Gone are the days when the graduating class of Princeton University would descend en masse onto Lower Manhattan to take their spots in the trading floors and brokerage houses of Wall Street. No longer does President Eisgruber set his schedule around of the dates of Goldman Sachs information sessions. Morgan Stanley hasn’t hit its campus recruiting target for years. Instead, Princeton students are clamoring for a different kind of job.
Investment banking is out. Divestment banking is in.
The role of a divestment banker is to advise large organizations—corporations, universities, and the like—on how to extricate themselves from morally problematic investments.
Divestment banking appeals to risk-averse Ivy League students who want to be sure that their life will be meaningful. “In fifteen years, when I have a family to support, I don’t want to be morally bankrupt,” said one student who wished to remain anonymous because he is currently interviewing for divestment banking internships. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Divestment banking firms generally recruit new graduates into entry-level “analyst” positions known for grueling hours, tedious work, and sadistic colleagues. “On my first day of work, my manager dressed me down in front of the entire team when I admitted that I didn’t know the difference between fair-trade coffee and sustainable coffee,” says one ex-divestment banker. “I wouldn’t go back to that terrible job for all of the spiritual riches in the world.”
In light of the dubious financial value that divestment banking provides the world, University officials have expressed alarm at the large volume of graduating seniors who surge into the social good sector. “A Princeton where every student went into divestment banking would be a poor place to get an education indeed,” said President Christopher Eisgruber. “None of our alumni would donate any money.”
— JMC ’16. Illustrated by BF ‘420.