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NYU Student’s Wall Street Cover Letter Includes Bench Press Accomplishments & Pull-Up Count

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on February 9, 2012

When it comes to applying for a job, perhaps nobody will ever top the sheer absurdity of Aleksey Vayner’s “Impossible Is Nothing” video résumé that made it ’round the Internets and back in 2006.

When post-Arrested Development, pre-Superbad (pre-mustache) Michael Cera sets up a camera and takes the piss in a fantastic spoof, you know you’ve become a YouTube Star.

But despite the Herculean task of overtaking Vayner’s attempts to land a job, an enterprising NYU junior named Mark is doing his best. His cover letter to the folks at J.P. Morgan has been circulating around Wall Street for about a week now, everybody having a good laugh at poor Mark’s expense. Why the laughter? In addition to the general aggressiveness, note the random exercise drop-in at the end of the second paragraph. Here’s a transcribed copy of Mark’s cover letter:


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.



We’d also like to point out the “professionals at Morgan Stanley” mix-up in the third paragraph.

Wall Street’s having a good laugh at Mark’s expense, and Gawker notes that Mark has not been hired by J.P. Morgan or anyone else on the Street for that matter. 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? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

(via Gawker and Business Insider)

Click Page 2 below to see the actual cover letter, redacted where necessary…

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