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article imageNYU student's bragging cover letter to JP Morgan goes viral

By JohnThomas Didymus     Feb 10, 2012 in Odd News
New York - A junior at NYU hoping for a summer position at J.P. Morgan sent in a resume and a cover letter filled with details of his super-human accomplishments in quaint bombast, and a single bizarre boast that is making many bank officials chuckle.
(See full text of the cover letter below)
The cover letter in which the junior brags, "I managed to bench[-press] double my body-weight and do 35 pull-ups," has gone viral in investment banking circles and online.
At a point in the letter, "tone-deaf" Mark, suspecting he might be trying too hard to impress, said: "Please realize that I am not a braggart or conceited, I just want to outline my usefulness. Egos can be a huge liability, and I try not to have one."
According to Gawker.com, Mark's letter has been read by every investment banker on Wall Street — at Merill Lynch, BNY Mellon, Barclays...with comments appended piling up as it goes viral. Everyone has a good word for Mark's creativity: "..not sure if you've seen this yet, but it has been bouncing all over the street today... kid is a total legend." Another comment : "This is sensational. This guy has already interviewed everywhere and has been nowhere." A third: "...please enjoy. someone find him on facebook (although at this point, he probably deleted it). be sure to scroll through the list of companies that this has been through in 5 days. this kid is never getting a job."
Gawker.com called Mark and found that he already knew that his letter had earned him fame. When he was asked whether he had got a job at J.P. Morgan, he laughed and said: "No, not at all. Didn't you see my letter?"
Outdoing Aleskey Vayner?
This is not the first time a cover letter has made its writer viral laughingstock. New York News and Features notes that bragging cover letters sent by job seekers to Wall Street institutions are "classic genre online."
Hypervocal recalls the herculean effort by Yale University student Aleksey Vayner, who applied for a job at UBS AG with a video resume titled "Impossible is Nothing." The video became a viral phenomenon (see video above).
But is Wall Street being fair on Mark?
A reader commenting on Business Insider strongly criticizes J.P. Morgan for spreading Mark's letter. The comment said: "There was a day when no firm, especially GS would let this letter get out of the company. It proves, that even at these mega-firms, and at a supposedly top notch consulting firm, there is no security or ethics regarding privacy or proprietary information. More evidence of the breakdown in so many mores on Wall Street."
Hypervocal.com also wonders why everyone is having a good laugh at poor Mark's expense, saying: "Even though Mark seems to have brought this on himself, is it really that ridiculous in a culture that celebrates masculinity and strong will? Sure it’s laughable, but is it enough to blackball the guy?"
Full text of Mark's cover letter:
1/23/2012
J.P. Morgan
Dear Sir or Madame:
I am an ambitious undergraduate at NYU triple majoring in Mathematics, Economics, and Computer Science. I am a punctual, personable, and shrewd individual, yet I have a quality which I pride myself on more than any of these.
I am unequivocally the most unflaggingly hard worker I know, and I love self-improvement. I have always felt that my time should be spent wisely, so I continuously challenge myself; I left Villanova because the work was too easy. Once I realized I could achieve a perfect GPA while holding a part-time job at NYU, I decided to redouble my effort by placing out of two classes, taking two honors classes, and holding two part-time jobs. That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups.
I say these things only because solid evidence is more convincing than unverifiable statements, and I want to demonstrate that I am a hard worker. J.P. Morgan is a firm with a reputation that precedes itself and employees who represent only the best and rightest in finance. I know that the employees in this firm will push me to excellence, especially within the Investment Banking division. In fact, one of the supporting reasons I chose Investment Banking over any other division was that I know it is difficult. I hope to augment my character by diligently working for the professionals at Morgan Stanley, and I feel I have much to offer in return.
I am proficient in several programming languages, and I can pick up a new one very quickly. For instance, I learned a years worth of Java from NYU in 27 days on my own; this is how I placed out of two including: Money and Banking, Analysis, Game Theory, Probability and Statistics. Even further, I am taking Machine Learning and Probabilistic Graphical Modeling currently, two programming courses offered by Stanford, so that I may truly offer the most if I am accepted. I am proficient with Bloomberg terminals, excellent with excel, and can perform basic office functions with terrifying efficiency. I have plenty of experience in the professional world through my internship at Merrill Lynch, and my research assistant position at NYU. In fact, my most recent employer has found me so useful that he promoted me to a Research Assistant and an official CTED intern. This role is usually reserved for Masters students, but my employer gave the title to me so that he could give me more work.
Please realize that I am not a braggart or conceited, I just want to outline my usefulness. Egos can be a huge liability, and I try not to have one.
Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Best,
Mark
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