News Flash from our “Elite” Media: people who grow up realizing, via their own precocious cognition or through family tradition, pressure or persuasion, that attending an “elite” school gives one a disproportionate shot at “elite” jobs, have a vastly disproportionate shot at getting “elite jobs”:
Lauren A. Rivera, an associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has been looking at investment banks, consulting firms and law firms for the last decade for her upcoming book “Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs.”
Rivera spent nine months as an ethnographer in one of these top firms, observing every aspect of the hiring process. She points out the firms may be missing out on top talent.
In fact, the 99.99% of America that didn’t attend an Ivy League school knows that. The main benefit of going to an Ivy isn’t so much the education – Matt Yglesias went to Harvard, and with that I rest my case.
No – the main benefit is access to the most important benefit; the alumni directory.
“If you want the best and the brightest regardless of social background, if you’re not systematically looking at over half the best and brightest because they don’t qualify in terms of social background, that is not necessarily an equitable or open process,” she says.
Now, I bring this up not because it’s a revelation – please – but because it’s a product of National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program.
Which is a bit of irony – since getting a job at any level of National Public Radio (or any other big Public Radio system) is entirely about having the right alma mater, the right connections, and at times the right politics.