent professionals in an extremely fast-paced environment.  This led to my "Aha moment” of understanding that I should be doing people deals rather than financial deals! After all, what better background for a Wall Street executive recruiter than Wall Street? Of course, that has led me to where I happily find myself today. What is the best background for a college to career advisor? The combination of executive recruiting as well as top notchcorporate experience!  
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