18 Sep 2009

Necessity Is the Mother of Nobility

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I thought this was pretty funny from a WSJ article about the collapse of the financial sector:

Like nearly 30% of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates in recent years, Ted Fernandez set his sights on finance. Though he majored in materials science and engineering, he was wowed by tales of excitement from friends who went to Wall Street.

But when he stopped by an investment bank’s booth at a job fair a year ago, it was eerily empty. The booth belonged to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and the date was Sept. 18, three days after the 158-year-old bank filed for bankruptcy. Now Mr. Fernandez, 22 years old, is getting a master’s in engineering at M.I.T. and aiming for a career in solar-power technology.

“Undoubtedly, I would have gone into finance if the financial meltdown hadn’t occurred,” he says. “Now I won’t make as much money, but I can go home at night and feel good about what I do. That’s worth more than any amount of money.”

Interesting that Mr. Fernandez says he “undoubtedly” would have taken the high-paying job if it were available, but now that it’s no longer an option, he would rather save the planet. It reminds me of my decision to not become the world heavyweight champ. I don’t want to glorify violence.

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