Attention, CBS Students: ‘Do Not Smother the Bankers’!


No one is so eager to work as those who are still in school, and some eager beavers at Columbia Business School have managed to "become notorious for their willingness to elbow their peers out of the circle" that forms around recruiters, according to a stern rebuke that went out to students from members of the school's International Banking Club* today.

This is never a good strategy and acting in a socially undesirable way runs a strong risk of branding you as undesirable not just to your classmates but also to recruiters. Once you feel that you have asked a couple of questions, and perhaps received a business card, do not monopolize the banker’s time by standing around awkwardly or asking additional questions. Let your classmates play as well. Furthermore, such behavior shows that you are aggressive and non-collegial, and therefore not a pleasant person to work 100-hour weeks with. Bankers are very observant people. Moreover, it is much easier to remember somebody with a bad impression than with a good impression — do not smother the bankers with too many questions.

Back in the day, the moxie of these kids might just have gotten them jobs, but Bear Stearns and Lehman aren't around anymore. Anyway, as a second memo from the school pointed out, it's not so much the pushiness that is overwhelming the delicate constitutions of the visiting dignitaries — they're used to that.

It's that they smell. From a second memo:

It has come to our attention (through complaints from IBC board representing firms they are going to full time) that some of you may not have followed personal hygiene basics during recruiting events. We understand that it is an incredibly intense recruiting period, and is very hard to find time for yourself, but this is a friendly reminder on some dress code and personal hygiene basics:

• Brush your teeth regularly, or have a mint/mouth refreshers before going to recruiting events (avoid chewing gums)

• Carry anti-perspirant with you if you are worried about sweating. Don’t wear too much cologne/perfume

• Carry a sewing mini-toolkit, in case your suit hems need an emergency sewing

• Professional haircuts

• No backpacks with you

• Men - no tacky cufflinks or watches (with no crazy patterns, silver is preferable to gold)

• Women - wear (preferably skin colored) hosiery and always carry an extra pair in your bag

• Women - if it rains, do not show up in rain boots, no matter how cute you think they are

And again, if you have ANY concerns, please do not hesitate to share with the IBC Board!

This is good advice. You never know when a visiting banker might want to borrow a pair of hose.

Are Columbia Business School Students Having Trouble Playing Nice With Classmates, “Smothering” Bankers? [Dealbreaker]
Columbia Reminds B-School Students To Brush Teeth, Remove “Tacky Cufflinks” Before Interfacing With Potential Employers [Dealbreaker]

* Columbia wants to make clear that these were messages from a student list serv, not from the school itself.