SNAPSHOTS FROM THE DOT.COM BUBBLE
“Do you have a ball?” The Lehman Brothers executive met my question with a blank stare. He either didn’t expect a lowly member of the Class of 1999 to ask him a question—he was, after all, interviewing me—or he didn’t appreciate it, because the guy looked at me like had just made a rude comment about his wife. We were seated across from one another in a New York City hotel during the investment from one another in a New York City hotel during the investment brokerage house’s spring “Super Saturday” recruiting event. Lehman had invited me and around two dozen other graduating, mostly Ivy League, seniors to compete for about six entry-level positions. Most of the banks put on a “Super Saturday” event, part junket, part steeplechase. I refused to be intimidated.
“A ball?” he asked. “What do you mean?”
“A ball,” I said, smiling, cocky. “That thing you throw. Tennis ball, soccer ball, any ball. Do you have one?”
“What’s your point?”
This whole exchange had started with him, somewhat condescendingly, asking me why I believed I was Lehman material. What set me apart?
I told him: “If you took every college recruit here, put us all in a room, and then shut the doors and turned off the lights, so it was pitch black, and then threw a ball in the room for us to chase around . . . I can guarantee you . . . that I’d be the one coming out of there with that ball.”
The Lehmanite, trim, jockish, and in his early 30s, flashed me a smile as the bewilderment ...