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Ben Turnbull, a Digital Technology Leadership Program recruit at GE Aviation, is not actually working at GE.  Instead, he’s clocking time with a new ServiceCorps program, putting his GE employment on hold for an entire year.

Ben is one of just four recruits participating in GE’s inaugural program, deferring his start date by a year and working instead as a ServiceCorps Fellow, assigned to add value to non-profit organizations. 

Ben accepted his job offer at GE Aviation, following a successful internship and University of Virginia graduation, and expected to be working by mid-summer at the business on Digital and IT programs.  Instead, the opportunity to participate in a year of service  flipped Ben’s focus from engines & avionics at GE Aviation’s Cincinnati headquarters to comprehensive health services for underserved populations across Massachusetts.

For Ben, the decision to delay his GE experience has provided new learnings and insights. 

“When I joined the program, I wasn’t sure about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.  And I didn’t know physicians are called ‘providers’ in this environment,” he said of his early days at Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, where he works full-time as a ServiceCorps Fellow.  “I’ve learned a lot about health care and health services, and the mission-driven purpose to better serve people in the community.”

With a major in Systems and Information Engineering, Ben said he watched other students in the field gravitate toward consulting jobs after graduation.  He “wanted to break the mold,” and decided to pursue work instead at GE Aviation, after hearing a UVA alum describe his successful company career.

GE’s ServiceCorps opportunity was even more unique.

“It’s one of the coolest things, seeing the link to GE,” Ben said, “and recognizing that GE is playing a pivotal role in the community.” 

For the staff at Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (“the League”), Ben’s experience, expertise and enthusiasm is a welcome addition.

Ben Turnbull, left, works in the LEAN room at the Lynn Community Health Center. Pictured with Ben is Kimberly Eng, Business Transformation Advisor at Lynn.

Ben Turnbull, left, works in the LEAN room at the Lynn Community Health Center. Pictured with Ben is Kimberly Eng, Business Transformation Advisor at Lynn.

The non-profit, statewide association serves the state’s 49 community health center organizations, with more than 285 sites. The League’s support includes technical assistance, including analysis of state and federal health regulatory and policy issues, information technology development, and increased capacity for using data.

For Ben, the League’s mission provides opportunities to lean-out processes, saving time and money; conduct social data studies to determine how care is provided to various populations; and hands-on service at the Lynn Community Health Center, just down the street from GE Aviation’s plant on Western Ave.

“He’s an amazing person,” said Diana Erani, director, Health Center Controlled Network. “Ben’s got a great, positive attitude.  He’s always available, and respectful, and he looks to provide value-add wherever he can.” 

GE’s ServiceCorps opportunity is open to new recruits in the company’s early career leadership programs across a variety of functions, including Digital Technology, Engineering, Finance, Human Resources, Manufacturing & Operations, and Sales & Marketing.

© 2016 General Electric Company

Ronen ’04 Starts ServiceCorps
by Jill Tiefenthaler
September 22, 2016

President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Ronen ’04 Starts ServiceCorps

“Doing well and doing good” is a way to describe those using their talents, knowledge, and skills to do meaningful work that creates positive change in the world. It’s a phrase that describes the careers of so many CC grads. The creation of the Service Year Movement and ServiceCorps by CC alum Matt Ronen ’04 is a great example. Matt’s organization enables young college graduates to secure great jobs and then take a year to work in non-profit organizations before starting their jobs. His innovation benefits the individuals, nonprofits, and corporations involved, and has the potential to change the way people think about their career paths.

© 2016 Colorado College

A Way For College Graduates To Do Good And Do Well
by Sacha Pfeiffer
September 10, 2016

See our front-page Boston Globe business section article here.


Latest Recruiting Tool: Offering Student Loan Help
By Marisa Sanfilippo
September 1, 2016

As a way to recruit and retain millennials, an increasing number of employers are taking inspiration from the mountain of debt so many of these individuals owe. Some forward-thinking companies have created a highly sought-after incentive: Offering student loan help to their new employees.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s 2015 Employee Benefits survey notes that only 3 percent of employers offer this perk, but large companies such as Johnson & Johnson are considering it. Among the 3 percent on board are PricewaterhouseCoopers, ServiceCorps, Fidelity Investments, SoFi and CommonBond, just to name a few.

“We make it a priority to listen to our employees, and they were telling us that student debt is an enormous concern,” says Michael Fenlon, chief people officer for PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC announced the benefit in fall 2015 and piloted it in the company’s Boston office in early 2016. Fenlon adds, “It rolled out to the entire U.S. firm on July 1, 2016. So far, there are 6,300 employees enrolled in the benefit.”


According to ServiceCorps, a nonprofit leadership development company, seven in 10 college seniors have an average of $30,000 in debt. Additionally, the amount of debt at graduation has increased 6 percent per year since 2008, and 11 percent of student borrowers are 90 or more days delinquent on their loans. That’s why student loan help is so desirable.

“As far as we are aware, ServiceCorps is the first post-college program and/or employer to pay off 100 percent of college loan repayments through our Debt-Zero Guarantee,” says ServiceCorps founder and CEO Matt Ronen. “This initiative democratizes service by allowing college graduates from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds an equal opportunity to commit to long-term, immersive service. “

Fidelity pays up to $10,000 ($2,000 a year) in its Step Ahead Student Loan Assistance Program through the third-party vendor, Tuition.io. Since the company launched this benefit in January, 6,000 associates have signed up.

“We surveyed our employees about what amount of assistance would really make a difference for them, and that’s how we settled on the $2,000/year figure,” says Jennifer Hanson, head of employee experience and benefits at Fidelity Investments. “The figure has a direct impact on how long it takes [those in debt] to pay off their loans. Employees like the fact that the payment is made directly to the loan servicer. It automates the process and they can see the impact as their balances decline.”

SoFi was one of the first companies in the country to offer this perk, helping its employees pay down $200 worth of student loan debt each month. Other employers also can lean on SoFi to bring financial wellness to their employees through the company’s loan refinancing program.

CommonBond, a student loan help platform, started working with employers last year (Mercer, WeWork, Betterment, Dentons, etc.) and also offers this benefit. Phil DeGisi, chief marketing officer at CommonBond notes that to date the company has partnered with nearly 100 companies helping their employees refinance their student loans.

“From the conversations we have with current and prospective employer partners, we know student loan repayment is becoming an increasingly popular benefit among companies to attract and retain top talent,” he says. “In fact, a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson found that while just 4 percent of companies currently offer a student loan benefit to employees, that number is expected to increase to 26 percent in the next two years.”

Additional companies helping with student loan debt in some form include: Credit Suisse, Martin Health System, ChowNow, and Memorial Hermann.


Employers express different motivations behind their willingness to help their young workers. Fidelity believes an engaged workforce helps its company to continue to innovate and deliver best-in-class products and services to its customers.

Third-party companies such as Get Peanut Butter help make the offering of this benefit possible. Its ROI calculator highlights what a Peanut Butter student loan repayment plan could mean for a company’s bottom line. In order to determine this, the calculator requires prospects to enter their industry and the number of employees their company has.

For example, a company in the advertising/public relations industry with 15 employees and a median age of 28 could potentially achieve $100,830 turnover savings if six of its employees enroll. Other benefits include differentiating an employee vs. competitors and helping employees save two years’ worth of loan payments. (Note that the above enrollment estimate is based on the age distribution of the industry, along with corresponding rates of student loan indebtedness.)

Overall, offering student loan debt assistance shows that businesses “care about their employees,” writes College Avenue Student Loans. “Knowing that you are important to the company and being treated as such makes for a happier and more satisfying work experience, which in turn leads to a happier and more satisfying life.”

© 2016  GoodCall, LLC

A new nonprofit that aims to fundamentally shift the traditional career path has its first Connecticut participant, with organizers eventually planning to branch out further into the Nutmeg State’s business and education worlds.

Rebecca Sheinman, 22, a 2012 graduate of Wilton High School, is one of 12 fellows in the first class of ServiceCorps, a New York City-based organization founded last year. The program helps high-achieving college graduates defer their job offers at select corporations while they complete a year of service. ServiceCorps also pays participants and covers their student loan costs during the fellowships.

The dozen fellows went through training sessions on June 20-25 at General Electric Co.’s Fairfield headquarters. GE and financial services giant Citi, also known as Citigroup Inc., are the biggest corporate partners working with ServiceCorps, and the first class of fellows are all planning to start their careers at those companies.

Sheinman is in the midst of a one-year assignment at Bottom Line, a Brooklyn, N.Y., nonprofit that provides guidance and mentoring to college students from low-income backgrounds. She is working as a special projects fellow, helping to create corporate partnerships so that Bottom Line students can land internships similar to one Sheinman did at Citi last summer. Next year, the 2016 graduate of the University of Michigan will begin work as a human resources analyst at Citi in New York.

Having traveled to 31 countries, Sheinman sees her bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology and work at Bottom Line converging to better serve Citi employees and prospective employees of all types.

“I am going to be able to connect a lot of different people,” she said.

The broadening of experience brings tangible and intangible benefits, Citi executives say.

“We are extremely proud of Rebecca and all of our ServiceCorps fellow,” said Susan Catalano, chief operating officer of Human Resources and Global Recruitment at Citi. “Through ServiceCorps, we believe that participants will gain valuable experience, both personal and professional, that will help them as they move forward in their careers.”

ServiceCorps helps young employees face “pressing issues” such as supplying cleaner and more consistent energy, poverty, climate change, healthcare, and transportation, according to Julie Grzeda, the Connecticut-based director of GE’s Global Leadership Programs and University Relations. GE benefits short-term and long-term from such education, she said.

GE recruits 11,000 students from colleges worldwide every year, according to Grzeda.

“Our company is driven to take on the world’s pressing needs,” she said. “It’s so important to think about how our careers impact the world.”

GE and Citi pay most of the money earned during the year of service with the non-profit entities paying the rest, Grzeda said.  That includes 100 percent payment of college loans during the service year, according to ServiceCorps founder and CEO Matt Ronen.

“That (the loan repayments) is one of the five unique things about our program,” said Ronen. “My hope is that it catches on elsewhere. There are significant issues with college loan debt these days.”

Average college loan debt in Connecticut is the seventh highest in the nation at $29,750 as of 2014, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. That statistic prompted state Attorney General George Jepsen in March to issue the Student Loan Repayment Guide.

“In general … we advise students to be sure they understand their rights, responsibilities, and repayment options and carefully evaluate all options available to them when making important decisions about their student loans,” Jepsen’s communications director, Jaclyn Falkowski, said. She also said the attorney general's office has not vetted ServiceCorps and its loan repayment program. 

Ronen said he is reaching out to several Hartford-area insurance companies and hoping to turn them into corporate partners, too.

GE’s Fairfield campus is scheduled to be vacant by the end of this year with the move of the company’s headquarters to Boston, so the site of next year’s ServiceCorps training “boot camp” is undetermined for now, Grzeda and Ronen said. GE is maintaining branch offices in Norwalk, however, so next year’s camp might still be held in Connecticut, they said.

“With GE in Boston and Citi in New York, Connecticut is a nice intersection for these young people,” said Grzeda, calling the week of training at Fairfield “fantastic.”

Grzeda said she met Ronen through Beth Comstock, GE’s chief marketing and commercial officer, who was named vice chair in August 2015. What Ronen calls his “pretty radical idea” of raising the importance of community service to a national ethic came through in their conversations over coffee, Grzeda said.

“It’s a mission that he’s passionate about,” she said.

GE and Citi both “really stepped up,” Ronen said of his corporate partners. “I cannot do this without them."

July 28, 2016 - 4:24pm

© 2016  Crain Communications Inc

Front Page: Service to the People: 36 Under 36
By Hannah Dreyfus
May 23, 2016

Matt Ronen, 34. Though Matt Ronen grew up with little connection to Judaism or Israel, he decided to join the Israel Defense Forces in 2001 after reading one too many tragic headlines about the bus bombings and civilian attacks surrounding the second intifada.

 “I would skip lunch and read the newspaper,” said the Ohio native, then an undergraduate at Colorado College. “Something inside me woke up. Just because I was a Jew born in America didn’t mean I was excused of my obligation to my people. At the very least, I had to do what Israelis do — mandatory service.”

His experience as a lone soldier sparked his idea for ServiceCorps (formerly called Service Year), a nonprofit organization that empowers young emerging leaders to dedicate a year to public service before launching their careers. Based on Israel’s model of mandatory national service, Service Fellows defer competitive corporate positions for a year to work at non-profit organizations in New York and Boston. The program’s corporate sponsors include City Bank and General Electric. The first cohort of 14 fellows kick off a boot-camp training this June at GE headquarters.

 “A spirit of service is one of Israel’s unexported resources,” said Ronen, reflecting on how his years of service in Israel completely changed his perspective and built character — “I realized there was something so much bigger than just me.” Though service in America remains a “luxury item,” often reserved for those who can afford the time, he hopes his organization will change that.

 “Everyone should be able to partake in service. Contributing to a bigger cause is transformative.”

For Ronen, making time for what matters comes from personal experience. In 2011, during his final semester of business school at Cornell University and months away from launching a lucrative corporate career, Ronen was violently assaulted and robbed while walking home from dinner with friends. During his six-month recovery, he reassessed his priorities.

 “At first, I wanted to fight to be the person I was before — I wanted to put Humpty Dumpty back together. Then I realized maybe I could be someone better than I was before.” Though he always had a vision of giving back, he decided the moment to act was now. “If giving back is the point, I realized it couldn’t wait. Trying to change the world should be my first chapter, not my last.”

 “Yes, good?” When first arriving in Israel, Ronen barely spoke a word of Hebrew. When his army mates asked his name, he responded with the only two Hebrew words he knew: “ken (yes)” and “tov (good).” Hence, his nickname to this day: Ken Tov.

© Copyright 2016 The Jewish Week, Inc.

A big bank is offering its new hires something unusual: a gap year. Citigroup is launching a program in which some incoming analysts will delay their start date at the bank for a year so they can work for nonprofits after graduating from college.

This comes as Wall Street is increasingly worried about attracting and retaining young talent. Not long ago, big banks had their pick of top undergrads. But with their reputations hurt by the financial crisis and tech careers appealing to today’s graduates, banks are having to work a lot harder. Citi’s betting that offering a year of service will make it more competitive in recruiting a generation that is believed to place a high value on service.

One of Citi’s hires taking part in the program is Kevin Miranda. The senior graduating with a degree in international studies from Boston College has volunteered in Peru, where he taught English to students with limited resources. He also went to low-income communities in Ecuador during a school break, connecting with young students and learning about community development.

He said a key interest for him is working on the problem of education inequality in the developing world. The chance to be at a nonprofit before banking was important to Miranda’s choice of employer.

“I knew this essentially would give me the best of both worlds,” Miranda said. “I think having both those experiences could help me develop as a person and as a professional and help me get some really good perspective on what I think I should do to impact the world.”

Citi is offering this program in partnership with a nonprofit called ServiceCorps. (The organization recently changed its name from Service Year.) Citi will pay Miranda 60 percent of his base salary during the year, where he’ll work to grow opportunities and partnerships for charitable organizations. Then he’ll start work at the bank.

There’s a warm and fuzzy altruistic exterior to this, but beneath it are hard business realities. Banks need to draw the smartest students to win.

“This is the future of the firm,” explained Raymond McGuire, Citi’s global head of corporate and investment banking. “The generation wants to make a difference. They want to make certain that the talents they have, the skill sets that they develop can be deployed in the workplace, but importantly, outside of the workplace as well.”

The year of service is a pilot for now. It’s part of a larger program aimed at keeping Citi’s young bankers happy, including opportunities for current employees to do shorter service projects, emphasis on work-life balance and faster paths to promotion. Other banks are also making changes to appeal to millennials.

Changing attitudes about Wall Street careers are on display at Princeton University, historically a fertile recruiting ground for Wall Street. Nearly half of 2006 Princeton grads with full-time jobs worked in finance and insurance. For the class of 2015, that number was down to only 21 percent. More and more companies that come to campus are responding to changing interests by making service opportunities part of their pitch to students.

“They look at the opportunity to do something radically different, something that might have a strong service streak, and they see it as a particularly low-risk period in their career,” explained Pulin Sanghvi, executive director of career services at Princeton. “They don’t think of service as specifically being a path that will lead them somewhere specific, but instead think of it as a mindset and a lens that will help to shape the professionals that they turn into.”

Sanghvi said big consulting firms are also experimenting more with letting new hires do service before their start date. And companies of all kinds are offering employees time to use their skills for social good.

Wall Street is slowly realizing how the recruiting game is changing. What’ll be interesting to watch is whether this new generation of bankers actually changes Wall Street itself.

Follow Mark Garrison at @GarrisonMark

© 2016  Minnesota Public Radio. All Rights Reserved.


Millennial Employees Confound Big Banks
by Daniel Huang and Lindsay Gellman
April 8, 2016

To stem departures, firms tweak their delayed-gratification models

Entry-level bankers from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. gathered in a lower Manhattan hotel ballroom last April to listen to the firm’s top executives try to fire them up about their budding careers. David Solomon, co-head of the firm’s investment bank, took on the touchy subject of young employees leaving for private-equity jobs.

“At this time next year, there’s a lot of you in this room who won’t be working at the firm,” he said. “That’s a fact, candidly, we would like to change.”

Mr. Solomon grew animated as he advised the aspiring financiers that leaving Goldman was unwise, according to people who attended. They should think more about their long-term career trajectories, he said, and they would be more marketable after four or five years.

Some in the audience found his tone off-putting. It felt as though they were being lectured, even scolded, several of them said in interviews, rather than getting reasons to stay at the firm.

For decades, success on Wall Street followed a simple formula: Grind out years of marathon workweeks and menial tasks in exchange for a shot at helming deals and amassing millions. The industry’s biggest firms now acknowledge the math doesn’t work for many of their youngest bankers.

Six months after Mr. Solomon’s speech, Goldman announced changes designed to provide junior bankers with faster advancement and more stimulating work. “We’re well aware that our junior bankers have many options, so we’re doing everything we can to retain our best talent,” says Mr. Solomon.

Since then, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and others have revamped their rules and added sweeteners for young employees, tweaking the delayed-gratification model to better suit the expectations of the millennial generation.

Bank managers are trying to persuade younger employees to stick around and rise through the ranks, as generations of bankers did before them, instead of bolting to Silicon Valley or smaller investment firms.

According to a LinkedIn Corp. analysis conducted for The Wall Street Journal, analysts and associates who left their positions at a dozen investment banks in 2015 stayed an average of 17 months, compared with a 26-month average for those departing the same positions a decade earlier. Back in 1995, the average tenure was 30 months.

The entry-level exodus has spurred Wall Street into an uncharacteristic bout of soul searching, as leaders conclude that the industry must alter its long-held traditions and rethink its approach to management.

“We’re focused on trying to understand what’s important to the folks we hire right out of school,” says John Waldron, co-head of the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs.

The relative satisfaction of junior bankers matters because Wall Street firms are slashing thousands of more-senior jobs in a push to cut costs. The drive has picked up in the past year as low interest rates and difficult trading conditions weigh on the industry.

Goldman Sachs said in a February presentation it has reduced compensation expenses by $270 million since 2012, in part by eliminating higher-paid positions and bolstering the ranks with younger, more inexpensive employees. The firm said it reduced the number of partners and managing directors by 2% between 2012 and 2015, while increasing the number of analysts, associates and vice presidents by 17% over the same period.

Culture issue

In interviews, more than 40 current and former junior-level bankers at major firms—called analysts and associates—described a tension between banking’s hierarchical institutional culture and their desire to take on more substantial work sooner.

When Steve Wu began his two-year stint as an analyst at investment bank Moelis & Co. in July 2013, long hours were a given, but so were fast-paced deals, good money and prestige. The recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, told his girlfriend he wouldn’t have time for a relationship.

What Mr. Wu says he didn’t expect was the drudgery—the amount of trivial work that got passed on to entry-level bankers. One night, he says, after he had worked until 1 a.m. preparing a 60-page client book, his managing director told him to replace all the logos in the presentation because they appeared “fuzzy.”

In June 2014, after 11 months on the job and just weeks shy of receiving a five-figure bonus, he left Moelis for a mobile-gaming startup and what he saw as the chance to be more than a cog in the machine. “Every day I can see the direct result of my action,” he says of his new job.

A spokeswoman for Moelis said more than two-thirds of the firm’s bankers are under 35, and that the firm is committed to the development of its bankers early in their careers.She declined to comment on individual employees.

At J.P. Morgan, associate Lee Tsai says he grew disenchanted about one year into the job. Objectives in his semiannual reviews, he says, were easy to meet and after requesting new responsibilities, months passed and nothing changed. “Same spreadsheets, same pricing models, same slides,” he says.

At the same time, he was giving talks to recruits, he says, repeating buzzwords he heard when he was a student. Big deals, client exposure, professional mobility—“feeding them,” he now says.

Mr. Tsai soon stopped attending recruiting events. He passed on mentoring new hires. “I couldn’t keep telling them about how great it was,” he says. He left the bank in August and is now learning to code.

J.P. Morgan, which declined to comment on Mr. Tsai, made several changes this year to the way it handles young bankers. One initiative, dubbed “Pencils Down,” urges the firm’s 2,000 global investment bankers to take weekends off, so long as they aren’t working on a live deal. It also expanded an accelerated promotions track that shortens the path from analyst to managing director by as many as four years for star performers.

The changes are “enhancements,” says Carlos Hernandez, J.P. Morgan’s head of global banking, “and realistic to what this generation wants.”

Anne Hubert, a senior vice president at Scratch, a consulting unit of Viacom Inc. that performs research on millennials, says she advised a major investment bank about young workers. Senior bankers, she says, hated the fact that young people constantly wore headphones, preventing them from hearing instructions shouted across the trading floor. “Those damn earbuds,” she recalls them grumbling.

Ms. Hubert says she encouraged them to view it as an opportunity to connect with the new generation and “tune in” to what they want. “What’s going on behind those earbuds?” she recalls asking them. “Are they listening to music or podcasts? What are they thinking about?”

At Goldman Sachs, “Managing Millennials” has been one of the most popular training sessions for years.

Limiting hours

Beginning last year, the bank began limiting hours for its most junior staff, requiring summer interns to stay away from the office between midnight and 7 a.m. during the week. Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein’s daughter, a senior at Harvard, interned with the bank last summer.

Goldman and other banks have retooled their analyst programs, including new measures to outsource grunt work and invest in timesaving technology.

Credit Suisse Group AG has begun putting early-career bankers in front of clients soon after hiring—something that might have taken years in another era on Wall Street.

The Swiss bank also appointed a program director to coach senior bankers on communicating with young staffers, providing tips such as “don’t lean on hierarchy,” saysAmy Hudson, chief operating officer of the firm’s investment bank and capital-markets division. The appointee, Nancy Nightingale, is a “total mom figure,” says one third-year analyst. She recently helped shepherd an effort to get bosses to send personal emails highlighting junior bankers’ individual achievements.

“The things that [young workers] want are frankly the things that all of us always wanted,” says Ms. Hudson. But today’s junior bankers, she says, are “more confident about expressing it in the workplace.”

That dynamic isn’t unique to finance. Only 28% of millennials feel their current employer is making full use of their skills, according to a survey by Deloitte & Touche LLP. On Wall Street, however, paying one’s dues has long been part of the culture.

Michelle Wu discovered that fact six months into her job as a credit analyst at Goldman Sachs when she sought a transfer to another group to learn new skills. Her team mentors turned her down, she says. “Their responses were, ‘Keep your head down’ and ‘Focus on your work,’ ” she recalls. Goldman declined to comment on specific employees.

In December 2014, after less than a year at Goldman, she accepted a job on Google’s small-business team and moved to California. Despite working more than 100 hours a week—about the same as her job at the bank—Ms. Wu says she feels more energized. When she told her boss about an opportunity to increase revenue, she says, he told her to “run with it.”

Wall Street’s postcrisis landscape has been reshaped by job cuts and reduced risk-taking, and pay packages don’t tip the scales like they used to.

At three elite business schools—Harvard University, Stanford University and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School—M.B.A. graduates who accepted jobs in investment banking or trading had a first-year base salary of $125,000, on average, similar to those who join technology companies, and less than the roughly $150,000 base at other Wall Street firms such as hedge funds and private-equity firms, according to the schools.

Surveys show that young people who came of age during the economic downturn are less trusting of the financial sector in general, and more eager to find jobs that they believe serve a social good. A 2014 Brookings Institution report concluded that millennials are likely to “find an outlet for their desire to change the world for the better somewhere other than on Wall Street.”

Some veteran executives say banks should do a better job of explaining how helping clients raise capital and manage their financial risks is good for society.

Citigroup announced [ServiceCorps] in March a program to allow incoming analysts to spend a year at nonprofits before beginning their banking careers. Citigroup will pay them 60% of their starting salary during that time. Nine recruits already have signed on.

The bank also introduced a program for young bankers to travel to Kenya for a four-week microfinance project, mirroring an initiative launched by Moelis earlier in the year.Moelis employees who have been with the firm for at least five years are entitled to a four-week paid sabbatical program, a spokeswoman said.

Some young Wall Street bankers say initiatives to reduce long hours, however well-intentioned, are having unintended consequences. Analysts at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and other banks say mandatory days off have made it tough to spread out workloads, ramping up pressure when they are in the office. Analysts in a few Goldman groups say capping intern hours has undermined team dynamics and created tensions over division of work.

Some bankers are baffled by the attitude of their more junior colleagues. There is a pain point among midlevel bankers who “can sometimes get frustrated if the younger analyst isn’t as available as they want them to be,” says Mr. Waldron, Goldman’s investment banking co-head.

Nevertheless, he says, “just because other people worked 80 to 100 hours [each week] in their life history doesn’t mean these people should.”

Write to Daniel Huang at dan.huang@wsj.com and Lindsay Gellman at

Copyright ©2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


See our front-page WSJ article here.


Perk to woo young bankers to the firm.

To attract millennial employees in competitive fields like finance and technology, companies are coming around to the idea that young adults value culture and community as much as they do fat paychecks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Citigroup will announce on Wednesday some new initiatives designed to attract and retain young adult employees, including the offer of a year-long sabbatical to do charitable work. Another perk for employees is the possibility of four weeks in Kenya working on microfinance initiatives.

Wall Street banking jobs are infamous for their grueling hours and the toll they take on new bankers’ personal lives–which is why the Citigroup initiative is so surprising, and so welcomed by workers seeking more than, well, just work. “When I was a junior banker, it was a rite of passage in terms of how many hours you work,” Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat told the Journal. But today, things are different. Millennials want to have a personal life, and even when they’re on the clock, they want to work for companies that allow them to give back.

Citigroup isn’t the only company doing this. HR consulting firm Towers Watson Willis identified giving time off for volunteering and participating in community events as top trends in employer perks.

According to Glassdoor.com’s roundup of the top 20 perks and benefits employers offer, SaaS company Salesforce gives employees six days off a year to volunteer. Those who take all six get a $1,000 grant to donate to their preferred charity. Content delivery network provider Akamai gives workers paid time off to volunteer in their communities as well.

©2016 Time Inc. All rights reserved.

Wall Street hopes to attract more talent with better work-life balance.

With politicians like Bernie Sanders striking a chord with millennials by railing against Wall Street, some big banks are fighting back against negative perceptions of bankers among young people.

One example is banking giant Citigroup, which is set to announce a new slate of programs aimed at attracting young workers by counteracting the traditional notion of young bankers working ungodly hours with little room for a personal life or outside pursuits. According to the Wall Street Journal, Citigroup’s new programs will include an option for some workers to take a year off from the financial institution to pursue charitable work.

Fortune reached out to Citigroup for comment and will update this article with any response.

As WSJ notes, Citigroup has already tapped nine incoming analysts to take part in what the bank calls it ServiceCorps (formerly called Service Year), which will see each selected employee spend a year working with one of about 40 approved nonprofit organizations. During that year, the analysts will earn 60% of their normal banking salary and, once the service year is finished, they’ll start work at Citigroup. The bank is also offering employees the opportunity to participate in a four-week program in Kenya, where they would work on microfinance initiatives.

What’s more, when the young employees actually begin work at Citigroup, the bank wants to give them faster paths to promotions while cutting down on the notion that the only path to success in the industry for junior bankers is to pay their dues by toiling away day and night. Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat told WSJ that working long hours was “a rite of passage” when he was a young banker, but that’s no longer a viable way to attract and retain top talent that could otherwise be wooed by the supposed freedom offered by perks-heavy companies in the tech industry.

“I don’t think it’s how many hours you work,” Corbat told WSJ. “It’s how productive are you and how good are you.”

Citigroup also recently renovated its downtown Manhattan office space to offer young employees a new modern workspace with an open-plan layout. And, the company isn’t the only big bank shaking things up to court millennial talent, as several banks have announced plans to cap young employees’ work hours. British bank Barclays even issued a mandate that its bankers take at least one day off each weekend and other major banks have begun offering junior bankers faster paths to promotion and encouraging charitable work.

©2016 Time Inc. All rights reserved.

When one Wall Street bank announces a new initiative, others tend to follow pretty quickly.

Citigroup on Wednesday pulled out front with an announcement that junior staff will have the opportunity to take a year off and do charitable work — while still earning 60% of their pay.

That's according to The Wall Street Journal's Christina Rexrode, who reports that a second initiative will let junior bankers spend four weeks in Kenya running a micro-finance project.

The firm is also announcing a program to fast-track young bankers to promotion, and encouraging mobility between departments and cities.

That part is not new. Goldman Sachs last fall announced an initiative to fast-track its junior bankers, as well as provide them with more mobility and lessen their workloads.

Other firms have followed suit, including JPMorgan and Credit Suisse. They're all trying to fix the same problem: investment banking is becoming a less attractive career choice for bright college graduates who want to do meaningful work that they feel has an impact.

The solutions are getting more and more creative.

Deutsche Bank earlier this month launched a new leadership program for vice presidents, tasking them with overseeing analysts and associates and giving them more one-on-one attention.

And now there's Citi's unusual initiative.

The firm has chosen nine new hires to spend a year working for nonprofits before starting as analysts, according to the Journal report. And next month, 12 current junior bankers will head to Kenya for the micro-finance initiative.

"When I was a junior banker, it was a rite of passage in terms of how many hours you work," CEO Michael Corbat told the Journal. "And I don't think it's how many hours you work. It's how productive are you and how good are you."

Quite a shift for a bank where past interns have not even had time to use the bathroom.

Copyright © 2016 Business Insider Inc. All rights reserved.

A program unveiled Wednesday by Citigroup to recruit and retain millennials includes an option for young employees to take a year off to do charitable work, reports The Wall Street Journal. The banking giant has already selected nine incoming analysts to spend 12 months with one about 40 organizations selected for the program by volunteerism group ServiceCorps (formerly called Service Year).

The new hires will receive 60 percent of their Citigroup salary over their year of nonprofit work. The bank is also offering young workers four-week tenures with a microfinance project in Kenya. The move represents a cultural shift on Wall Street, where junior employees were long expected to work grinding schedules in their early years, and an attempt to attract a generation that is increasingly eschewing finance for the tech sector, the Journal writes.

Copyright © 2016 The Chronicle of Philanthropy


Bloomberg: Citi to Offer Year-Off, Other Perks, to Keep Jr. Bankers: WSJ
By Ronald Day
March 16, 2016

(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup to offer more rapid promotional paths, opportunity for year off for charity work, chance to work on microfinance project in Kenya, WSJ said, citing interview with CEO Michael Corbat.

Fox Business News: Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, (with Steve Cortes, Dagen McDowell, Michael Block)
March 16, 2016

Maria Bartiromo: Investment bank analysts often use the words selling your soul to describe work life balance. citigroup wants to change the game to keep millennials happier the program will allow for an entire year off as alternative will allow incoming analysts to focus on dirt that work the opportunity to participate in four weeklong finance program, in kenya this is coming as banks tried instructing employees not to sleep at office. What do you think about this?

Steve Cortes: this is interesting, used to be when i was in college and i am old i am not a millennial. in college everyone wanted to go to wall street, the smartest people at school all ended up going to wall street, that is not the case anymore. Now they want to go to silicon valley. I think for the country, the economy as a whole, that is probably a good thing, to go in more creative places, and not just financial engineering which is what wall street does but it is interesting, poses an interesting challenge to these companies, how to attract millennials and it is much more important to them this work life balance. They are not just buzzwords – it’s a reality for millennials.

Maria Bartiromo: they want a purpose don't want to feel like they going to work at company to make money, hence the charity.

Dagen McDowell: ask mike who looks like he has an abacus in his pocket.

Michael Block: I was an investment banking analyst at dlj, like steve I am not a millennial. The question is if I was coming out of school now would i want to work at dlj, one of the greatest companies ever was, the point is if you can work at google some start-up wouldn’t you want to do that. knowing me, you know, guys like me going to work there but, balanced.

Maria Bartiromo: you are in geek.

Michael Block:  yes, i am proud of that. proud of that i read textbooks for fun. The rest of the world is not like me the point is how do you get this balance…

Maria Bartiromo: you probably wouldn't take whole year off.

Michael Block:  no, i have trouble taking vacations taking a few days off next month.

Maria Bartiromo: would you take a whole year off.

Dagen McDowell: absolutely would i be gone. i would definitely take a whole year off.

Steve Cortes: I’m taking today off st. patrick's day ncaa tournament taking off, today is not a heavy workday for steve.

Dagen McDowell: your twitter profile you with daughter on your lap in front of the trading terminal.

Michael Block:  she would not take a year off, working hard we got this.

Dagen McDowell:  my problem my parents workable seven days a week entire life we never too...

If you can help us find a copy of the full script or video, please let us know.

Any college student or recent grad who studied business and is looking to make a lifelong career in a field like investment banking may dread their unfathomably long work days before they even get started.

Often referred to as "selling your soul," junior bankers (mostly recent college grads) tread on dangerous territory when it comes to work-life balance.

Recently, Wall Street's caught a lot of backlash regarding their youngest employees and the effects of job stress on their health and well-being.

Big bank Goldman Sachs, for example, changed its policy this past summer to no longer allow interns to stay in the office overnight. Bank of America released a statement recommending that their junior employees take off a minimum of four weekend days per month.

But now, Citigroup is really changing the game in terms of time-off perks in the world of investment banking.

The company isn't just offering employees to take off a few hours or even a few days -- new programs allow junior bankers to take off an entire year.

Set to be revealed on March 16, 2016, Citigroup will initiate new programs that include the opportunity to leave the office for an entire year to focus on charity work, as well as the opportunity to participate in a four-week-long finance program in Kenya.

This dedication to service work is something that will particularly appeal to the millennial generation, who is so often encouraged to choose work and a career that fills them with a sense of deeper meaning (something that can be hard to find in the throes of Wall Street.)

The program will be targeted at incoming analysts.

Citigroup Chief Executive Michael Corbat explains:

"I want people to have family lives, personal lives. When I was a junior banker, it was a rite of passage in terms of how many hours you work. And I don't think it's how many hours you work. It's how productive are you and how good are you."

Nine incoming analysts for the company have already been chosen to participate in Citi's new program, which they will serve through ServiceCorps (formerly called Service Year--an organization that will coordinate them with a nonprofit in their network).

Throughout the year, the incoming analysts will be paid 60 percent of their Citi salary and will begin work at the bank immediately following the end of their service term.

Additionally, 12 junior employees are set to leave for Kenya next week to participate in the four-week-long business development program that Citi is offering there.

Both initiatives are a huge step in the direction of offering hardworking junior bankers an option to have a sense of life outside the dimly lit banks where they spend the majority of their days. The outlook of more change to come looks positive, as Ray McGuire, who runs Citigroup's corporate and investment bank said:

"These changes are just the beginning."

© 2016AOL Inc. All Rights Reserved.

First Wall Street told young bankers that they didn't have to work on weekends. Then they told them they'd never have to work past midnight. Now they're giving them an entire year off.

Attitudes toward young bankers have shifted so strongly on Wall Street that Citigroup Inc. has a new plan to keep them happy: Give them a year off.

The bank on Wednesday plans to unveil new programs meant to appeal to younger workers, including faster paths to promotion and the chance to take a year off to do charitable work. Citigroup is also introducing a program that lets young employees work on a four-week microfinance project in Kenya.

It’s all meant to recruit—and keep—young talent increasingly skeptical of Wall Street and eager to land a job in the technology sector.

The move to improve the attractiveness of a job on Wall Street is a radical one, perhaps the most radical since Goldman Sachs unveiled its Protected Saturday policy a couple years back. The move is also a sign that Wall Street banks are still having trouble recruiting the best and brightest 21-year-olds the old fashioned way: exchanging large amounts of money and a prestigious name you can use on your resume for pretty much every waking hour of the first two years of your post-collegiate life. That is, a job on Wall Street is no longer as attractive to the young and hungry graduate as it once was.

With a new generation of workers who have different desires, and in the wake of the financial crisis that decimated the reputations of many of the world's largest banks, and in our new technology-dominated and tech-firm dominated world, the money and name dropping just isn't cutting it anymore. Millennials, in addition to lives outside of work, want the ability to advance quickly, and perhaps most important they want meaningful work. And Citi's new offering is an obvious response to that millennial desire.

But will the offering work?

“It will engage millennials,” said Stacy Stevens, president of recruiting firm Park Avenue Group. “But I still think it’s the nature of millennials to get bored and to move every two or three years.”

Nine incoming analysts have already been selected at Citigroup to spend a year with one of roughly 40 nonprofits being chosen by an organization called ServiceCorps (formerly called Service Year). During that year, they’ll be paid 60% of their normal Citigroup salary. After they’re finished, they’ll start at the bank.

My initial thought when coming across this news about Citi's new gap/volunteer year was to commend the bank for thinking well outside the cubicle. And I agree with Stacy Stevens that the move will be engaging. I imagine that the opportunity to secure a well-paying job while also getting to almost join the Peace Corps will attract many a non-engineering, non-technological, non-entrepreneurial millennial looking for meaningful work.

But upon further thought, I foresee an unintended and undesirable consequence (for Citi) of this new "perk." And that is this: I imagine that at least a handful of newly graduated students who want meaningful work and who join Citi in order to take advantage of its gap year might very well, while on their volunteer stint in West Africa or the Far East, become so moved and engaged and excited by the importance and meaningfulness of their volunteer work that they will not want to, nor could they imagine, returning to a cubicle to sit behind a non-Apple product and hammer out Excel formulas (in uncomfortable shoes, or any shoes for that matter) for the ensuing two years. And instead, they might very well opt to find a way out of their Citi obligation in order to continue the meaningful work they were doing during their gap year.

In other words, Citi, and any other bank that might also use the gap year to entice millennials to join its junior ranks, could risk losing their recruits, even before they begin to make them money.

In any case, no matter how this latest perk plays out, it's encouraging that Citi's CEO made a public stance on the issue of overworking its younger employees, and addressing, at least indirectly, one of the reasons why so few women choose to join the ranks of the world's largest banks.

“I want people to have family lives, personal lives,” said Citigroup Chief Executive Michael Corbat in an interview. “When I was a junior banker, it was a rite of passage in terms of how many hours you work. And I don’t think it’s how many hours you work. It’s how productive are you and how good are you.”

Of course, whether this is all just rhetoric or a real call to arms remains to be seen.

As a side note, it's fun to think of about how far we've come since Corbat was a junior banker putting in his 100-hour weeks: we were using rotary devices plugged into the wall to speak to each other over long distances, the only reason we had a computer at home was to play Donkey Kong and Pong, and the Gipper was the leader of the so-called free world.

© 2016 Vault.com Inc.

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: Millennials don’t want to work in banking because banking is like boring and lame.

But banks need bankers, so the big guys have been falling over themselves to appeal to the narrow slice of the new generation that will forgo building their own tech startup and deign to work in finance. Goldman has actually acknowledged that junior bankers are human beings, JPMorgan is building perk-filled bunkers that trick bankers into thinking that they work somewhere fun, and BofA is promoting junior people faster thus affording them the opportunity to leave BofA.

Fittingly, Citigroup has been a bit behind the curve on this trend. But, according to WSJ, Corbat and Co. are getting in big on the whole “work to live” Millennial lifestyle deal…

The bank on Wednesday plans to unveil new programs meant to appeal to younger workers, including faster paths to promotion and the chance to take a year off to do charitable work. Citigroup is also introducing a program that lets young employees work on a four-week microfinance project in Kenya.
It’s all meant to recruit—and keep—young talent increasingly skeptical of Wall Street and eager to land a job in the technology sector.

Per the WSJ report, Citi is paying incoming bankers 60% of their salary to take a year off and work at a non-profit. That’s a pretty major culture shift for the same bank that bars trading interns from pee breaks, and for how Wall Street treats junior bankers in general.

And listen to usually terse CEO Michael Corbat sell this thing…

“I want people to have family lives, personal lives,” said Citigroup Chief Executive Michael Corbat in an interview. “When I was a junior banker, it was a rite of passage in terms of how many hours you work. And I don’t think it’s how many hours you work. It’s how productive are you and how good are you.”

Attention, Millennial MBAs deciding between Silicon Valley and Wall Street: Mikey Corbat is your bro.

Bur will this kinder, gentler, humanistic approach work on this generation of emotionally spoiled young people?

“It will engage millennials,” said Stacy Stevens, president of recruiting firm Park Avenue Group. “But I still think it’s the nature of millennials to get bored and to move every two or three years.”


“People continue to work outrageous hours,” said Ms. Stevens, the executive recruiter. “There’s still an element of paying your dues, and getting in from the ground floor up.”

Yeah, they’re gonna hate that… Which means…

“There’s this thrill and excitement and risk-taking attraction,” which is pulling young bankers to technology companies, said Neil Sims, a managing partner for executive-search firm Boyden. “There’s little they can do to hold those people…if Silicon Valley comes courting.”

Maybe banks should pay their new employees 60% annual salary to work their first year at a failing tech company.

After all, it stands to reason that spending 100 hours a week going numb on financial modeling  won’t seem so bad after spending a few months in the mad court of Yahoo empress-for-life Marissa “Evita” Mayer.

© 2016 Breaking Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

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