September 4, 2013

LETTER: Keep on philosophizing

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To the Editor:

Re: “Philosophy and Investment Banking: Same But Different,” Opinion, Sept. 3

I read with interest, and not a little gratification, Maggie Henry’s apologia for interning this summer with an investment bank. In my day — in June I celebrated my Fifth Year reunion — rising seniors coveted those positions like season tickets to Lynah Rink. The university spun up a newfangled major in, of all places, the Agriculture School (“Applied Economics and Management,” it was christened) to accommodate all the frothy demand. To visit the annual career fair at Barton Hall was to stroll down Wall Street in miniature. Suit and tie, not a Carnelian red hoodie, was for a time de rigueur along the fashionable walks of College Ave. Those of us who eschewed the investment banking track were all but pariahs, written off as underachievers, duds or communists.

Pre-professionalism is indeed in the ascendant. The liberal arts education is under siege. Should software engineers and management consultants be compelled to wade through the Western canon? I read too few of the Great Books to say. But if a summer of sleepless drudgery tabbing through Excel spreadsheets is no longer the rule, but the exception—well then, Maggie Henry, keep on philosophizing.

Rob Fishman ’08

Original Author: Rob Fishman