Diversity in the Industry
As the only African American, or person of color, in my firm, intimidation in my circumstances is to be expected; it makes sense that I would be a bit nervous or intimidated by the other interns or the senior bankers. I’m doing just fine in the way I handle myself and the way I carry myself in the office; however, I sense the occasional awkwardness that exists between myself and some of the people at the firm.
Although the investment banking industry is becoming increasingly diverse, a “conservative” environment still exists. For example, at my firm, there are no women executives. There are only five women at the firm, and all of them are secretaries. A friend of mine, who is a rising junior at Babson, is living with me for the summer and interning at another firm in Atlanta. Having an Iranian ethnic background, he notices a similar dynamic at the firm he’s interning for. All the executives, associates, and interns are all white men. However, this is not something I am worried about, but it is something I need to accustom myself with until diversity in this industry becomes more important. Furthermore, I can see how and why the investment banking industry may look intimidating, and possibly scary, to a lot of people.