If I had become an investment banker…

I had forgotten how beautiful Ithaca is during the fall.  I just went for a walk through campus, following my old paths to frequented buildings, over particular walking bridges covered with changing leaves, and by addresses that I used to call home.  I stopped in my favorite coffee shop, Collegetown Bagel, and read the paper while I watched students zip by on their way to class.  I half expected one of my friends to round the corner and gather me for an exam.

In the last 24 hours, I’ve made a few discoveries.  College is still college.  There are still the unmistakeable cliques traveling in packs.  There are students, looking incredibly stressed, as they cram before an exam.  People STILL do not say “hi” to each other when they cross paths.  There is still that feeling in the air that excitment is just a weekend away.

I also agree with the commenter from Tuesday’s blog, soothingwhisperer, that students are a bit preoccupied with the lifestyle occupied by NYC bankers and socialites.  I was reading this morning’s student paper, the Cornell Daily Sun, and cringed at a feature which was the week in the life of a recent grad in New York.  He tried to make ridiculous hours, being attached to his blackberry, and billing lavish dinners to clients seem sexy.  I almost vomited. 

Rather than get discouraged that a great deal of the student population wants to head in this direction, I see it as a huge opportunity.  Hell, I almost bought into it my first few years in college.  These financial firms are the big players on campus.  They market.  They recruit.  They “sell the dream”.  They make it glossy because who in their right mind would want to push papers until 4a?  Or make a zillion dollars without time to spend it on anything meaningful?  I’ll stop here.  It’s best for everyone.

I see this as an opportunity because WE (social enterprise) just need to replace THEM.  As my last few blogs have suggested, I think times are changing.  I think students are changing.  We just have to become more innovative about reaching them.


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