Referral program
What’s Wrong with Young People These Days?

This is an excerpt from the DKI July letter:

Last month, I had the opportunity to spend a day with most of DKI’s former and current interns here in Westport, CT. Over lunch, each took a turn talking about how they got their current jobs. Every single one of them has found great first jobs with big financial firms. They’re succeeding. This is both outstanding, and for anyone who’s had the opportunity to meet these young people, not at all surprising.

What makes their success even more satisfying is that only one of them went to an Ivy League school. They all had similar stories of how they networked aggressively and pushed persistently and creatively to get the attention of the large firms who don’t recruit at schools like Hofstra and Rutgers. Their stories reminded me of the great former Chairman of Bear Stearns, Ace Greenberg, who used to recruit people with “PSD degrees”. Ace wanted to hire people who were Poor, Smart, and had a Deep desire to become rich. This was a great example to current intern, Tristan Navarino, who comes to us from the excellent and under-rated finance program at the College of Charleston.

Later, over scotch and cigars, the conversation strayed into politics, finance, good scotch vs the bad vodka they drank in college, and proper business etiquette. People keep telling me this generation is fragile, but I see the DKI Interns eagerly accepting criticism because they want to improve. I’m constantly informed that young people today are lazy, but all of these Interns work long hours and are driven to succeed. I keep hearing about a sense of entitlement, but the most common question I’ve gotten from them is “what else can I be working on now”. Many say they’re self-absorbed, but every one of them has displayed polite etiquette in their interactions with me, with our clients and subscribers, and with the DKI Board of Advisors. Finally, even though it’s early in their careers, several of them have had setbacks related to conditions in finance right now (not their performance or conduct). They’ve demonstrated strength of character and resilience.

It’s natural to worry, but the kids are alright. And regarding this particular group of young people, I’m proud of every one of them.

4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with Young People These Days?”

  1. Refreshing to see someone in your position give young people the benefit of the doubt! I’ve lost track of the number of bosses who’ve written me and my fellow millennials off as entitled, lazy, and irresponsible, without taking into account the very real macro challenges that we’ve faced. Keep up the great work, Gary.

    • Thanks Max. Great to hear from you. I agree with you that young people have faced some challenges that were lesser issues for those of us a bit older and more established. In other ways, they may have had things a bit easier which left them less well-prepared. In the end, it’s best to treat everyone as an individual rather than a member of a particular group or generation. There’s no question, DKI has benefited from the intelligence, strong work ethic, and integrity of our young interns. Plus, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know them personally. Our “intern retreat” a few weeks ago was so much fun we’re planning a followup outing in August. Looking forward to that.

      I’m sorry you’ve been pre-judged by others. But I know your work and think you’re smart, resourceful, and creative. Looking forward to seeing what you do next.

    • Agreed, Jerry. Thanks. Tristan has a great attitude and is making quick progress. Dr. Mark Pyles is doing an excellent job with the finance program at CoC. The students I’ve met there are smart, well informed, and have outstanding business etiquette. When Tristan graduates, I’d love to bring in his replacement from CoC.


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