young money, young tech

New Application: Report on Wall Street’s New Talent at The Buttonwood Gathering

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Apply to participate in a Pro Journo conference reporting program on Wall Street’s shift in talent recruitment and the resulting rise of young technologists at the The Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering.

In partnership with Economist Events, we are seeking two students interested in finance and technology to report on the Pro Journo obsession “Young Money, Young Tech” for the annual Buttonwood Gathering. Throughout the program you will receive professional journalism support from a Deputy Editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit as well as the Pro Journo core team.

The Buttonwood Gathering is The Economist Events’ flagship finance conference. This year’s theme being “The Valley Meets the Street”, the event will gather economic policymakers and regulators in government, central banks, multilateral institutions such as the IMF and World Bank and other market watchdogs for the digital finance revolution. The event will take place in New York City on October 20th.

About the obsession, “Young Money, Young Tech”

On March 24, 2015, Ruth Porat, Morgan Stanley’s CFO, announced that she will be leaving the bank to join Google, “in the most visible example yet of the flow of talent from Wall Street to Silicon Valley,” reported New York Times. Once a surefire path to wealth and job security, the 2008 financial crisis and Silicon Valley’s draw has redefined the coveted career path of young MBA students and ambitious college graduates. At MBA recruiting sessions, banks, hedge funds and investment managers now compete for the best and brightest with the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.

In addition, as Wall Street increasingly relies on sophisticated machines to “predict the unpredictable,” top firms are recruiting directly from engineering schools. These firms face an uphill battle—finance has never been an attractive career path for engineers. What is Wall Street doing to shake this image? How does this strategy differ for incumbents and fintech disruptors, and what implications does this have for the culture of Wall Street? At Buttonwood, we will report on Wall Street’s shift in talent recruitment and the resulting rise of young technologists by interviewing finance executives and fintech entrepreneurs—supplemented by desk research and additional interviews with recruiters and University administrators.

About the program

This program comprises of a virtual training program and pre-conference articles from August to September 2015 and will finish with an onsite conference reporting day on October 20th in Manhattan, New York. Your writing from the virtual training and conference coverage will be published on the Pro Journo website and partnering sites such as The Huffington Post. Selected pieces will also be published on Economist Insights and possibly be republished as an in-house advertising feature in The Economist.

Program Dates:
  • August – September 2015 (virtual): Online training via webinars and one-on-one editing of two pre-conference articles around the obsession
  • October 20th 2015, New York: Conference reporting
    • In-depth interviews and Q&As with participants and organizers, coffee talk posts, etc.
  • Post-conference wrap up (finishing of articles in the pipeline), usually 1-2 weeks after the conference
  • Professional obsession journalism training program
  • Unique, intensive editorial one-on-one mentoring
  • Coverage of food and accommodation at conference site
  • Media pass to Buttonwood
  • Local/regional travel support up to $100
  • Enrolled in a higher education program (ie, Bachelors-level or above, preferably at the Masters or Doctoral level; professional degree programs welcome)
  • Strong academic background (with ideally a concentration in business, finance or engineering)
  • Proven interest in and critical understanding of finance
  • Proven interest or experience in digital journalism
  • Excellent written and verbal English skills

We highly encourage you to familiarize yourself with our work, especially our recent conference project at the World Economic Forum 2015 and obsession journalism project on Organic Solutions in Global Food Affairs. To better understand our program experience, applicants can also watch the following video, which covers our conference reporting at the World Resources Forum 2013.

We are accepting applications until August 31st 2015. To apply, please first fill out the application form here, and email[at] the following material, (with the subject line, “Buttonwood 2015”):

  1. A resume or CV (max 2 pages);
  2. Motivation letter or video expressing 1) how your background, experiences and passion would make you a match for our program and 2) your (informed) opinion on the state of Wall Street today and their recent recruits (max 1 page or 5 minutes);
  3. A pitch as if you suggesting a journalistic story about the obsession to The Economist (max 100 words; please read this article on how to write a  journalistic pitch).

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