Recommendation to abuse diversity programs.

As someone who goes to a completely non-target school, I think abusing diversity programs has truly been the way to go. In my business frat, the few kids that manage to break into top IB firms (BB/EB/MM) have generally been women, or people that identified as Hispanic or African American.

But here's the issue with that - the people that are getting funneled in through diversity programs are people that live very privileged lives. They're rich minorities. Despite saying that these minority programs are designed for the banks to bring underprivileged groups into IB or whatever, it really doesn't. It ignores low-income and first-generation students.

If you're Filipinx? Put that you're Hispanic. Spanish? Put that you're Hispanic. That's what was recommended by my fraternity - and firms really can't verify that kind of stuff. It was the same thing for college admissions - if you're Filipinx or Spanish, you were supposed to put down that you were Hispanic to raise your chances of getting into a college. Or, if you don't qualify for any diversity programs? Put that you're bisexual, so you can qualify for LGBT programs. What are they gonna do, make you suck someone off on the spot?

I'm someone who is Laotian, and my parents were immigrants, so I grew up in a very low income area, and come from a very underprivileged background. There are no programs out there for me, with the exception of the LGBT program. I actually identify as gay, so I'm not lying, but I sincerely don't think that I would have my BB offer today without these diversity programs. But I find it unfair for my peers who grew up struggling, but are completely disregarded by banks because they're Asian or White. Banks don't have programs for poor people, so I think we should abuse the f out of these diversity programs as much as we can.

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Comments (179)

Apr 28, 2020 - 3:01am

You've been removed from consideration for the MD position in light of recently discovered irregularities in your personal history

*Surprised Pocahontas face*

Apr 28, 2020 - 3:18am

As unfortunate as it is, everybody has to play the cards we're dealt...If I were eligible for the diversity programs, I'd abuse them as well...

"Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 28, 2020 - 3:26am

I think that you're voicing many of the same concerns that many have about affirmative action and similar practices.

I'll probably get MS for this, but at the end of the day, it's the poor and White/Asian/non-URM/women who get shafted by these programs so that an African American who went to Philips Exeter can get a boost on his application.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 30, 2020 - 1:02am

The same african american got a boost getting into his target school and will get a boost again when applying for MBA

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 30, 2020 - 10:46pm

While those concerns are valid, you also cannot leave out the fact that we were historically left out of the system. Like less than 2 generations ago we still had a segregated south dude. Imagine not being able to eat at the pizza place down the street because of the fucking melanin that your body produces? Or that your buddies invite you out for drinks but then you're like "oh man sorry I can't make it tonight guys... I'm black"... although that wouldn't even happen cause you wouldn't work at the same places. Oh and your grandparents telling you stories about slavery...

Now, I agree that in the present these inequalities are much less existent, but the consequences of some industries being essentially all-white and all-male (ie. finance, VC) makes these industries harder to break into as a minority. Maybe not so much for rich minorities that are used to being around white people, but for me (first-generation immigrant) it was tough adapting to being around a bunch of rich white people.

And yet, I killed my internship and performed better than ivy league kids, kids who's parents were PE partners, etc. Just wanted to point that out because yes, these programs in many cases give hard working people like me access to opportunities that change our lives AND also go both ways - provide the bank with talent. It's not like you're just gonna automatically get a return offer either, I think a lot of people miss this.

Life isn't fair and never will be but to correct historical injustices I think it's worth doing something that is "unjust" that now has a noble purpose. The real question is when do you end these programs, that is to say, when and how will we determine that society is balanced enough that we don't need to give easy access to opportunities to anyone anymore? That's the end state, and honestly I don't know if we'll ever get there. It's utopian, almost.

Apr 28, 2020 - 3:49am

This advice is more general in nature and does not apply to the Covid climate. Fortunately, I will never know what recruiting out of college in a recession is like.

If you are in this boat go get a T15 MBA and you will be fine. If you are good enough to have even a chance at IB you should be able to get some other kind of job and be able to crush GMAT and apply down the line. Saying this as an Indian guy with an unimpressive GPA, median GMAT for the school I am attending, and an admit to an M7 school. Associate roles at the MBA level are a dime a dozen

The banks should still be recruiting for MO and BO roles at your school. Or you can go do an FLDP, or you can go Big 4. TFA, Fulbright, Peace Corps. So many cool things you can do while you are young. Its not IB or your career is over before it began.

Apr 28, 2020 - 9:56am

yeah as an immigrant from the middle class who could have abused these types of programs, for some reason in college I was too proud and I chose not to thinking that it would be hard on my ego for someone to one day tell me I didn't deserve the things I had - and to know deep down they could be right. Ended up going to a non-target state school and clawing my way into a boutique PE firm then a BB CRE investments position. But I definitely saw a lot of middle income minority kids like me go into ALPFA who went straight from a non-target UG to IB at Goldman, some are now even associates at firms like KKR or Blackstone. It's bizarre, perhaps affirmative action should benefit people of lower incomes rather than certain races - it would still end up benefitting Latinos and black people disproportionately but it'd be more fair to everyone else and serve its intended purpose better.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 12:38pm

So essentially your pride cost you a better position. Your classmates' shamelessness led them into more prestige and higher pay. But hey, at least you can say that you were honest or something, right?

Apr 28, 2020 - 10:26am

Like OP, I think candidates from low income backgrounds / first generation college students can have a much harder road to IB and deserve these programs even more than the ethnically diverse. I'm a first gen white male from lower/middle class and a very average public HS (20% military, 70% junior college, 10% 4-year college). I had no clue what IB was coming into college, had zero family connections, and this certainly set me back since IB recruiting starts sophomore year. Luckily I was able to make it work and get a BB gig, but this group faces tremendous setbacks despite being "non-diversity". First gen/low income typically go to non-targets for affordability reasons, they typically have no advance knowledge of IB or family connections thus making navigating an extremely accelerating recruiting process very difficult. I'm increasingly puzzled as I see high schoolers on this site asking for the best schools to go to GS and KKR... from my background, I had no knoweldge of careers within business and cannot possible be expected to keep up with kids like this.

Why do these students go unassisted in recruiting while (sorry to single you out ladies, just an example) a rich white girl from a private high school has access to an accelerated high-conversion-rate "diversity" program? Same goes for rich minorities. Yes, imlicit bias among interviewers does exist and can affect hiring decisions (i.e. why these programs exist) but this issue seems small compared to the numerous setbacks of low income/first gen.

I'm not salty. I'm not using my background as an excuse to underachieve my blue blooded peers. I made my way to a BB IB offer. But I'm a minority among this group and want to speak for the tough road it can be. Not every Straight White Male is an Ivy legacy Deerfield alum with Wall St. connects.

  • Intern in S&T - Equities
Jan 19, 2021 - 9:34pm

can't agree with you more here , i am a first gen and recent immigrant where my parents earn minimum wage to provide for my family,  and i was super pissed off when i heard " you don't qualify because according to stats most of the engineers and doctors are Asians."  where as stupid Sharon whos dad the md of Blackstone qualifies for the diversity programs. 

  • Intern in Other
Apr 28, 2020 - 12:21pm

Financial firms should create more first-generation college student programs and consider 1st Gen as diversity. Low-income can also be a separate program to learn more about the hustle and drive in that perspective. I think MLT and SEO does a fascinating job in bringing minorities in but with little to no effect on first gens.

Most Helpful
Apr 28, 2020 - 12:41pm

Dont say that too loudly or you'll be called racist, bigoted, xenophobic, along with a laundry list of other labels.

The simple fact is this. diversity/quotas/affirmative action only care about one thing and that is your physical traits (skin color, gender, sex) which is inherently a sexist/racist ideal to seperate people on the basis of their physical traits. It doesnt matter if you're a white girl who went to Harvard who's dad is an MD at Goldman. As long as she is a girl, she will be put ahead of a impoverished Vietnamese first generation male from the projects of LA. Diversity/quotas/affirmative action fails to recognize that there are white/asian males who indeed come from low income houses, 1st gen immigrants, fucked up family history. It sad, stupid, and inherently fucked up.

  • Investment Manager in HF - Macro
Apr 28, 2020 - 9:18pm

This just isn't true and it frustrates me to see people, who have little to no experience on this topic and how it is implemented, make statements (so confidently) as you are. I understand this website is mostly college students and junior employees but it is really starting to go downhill (or I'm starting to get old). You are entitled to your opinion but just know this is not how the programs work.

It is sad how often people just disregard all the research, literature, information from firms themselves and even other posts in this website to keep posting their opinion (which is often contradicted by facts).

I realize I should just stop posting, and I probably will, but on what info are you making these statements? Are you a part of diversity recruiting? Are you a leader at these firms? I won't disagree that these programs can be (and are) poorly implemented, and that some programs are more for show than not, but your blanket statements don't make sense to me.

I understand that you will just point back to me and say I haven't provided facts and that anyone online can make up anything and that's fine. I'm not going to go through the whole process of trying to explain this again. I just ask that you take the time to try and understand this (truly understand it) rather than fit things to your narrative.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 29, 2020 - 11:55am

I think you falsely underestimate what literature people do and don't read about these programs and the fact that current college students and junior analysts know "how these programs work" far better than you do... How often do you peruse LinkedIn and see all the "incoming" analysts and summer analysts that go to these diversity programs or go to college recruiting events with BB/EBs? If this is a regular occurrence for you and you have the facts to back it up, I'll stand corrected. Otherwise, What evidence do you have that this is not how these programs work?

I go to a top LAC non-target which sends 10-12 each year to IB. out of those, probably 5-6 are diversity. In my class year, guess how many of the diversity candidates have double the income I do and more "privilege"? all of them. There are programs like Girls Who Invest which don't target first-gen, low-income females of color. They literally funnel upper-middle class women every year to top internships. Of course you can say "don't make blanket statements" or some other BS that misses the point, but the reality is that this is fucked up and it does happen. For every low-income African American diversity candidate there absolutely is a rich, Phillips Exeter alum who just happens to black, yet is a diversity candidate. Its ironic too that people like you don't call out the BS when it happens - this is the very antithesis of socially just practices Bc it takes away an opportunity from a a true underserved URM.

like others have said, I'm not salty - I made it fine and others who work hard will absolutely too Bc that's the most important thing. But what won't slide is ignorance and virtue signaling from people who have no skin in this game, especially when providing no evidence other than a gut feeling. that's pretty pathetic.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 12:42pm

lmao homie I'm a diversity recruit and I can tell you that all your 'research' is just a bunch of fictitious garbage, social science is horrifically arbitrary and biased (consider that over 90% of psychologists vote democrat and lean liberal). This is all an HR ploy that if you can take advantage of, you should. The incentive is great, but stop trying to virtue signal, it's kind of cringey.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 30, 2020 - 12:52am

You're not gonna get through to them. This site has seriously gone down hill over the years - it's filled with mainly angry high school and college kids with little self awareness

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 28, 2020 - 8:41pm

I got offers through diversity programs... and I would like to think I'm competitive with the regular recruiting process as are the other minorities from my school who recruited diversity with me. 3.9+ GPA, ECs.

I definitely know some people who probably couldn't have gotten as good an offer if they were, say, a white male, but for the most part I think diversity hires are pretty qualified too

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 29, 2020 - 11:57pm

Yeah I agree diversity recruits are still qualified. It's just that hundreds of qualified if not more qualified non-diversity candidates (poor/middle class white/Asian male without family connection) get no offers or worse offers because there are so many reserved spots rich international or boarding school graduate diversity qualifying candidates.

Not saying you have to eliminate diversity recruiting, because it definitely serves an important purpose. But companies have to revise it to really make it what it should be about (helping kids who didn't have so many opportunities growing up). But then again, of course companies don't actually care about those kids and they just want a number to publicize for marketing purposes, so this will never happen, so whatever

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 4:09am

I knew some female friends that went through Barclays Sophomore Springboard and didn't get asked a single technical...

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 29, 2020 - 10:40am

That's honestly hilarious - know a minority kid who did the same program and they asked him paper LBOs etc.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 12:44pm

Diversity guy here. Yeah the system is definitely broken, but I had a 3.8 by graduation and had finance internships from my freshman summer so I wasn't really a quota-filler. This used to make me worried that I didn't deserve it, but then I got a first round through networking at two EBs and I realized that I'm definitely capable enough.

  • Intern in AM - Other
Apr 29, 2020 - 9:36pm

One girl from my school faked being bi and got into a top BB diversity program

May 4, 2021 - 1:37pm

You do realize if you weren't a diversity candidate you probably wouldn't have gotten interviews right.... How is it fair that if you're born White / Asian you basically have to go to a "top university" and essentially know you want to break into finance at the age of 15/16? Literally I know someone who had a 4.0 at Ole Miss that could only afford in-state tuition who deserved every opportunity a UPENN kid deserved but couldn't get a spot because he was from a non-core school.

Keep calling us racist just because we're asking that ALL CANDIDATES regardless of race / academic background are held to the same standard. Your hypocrisy is undeniable.  

Apr 28, 2020 - 4:27pm

I def dislike rich minorities getting these benefits lol. My dad had a friend in college who got into a top 4 law school with average stats because his last name was sanchez or something. The dude was from a very wealthy family from Spain.


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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 29, 2020 - 4:05am

White women from Long Island bring diversity is actually a massive stain on any initiative these firms want to try. Sorry First generation Philippino male, step aside for Becky

Apr 29, 2020 - 10:10am

This thread again....

If it makes you feel any better OP, I stopped answering the diversity questions at the end of applications. You know what happened? I received emails for phone interviews, etc.

Upper middle class minority female....

Greed is Good!
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  • 6
May 1, 2020 - 8:28pm

So you submitted an application and immediately got emails for phone interviews??? Hmm that's kinda fishy, because as a 1-st generation Non-Diversity Male who's parents were immigrants, per bank I had to send at least 10-15 networking emails, have 3-4 positive interactions, and even fly out to NYC multiple times on my own dollar (I worked a minimum wage job on-campus while maintaining a 3.80+) to grab coffee just to receive 1st round phone interviews.

Congrats though, it must be nice to just have interviews thrown at you on a silver platter since your name clearly identified you as a woman. It also must be nice to be "upper-middle class", some of us non-diverse people can't relate to you on that... Enjoy the 6-figure paycheck you "earned" by knowing how to walk someone through the 3 financial statements, I'm truly envious of it.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 4, 2020 - 10:27am

Cry her a river buddy. No one asked for your sob story. You don't like your circumstance compared to hers? Go out and change it for yourself.

May 4, 2020 - 12:00pm

I already did change it and broke into a BB out of undergrad. I'm defending the thousands of other Asian candidates that are diverse in their own right and are significantly more qualified than 90% of all diversity candidates that get royally screwed for a PR stunt. I don't need to cry anyone a river, but these SJW's do everyday over the smallest shit when they get professional / academic handouts in every facet of their career....

May 4, 2020 - 6:06pm

I already did change it and broke into a BB out of undergrad. I'm defending the thousands of other Asian candidates that are diverse in their own right and are significantly more qualified than 90% of all diversity candidates that get royally screwed for a PR stunt. I don't need to cry anyone a river, but these SJW's do everyday over the smallest shit when they get professional / academic handouts in every facet of their career....

Facts man. Once again, you'll be called sexist, xenophobic, etc. Its super sad and I have many friends in the same spot as you. Props to you. From my experience, one you're in no one gives a fuck about the PR/Diversity BS, its all about meritocracy and results. Keep grinding. .
May 4, 2020 - 6:26pm

Thanks man - I was very lucky with the opportunities that I got, but I made sure to prepare very thoroughly given my semi-target background. At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of similar candidates that get shafted for the URM from Exeter, and for the people who think Diversity recruiting does more harm than good, you're simply mistaken.

The only solution to this is for the few of us minorities that were able to break-in without diversity channels to actually hold conversations with the hiring managers and HR personnel asking them to change their protocol. 50% Gender quota when less than 10% of candidates are woman is the biggest bullshit I have ever seen.

Unfortunately, no one will actually stand up to diversity recruiting in a public-light because they will immediately get shot down for being "Racist" / "Sexist" when all we're asking for is equal opportunity NOT equal results. If 8% of applicants are woman, at most they should be given 20-25% of Summer Analyst offers, definitely not 50%

May 4, 2020 - 9:51pm

So true man. Believe me I am right there with you. My question to you would be this- how do you think someone like us could rationally go ahead with trying to explain our position to HR/Diversity Heads. There's no shot that this would occur at an analyst/associate level bc you're the low man on the totem pole. However, at what point would it be suitable to actually say something about this? I feel if anyone at any level tries to rationally question it they'll be lambasted with sexism/racism accusations which leads no where. What are your thoughts on how to go about this?

May 5, 2020 - 1:58pm

Feel free to PM me to discuss as I know this is a sensitive topic, but I will go ahead and answer on this public forum so that way other people can see my opinion. The only way we can ever make a change is if people actually have the balls to stand up for what they believe in, even if that means they will be called sexist / racist. Keep in mind I believe that woman are every bit as qualified as men, in many instances even more qualified for a career on Wall St especially at the junior level since woman tend to mature at an earlier age. But I'm sorry, effectively reserving 50% of full-time spots to BB / EB of undergrad just given how these dumb quotas are working. I don't even think Diversity recruiting existed on a large scale until about 2015 or so, and by 2019 Goldman implemented the 50% gender quota rule. The ramp up period of 4 years is WAY too short to increase diversity on a linear scale to merit.

To answer your original question this is how I would go about enacting a change. There is strength in numbers. I would try and start initial conversations behind closed doors with a few other analysts in your class in an informal setting, and eventually try and gain the backing of a few assos or even a VP or two. If you can get a few relatively established professionals in your group to back you up, you will be able to have a much stronger voice in the work place. Remember, 1 analyst approaching HR is much easier to shoot down and call sexist than a group of 5-6 bankers that range from analyst - VP that have an constructive argument. Once you have a small group assembled I'd write down some form of formal writing / petition that you can use to structure your argument to HR or to a hiring managers that is formalized around statistics and objective measurements.

Mention how the quota system of 50% woman and 50% URM of all Men hires can only be achieved by lowering the standards for prospective candidates (12% of candidates cannot reasonably be given 75% of spots and promote a meritocracy). Also maybe mention how the total% of senior bankers on Wall St ranging from VP - Managing Director is still predominantly White males, and hence these diversity programs that lower standards for diversity hires do not actually help promote diversity in the workplace at the senior level. Let's be honest, most analysts / associates don't do much in a client facing light aside from take notes during client meetings, where as the only client facing personnel are basically VPs and above. If 90% of all mid level to senior bankers are White guys, then the overall amount of client interaction is not actually being diversified by these analyst diversity hires.

My point is use objective fact oriented arguments that are backed by numbers. I wouldn't try and stop banks from having programs that inform diversity candidates on the opportunities in financial services. But I would ask hiring managers to make a change when it comes to hiring candidates and signing off on full-time offers to where a "diverse" candidate and a "traditional" candidate are judged on consistent criteria.

May 6, 2020 - 1:30pm

I don't make 6 figures and to be fair my parents worked hard. They both came from nothing. My parents didn't know anything about finance, so I had to work for everything. I didn't apply to diversity programs because it's all BS. I have a very "white" name and unfortunately name biases exists. It's why I don't mark my race at the end of applications. All I can tell you all is don't mark your race on applications. Surprise them at the Interview. Good Luck!

Greed is Good!
  • Intern in S&T - Equities
Apr 29, 2020 - 10:37am

I think all the comments following the OP miss the point. In order to make an argument for a program tailored to low-income applicants, they attack other programs. The truth is no one has any idea of the background of all these "rich" minorities and women. You're putting them in a box. Perhaps they do bring a lot of diversity that previously wasn't there in firms.

Personally, I look and sound like a "Becky" but I've lived all over the world and in all different living standards ($20/night hotels with my family of five for years at a time). There's a lot more to me than a "Becky". You don't need to drag others down to make the point that there should be a low-income program as well. Don't lump all successful applicants in together.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 12:47pm

uh sorry but white women are not a minority. I grew up in poverty and immigrated to the US at age 10 and was even homeless at one point. Our struggles are NOT comparable, you can try to justify it but just know that it's pure coping.

  • Intern in S&T - Equities
Apr 29, 2020 - 1:44pm

I didn't say white women were a minority...? Other posts discuss women and minorities so commenting on that.

I didn't say our experiences/struggles are comparable. I have no idea who you are. I'm sure our lives have been very different.

I also don't understand this "coping" thing. Some weird American tribalism thing if I had to guess.

By writing this post you're proving my point. You're putting me in a box when you don't know anything about me. I am not representative of everyone in my race and gender. You are not representative of everyone in your race and gender. Therefore, diversity can be present in these programmes organised by recruiters even if everyone thinks that they are only superficial.

Some attempt at diversity is better than nothing. I'm sorry if the comment offended you.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 29, 2020 - 10:48am

I worked at a very well known Asset Manager ($500bn+ AUM) for a few years out of college. During my second year when I was asked to help with recruiting, my boss pulled me in the back room before we started looking at resumes and told me that it's coming from the top that we cannot hire white analysts anymore. Zero white kids. A good amount of them were great, but we ended up having to "strongly encourage" about 1/3rd of the class that year to look for jobs elsewhere after a few months when it became clear they couldn't do the job - which almost never happens. What happened to merit based hiring?

Apr 29, 2020 - 11:13am

That sucks. I do wish everything was merit based, but that's not the world we live in.

Greed is Good!
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 4:19pm
Analyst 2 in IB - Ind:
During my second year when I was asked to help with recruiting, my boss pulled me in the back room before we started looking at resumes and told me that it's coming from the top that we cannot hire white analysts anymore. Zero white kids,

Highly doubt this. That's illegal.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
May 1, 2020 - 8:37pm

Thanks for weighing in Mr. Intern, it cannot possibly be true that an off-the-record conversation in the back room suggested something shady to boost our diversity rankings. Financial firms never do anything unethical!

I understand people are skeptical because it is ridiculous, but it is 100% true. Shoot me. Work a day in the real world before you weigh in calling BS. Throw all the MS you want, I obviously paraphrased what was a very long discussion and I'd give more detail but it would out me. It happened.

May 1, 2020 - 3:13pm

Inaccurate and homosexual

I’m a fun guy. Obviously I love the game of basketball. I mean there’s more questions you have to ask me in order for me to tell you about myself. I'm not just gonna give you a whole spill... I mean, I don't even know where you're sitting at

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  • Intern in S&T - Comm
Apr 29, 2020 - 5:56pm

The diversity hires need to be held to the same standard as everyone else. The pipeline/fast track is okay as long as the expectations for everyone remain the same. I often steer the conversation to technicals and they'll ask me some basic accounting. Period. Nothing advanced, no valuation for an IB gig?! I realize very quickly that they would probably hire me because I am an asian female and not because I actually deserve it.
For instance if they expect 'white dudes' to bring in a 3.9+ with excellent modeling abilities, the rest of us should be offering something comparable. And not just our diVeRse PerSpeCtiVe lol.
The ultimate goal was to tone down the 'bro culture'. A situation where people of color/women/others who were objectively better were passed upon would be blatantly wrong. But then a situation where a 'privileged group' say a white male was cut despite being the best would also be blatantly wrong. They need a more equitable approach in the long run because this system is designed to fail.

Apr 29, 2020 - 7:02pm

I feel that the topic of diversity programs is very nuanced and complex, but I do think there is merit in supporting candidates who are low-income/first gen. As you progress in your careers, it would be a worthy effort to raise this with your institution and personally support those who may be overlooked by the current system. This was always a professional priority for me, and it's been very rewarding watching kids I mentored thrive and move up socioeconomically (at least I hope I had something to do with it!) Such success makes a difference not just for them, but for their families, also.

There is a lot to be said about the real advantage of social capital. When you don't have the "right" grooming, exposure, awareness and natural cachet that comes from being raised in the "right" environment, gunning for opportunities of prestige - especially when in a very image-conscious, relationship-focused bubble like finance - becomes an extraordinarily hard endeavor.

Do wealthy URM candidates still face a myriad of systemic challenges? Of course! Not all things go away just because you're rich and connected. But when I was a young candidate, as a personal example, I consistently found myself having to build my own bridges - on my own - across chasms of problems to achieve things that their backgrounds naturally afforded them. At one point, I was in a diversity program in which it felt like everyone's dad was an MD at the firm, everyone had a house at Martha's Vineyard, and everyone went to an expensive private school...meanwhile, I was one generation away from living in a hut in the jungle (lol!)

Things might feel horribly unfair now, but don't ever give up!

  • Prospect in Other
Apr 29, 2020 - 7:30pm

Perhaps the primary effect is to ensure that the sons and daughters of IB executives, as well as their frat brothers, can comfortably cruise into positions at firms while ensuring that most kids from their demographic groups simply cannot be hired due to not meeting diveristy requirements. A significant portion of the non-diveristy slots are taken by those with connections. That's also the story of Ivy League admissions. As always, the elites win, and everyone else is screwed.

In other words: I think the diveristy programs are messed up, for many reasons that others in this thread have persuasively identified. (Jason Riley at WSJ writes eloquently on these issues.) But remember, perhaps the most egregious injustice banks are committing is allowing (really, celebrating) nepotism. I go to HYP, and it's shocking how open firms are about hiring the kids of their employees. It's such an unbelievably bad look--and it's also a choice. It's really crushing if you care about meritocracy as a principle....

Apr 29, 2020 - 9:32pm

yep. there's a self selection bias for sure for people that get in those programs and people overlook and don't notice this. nothing you can really do about it to combat but network hard. can't replace hard work most times so push hard.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 11:38pm

If you did not apply for a diversity sophomore internship, do you still have a chance when applying for a normal junior one?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 29, 2020 - 11:50pm

Very true. Everyone I know at my school and my business frat who got an offer through diversity recruiting were full tuition paying internationals or went to some boarding/private catholic school and come from an at the very least well off background. Diversity programs honestly aren't even looking for hispanic/black who grew up with challenges. They WANT minority kids who grew up accustomed to their Caucasian, private school, Ivy league culture who wear Patagonia every day.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 30, 2020 - 11:18pm

I went through diversity recruiting with a bank and never got asked a single technical. got the offer. I don't know if this is the case for everyone, it may have been because my resume is pretty stacked (not to toot my own horn) so they know I know my shit.

  • Intern in Other
May 1, 2020 - 1:45pm

I got multiple sophomore offers, and while you are right that some banks clearly don't hold sophomores to the same standard as juniors, others clearly do. I vividly remember that one diversity superday I went to was so bad that another candidate admitted to googling "What is investment banking?" in the Uber on the way there. She didn't get the offer, but still. The firm I ended up at sent sophomores to junior superdays with junior candidates and would only hire you if you got the job through the same process as everyone else. I got the offer because I correctly answered the technicals that juniors sitting next to me missed, and that's how it should be. Nobody went easy on me, and I appreciated it immensely. Aside from the fact that it was the "best" offer I got, being held to the same standard was part of the reason I took it. I worked just as hard as everyone else and don't want to be looked down upon amongst my own peers. While I benefitted from being able to enter IB a year earlier and gain extremely valuable experience, I was also often disadvantaged by the outside perception that I don't deserve my offer. For a year in college, I can remember countless comments like "You just got it because you're _____" or "lol but it isn't like you really deserved it." Come next recruiting cycle, I kicked ass, and a lot of those people got absolutely nothing. It wasn't because I don't look like them. I'm not sure people here would find that "exploiting diversity programs" would allow them to get a top offer with any greater ease, and if they found their way into "lesser" offers easily, that also comes with the idea that they don't deserve to be there.

May 2, 2020 - 6:09am

I went to a very exclusive business school in Europe, and I applied for internships/ jobs and wasn't even called in for interviews, then a friend who worked in one of the companies told me it was because I was: non native, and a woman. And my university had a diversity program, but only a couple of girls would get selected (low 60%, I had a 87%) and their fathers knew MDs at those companies.
Led me to be immensely frustrated and negative the whole time I was there. I left the country soon after. Also one of the female partners rejected my application for a lunch, saying there were no places, whereas invites went out to the white men a week later, I was the only non native female to apply. So hey,my recommendation: abuse the program if you can!

May 3, 2020 - 8:49pm

If you're going to lie about anything lie about your race. They literally don't check it, and plenty of white people claim that they're 12.5% or 25% Hispanic / Black despite never having faced discrimination their entire life.

On applications it clearly says "regardless of race, or ethnicity". Let's be honest, these banks don't actually give a shit about helping underprivileged candidates, they just want positive PR associated with racial quotas. If they actually cared about helping under-represented people they'd donate all the money they use on promoting diversity to actually developing schools and teacher wages on the South Side of Chicago. I doubt giving a minority student that went to Exeter / Andover a job is actually providing diversity of thought to the workplace.

With that being said, I am an Asian / East Asian candidate who easily could have gotten away with lying about race / sexuality. I chose not to because it was a matter of integrity, and I strongly believed that I could have gotten an offer over any diverse candidate that went to HYPSW despite my demographic. If you're willing to bend the rules and your integrity, go right ahead, no one can stop you from self-identifying as Hispanic or Black.

If you truly believe that you were dis-privileged while growing up, may as well as bend the rules to help you advance your career, nothing wrong with that in my book.

Jan 19, 2021 - 7:32pm

     Unfortunately, I've seen this this sentiment on WSO before. . . I am sure that some people have lied on their job, school, etc., applications in the hopes of gaining an advantage, and I am sure that there is a non-zero number of those people who have been "successful" in the sense that they were not caught in their lie. But I am willing to bet that if you could (somehow) ask anyone who has "gotten away with" lying about bisexual, they would invariably tell you it was a mistake. Let me try to make the case, (to anyone bat-shit crazy enough to seriously consider this), that you should not under any circumstances try to gain an advantage by claiming bisexuality -  not because I am some overly sensitive bi dude telling you to "check your privilege" so I can "hop the line" in front of you, not even because doing so is morally bankrupt and unethical, but simply because it has a highly suboptimal risk-reward profile. 

Gather round monkeys, its time for a long, hard suckle at the sour teat of reality: Take. A. Look. At. This. Thread.

    Are you really ready for everyone to "wonder" if you're just here as a token when you're trying to build your career? This is the world you're entering - a world where you will be given a chip on your shoulder if you identify in this way, because people will never know whether you are there on merit or because of some woefully misguided bureaucratic hiring goal. I have worked extremely hard, and taken immense risk in my career. As result, I have risen through the ranks faster than many of my peers. If come out at work or at school, etc., my blood, sweat, and tears could be greatly diminished in the eyes of others. Perhaps this isn't enough to convince you, so I digress.

    Most non-LGBT individuals understand the obvious consequences of lying about something like this - they are the same consequences that result from lying about any part of your personal history - however, being out as bisexual (or trans, for that matter) carries with it additional downsides. Let me elaborate:

     Comments like this remind me just how little people on the outside understand the dynamics of the LGBT community, and lead me to believe non-LGBT individuals do not understand how much biphobia exists inside the LGBTQ community itself, or how it impacts you if you identify this way.

     As a bisexual male, I am always mindful of the possibility that people will view me as inauthentic, not because they believe I am vying some perceived "diversity benefit", but because I am "really just gay" and afraid to "come all the way out of the closet". If you're not aware, this sentiment exists (in part) because unfortunately, due to the historic misunderstanding of, and xenophobia surrounding non-heterosexual identities, many gay, lesbian, trans, etc., individuals do use my orientation as a sort of "stepping stone" in their coming out journey - a layover, if you will, at the "Bisexuals International Airport" (lol) instead of a direct flight. Many of members of the community who identify as one of the other letters once identified as my letter. On top of this, some people are uncertain of their sexuality and identify as bisexual while they are exploring only to re-identify as straight later in life. While I take no objection to this, many members of the community have invested in relationships with people like this, and "gotten burned" when the person in question discovers their true preference. These dynamics (and others) are driving forces behind what I like to think of as "biphobia lite" - it is a given, and can be relatively powerful or relatively harmless depending on who wields it. If you lie about being bisexual, there is a high probability that you will encounter this from at least one person at the organization you are trying to join. This means that on top of the fact that whoever is reviewing your application might: 

     (A) resent you because they feel they are granting you unjustified admittance in the name of box-ticking,

     (B) be truly, consciously homophobic, and on top of viewing you in a negative light because of their beliefs, have a new reason to hate you because you are a living example of how society is increasingly structured to increase the proliferation of a "lifestyle" they feel deeply and sincerely, is wrong (btw, vehimately homophobic people will not see you as different from any other LGTXYZ1234 category).

You now have completely new buckets of people to worry about:

     (C) LGTQ+ individuals who negatively associate you with internalized homophobia that they either experienced themselves, or that they feel is holding back the community from achieving authenticity and acceptance, and

     (D) non-LGBTQ+ Hiring Managers/Adcoms/etc., who view you as being less "brave" or "authentic" as as other LGT applicants.

Get ready, here's another kicker - no one cares that you're bi.

     If you're straight and you don't believe me (and you don't hate LGBT individuals), lets conduct a short experiment.

     First, take a quick look at this fact sheet on LGBT progress You can probably look at these trends and feel some semblance of positivity. Perhaps you can gather a sense that humanity is progressing on the social front. But I suspect that despite that feeling, you can also recognize in yourself an implicit understanding that, even though you are a human, this human progress is not really yours, and that you are looking at numerical evidence of improvements in the life experience of other people.

     Even though I am a god-damned letter holding member of the diversity alphabet soup club, I would be lying if I told you that more often than not, I feel the same way. How could this be? Why would this be?

     "Surely", you must think, "biotechnerd is just an overly-sensitive, gay man masquerading as bisexual, trying to trick me into letting him keep his advantages!".

     Well, lets test that theory. Take a look at the best LGBTQ+ "best colleges for LGBT students" - lets check out UPenn:

Like other top colleges for LGBTQ+ students, Penn publishes a newsletter that focuses on gay, lesbian, and transgender issues on campus. Through its LGBT Center, the university delivers an array of social and educational events. Offerings include the Staff Tea Time, where Penn employees connected to the LGBTQ+ community can check in and share resiliency strategies.

     Obviously I am cherry picking here, but take my word for it, if you do the research, if you read about LGBT issues, you'll find out It's spelled: "L-G-B-T-Q-I-A-p-l-u-s" but the "B" is silent.  To many people you are simply "second class gay". 

     At this point, I'd like to take a step back and be unequivocal: The majority of people in the LGBTQIABCRSTUVXYZ community are accepting. Unfortunately for you, (who remember, is weighing the positives and negatives of lying about being bisexual), there is just enough negative sentiment to tip the value scale against you. Nevertheless, some adcoms or hiring managers will view you as equal, you will get some type of bump - just enough for you to "stick it" to some other "dead pan white guy And here, my morally bankrupt friend, is where the shit hits the fan. 

    Whether we are talking about an MBA program, or an eLiTe UnDeRgRaD degree, or a job at a fancy, selective employer, I would estimate that no less than 30% of the value you extract from being part of the club is the network. This means that you don't have to just lie for 2 years while you're at Harvard, you have to either maintain that lie for the rest of your life with everyone you meet because in the global, virtual economy, the world (and moreover, your industry) is actually quite small, or come up with another way to lie out of your lie. Either way, to be honest, I don't see you getting out of this without some same-sex action to cover your tracks without it, you'll run the risk of: confirming the biases of some of the LGBT individuals that I described above (an incur their scorn), stirring up suspicion that you lied which reflects negatively on your character, looking like a coward who is afraid to express their true self, etcetera, etcetera - in the vast majority of outcomes, you will alienate your network.

Just my 2 cents.

tbh, can't to see the day that an official story about someone lying their way into an elite career/university etc., hits the press. It will be a disaster.  

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 16, 2021 - 4:21am

shut up man stop being a fucking snowflake, you're way too fucking sensitive literally most people dgaf you're just there to mark off a quota so stfu

May 4, 2020 - 3:49pm

Really sad that people would offer this advice and that others might heed it. If you think that these programs give an unfair advantage to groups that have been marginalized and essentially barred from high finance historically, you need to get out of your bubble and meet more people to understand their lived experiences. Everyone should use the resources that are available to them, but abusing diversity programs is pretty depraved.

May 8, 2020 - 2:53am

Don't know why this got down voted- I believe people may be down voting because they simply do not understand the experiences of others. I completely agree with your comment.

May 4, 2020 - 4:10pm

If you read the comments above it's pretty clear that the straight white dude that summers in the Hamptons has not room to be complaining. However, the people on this forum that are the children of immigrants have every right to try and take advantage of these programs. Most immigrants kids have extremely high expectations in-order to justify the sacrifices their parents make, and basically giving 12% of candidates handouts to 75% of jobs basically screws the non-HYPSW that doesn't come from money over.

The rich white dude who'd dad is a partner at GS / BX is going to get his job regardless of diversity recruiting. Thankfully I was able to break in given my qualifications and background, but if someone was on the border to slipping through the cracks, particularly an Asian Candidate who still faced discrimination growing up but wasn't able to snag a 4.0 GPA / 36 ACT / 2400 SAT, I wouldn't blame them one bit for stretching the truth in order to take advantage of diversity recruiting.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 4, 2020 - 4:26pm


Stop your bitching, child. If you aren't good enough to make it, don't blame the minority programs that help others get in. If you have to blame someone other than yourself, you probably never had the chops to make it in the first place.

Not to mention, your argument is clearly misconstrued - "diversity" hires (black, women are less than 10-20% of the actual SA/FT hires in most BB IB programs. Look at any analyst group on LinkedIn - or better yet, ask HR directly - and you can confirm this. The bigger issue - and one you clearly seem to be avoiding - is how nepotism gets people roles... in my experience there are much, much more of that going on than specifically diversity. The argument of the rich black or the rich immigrant is a huge red herring to your argument - they do exist, I'll give you that, but it's fallacious to assume that this represents more than a fraction of them.

You have to realize that it is possible to add opportunity for marginalized groups without simultaneously detracting opportunity for other groups. In other words, you aren't losing your IB opportunity because of someone else. Just find a way to stand out some other way. Sheesh.

  • Business School in PE - LBOs
May 4, 2020 - 8:28pm

edit old post was probably too specific.

I've seen examples of hiring, promotion, extra training (e.g. firm paid one-on-one modeling training), and pay decisions made where white women are given the advantage vs 1st/2nd gen non white immigrants. Explicitly citing demographics as the reason in internal discussions (verbal).

Since resources are scarce, giving a resource to one party necessarily means taking it away from another.

  • 3
May 5, 2020 - 12:31am

As I already mentioned in a previous comment, I already started my career in a BB bank out of a semi-target state school, so I actually was able to break in on merit alone and was also a top-bucket analyst every year of my analyst stint.

Also because you clearly didn't hear, Goldman / JPM / Citi / Evercore / Barclays have literally implemented a 50% gender quota. The fact that banks are trying to implement a 50% gender quota along with URM quotas in such a short period of time (diversity recruiting basically started in 2015) ABSOLUTELY screws over the majority of Asian / 1st generation candidates. Most people who were raised by immigrants weren't brought up on the "Frat Bro Culture" and therefore don't quality for the "fit" bucket either.

The main people who benefit from these initiatives are White Woman and URM that went to Exeter. Not to mention the white kids who claim that they're 1/4 Black or Hispanic when they are white as snow and only speak 1 language. When all you SJW Liberals are willing to have a civilized conversation without calling people with differing views "bigots / racists / xenophobes" we can then begin to address the concept of Equal Opportunity without pursuing Equal Results

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 5, 2020 - 1:46am

No disrespect was intended bruv, so please, don't get your panties in a twist calling a stranger a "liberal SJW" and assume I'm calling you racist. Relax and consider your own comment about civil conversation. Most of my comment was more of an open letter to the energy of blatant ignorance that I've seen in this thread.

I mostly agree on the woman part. Wealthy white women have it pretty easy in life, no doubt. But this does not conflict with my argument that the "wealthy URM abusing these programs" concept is a complete straw man. This is not the majority case, as much as you may believe from an outsiders perspective.

There is also no good way to filter for income background. I agree that this disadvantages low income Asian and white Americans. But this is not the point. Until something significantly changes, racial diversity will be used as a proxy for income diversity in this country because that's how this socioeconomic system was set up. While this system is imperfect, AS A WHOLE, it works better than any alternative at giving equal access opportunity.


  • Incoming Analyst in PE - LBOs
May 4, 2020 - 10:48pm

The issue of diversity programs is incredibly complex and rooted in good intentions. I don't think we would see nearly as many complaints about them if they helped funnel mostly underprivileged students who didn't grow up in the Wall Street pipeline into entry level roles.

Unfortunately, people only see the abuse in the system when some vaguely Hispanic kid from Miami whose parents clear $1mm+ a year get the internship instead of themselves.

For example, at my school, 2 kids in the business program both got into an MBB interview process because for being "Spanish" and applying though the MBBs diversity program that gave them an interview for a summer program with a fast tracked offer. Both justified it to themselves because of a great-grandparent that came to the US from Spain. MBB never even remotely looked into it. As long as they clicked the correct button on their application, it was an URM in the eyes of HR. Neither spoke Spanish. One got an offer...

I'm sure every undergraduate poster on WSO knows someone who did this, thus tainting this forum's view on these programs. If I were some Asian/Indian/white kid who grinded my dick off for 4 yrs in HS and 4 yrs in college just to watch someone abuse the system and get an offer when I didn't get one, I'd be pretty salty too. The system is so full of abuse (this post literally calls for it) and hence people hate it.

May 5, 2020 - 12:37am

The real legends of diversity recruiting are the people who claim to be Hispanic via being descendants of people from Spain / Italy. For those of you who don't know, SPANIARDS LITERALLY INVENTED MODERN SLAVERY AND THE TRIANGULAR SLAVE TRADE.

  • Associate 2 in Acct - Other
May 5, 2020 - 6:11am

I find it strange that household income and whether or not you're a first gen college student aren't the major factors in recruiting.

Perhaps I'm biased in this regard, though. Coming from a single parent household who's mother has worked a checkout her whole life, I don't know if family income makes a difference or not. I've worked my way to a 4.0 and am slowly getting to where I want to go, but I can't say how much easier studies and job applications would be (if at all) coming from a more wealthy family.

May 5, 2020 - 2:35am

I will add though, one thing to consider is that representation is important. It can be pretty intimidating as an URM to enter an information session that is dominated by white people. Even if some of the African Americans hired by a bank come from privileged backgrounds, they still help with representation. When a URM walks into an info session and see bankers that are also URM, they think "hey if he can do it, so can I".

As an URM, I love seeing my race on TV shows and movies...the representation really helps with self-confidence.

May 5, 2020 - 6:28pm

Just a horrific and racist argument. Should we enact a diversity system for Asian and Whites in the NBA & NFL? Should we enact a diversity program for Asians to be fast tracked into hip-hop music labels.

Stop separating on the basis of skin color, and start evaluating on the basis of merit. I guarantee in the long run we will see positive results.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 6, 2021 - 11:51am


It can be pretty intimidating as an URM to enter an information session that is dominated by white people. 

It is more intimidating for a white person to walk through many URM neighborhoods. Check the statistics on interracial crime, it's not even close to parity.

As an URM, I love seeing my race on TV shows and movies...the representation really helps with self-confidence.

How fucking shallow are you that you can't feel right in the head unless TV shows cater to you?

May 6, 2020 - 4:18pm

Let's be honest, here are the real champions of Diversity recruiting, enjoy:

1) Blonde girls from Greenwich Connecticut who are legacies to Exeter / Harvard
2) White men who are coincidentally "12.5% - 25% Black / Native American" despite looking like a bowl of Milk
3) People who self-selected to immigrate to the U.S from Africa (Not Historically discriminated against)
4) Descendants of people from Spain / Laos / Portugal who claim to be "Hispanic" (FYI SPANIARD LITERALLY INVENTED THE MODERN TRIANGULAR SLAVE TRADE)

May 8, 2020 - 3:43pm

No one will ever choose to listen to you man because it doesn't fit their narrative. Listen, everyone knows the system is fucked, it doesn't take a phd to recognize that. 'Diversity' means fuck all in the corporate hiring practices, its just an HR/management ploy to brag how welcoming and open they are and throw a few women and black people on their recruiting brochure. Nothing about advocating for hiring on the basis of merit is racist even though thats the only argument the SJWs can make. Everyone is in agreement that we should strive to cast the hiring net as wide as possible to attract top talent at the end of the day, but the current quota system is bias, racist, and simply ineffective.

May 19, 2020 - 9:21pm

Again, I doubt banks actually check anything. I know dudes that are whiter than Skim milk who literally haven't faced a lick of discrimination in their life that get diversity privileges from being 12.5% black.

Ultimately this comes down to your self-integrity. Thankfully, even though I had to face many life barriers myself (brown /yellow skin, 1st generation college, immigrant parents, don't practice Christianity etc.), I was able to reach the qualifications needed to break into the street without bending the rules. Again this didn't come easy and I worked extremely hard to reach the necessary qualifications.

To be completely honest here, if I had a 3.30/4.00 GPA and the cutoff was a strict 3.50/4.00 I would be HEAVILY tempted to lie on my race / sexuality. Especially when SEO / MLT programs send kids into top groups with a 3.1/3.00 every year.

Jul 5, 2020 - 2:34pm

I get what you're saying. As an LGBT low income first gen Asian woman, I've always viewed my "diversity" as a huge advantage when it came to recruiting. If it weren't for the diversity programs, I probably wouldn't have too much of a shot because the fact is IB has always been a straight white male dominated field. People gravitate towards hiring people who are similar to themselves and most leadership in banks are straight white males. Just like MDs sons leverage their relationship, I'm sure as hell going to leverage my diversity. I totally agree that low income/first gen white males have it the worst when it comes to recruiting.

Jul 20, 2020 - 7:49am

Is being bisexual really helpful to get an internship or it's not diverse enough to increase your chances? Where do they draw the line in the LGBTQ population where they start to give opportunities to people that don't really deserve it?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 20, 2020 - 8:52am

By thinking that the LGBT community would discriminate against people who are bisexual, that's pretty biphobic of you. Bierasure is already a huge problem within the community - why would you say that they're giving opportunities to kids that don't deserve it? Why wouldn't it be diverse enough? The B in LGBT literally stands for bisexual, it's not LGT...

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 6, 2021 - 11:50am

Fuck diversity. No other serious country deliberately handicaps itself like this. It seems to be a burden that only Westerners are supposed to bear. "Diversity is our strength". Bullshit, it is a source of conflict. Diverse countries always end up as violent, divisive shitholes where tribal politics rule the day, such as India, South Africa, Brazil, Northern Ireland, or pre-collapse Yugoslavia. Point out a successful multicultural society in the history of mankind and I'll eat my shoe. Really the only long-term solutions to multiculturalism and diversity are either a rigid hierarchy/caste system (India, South Africa) or ethnic separation (Balkans).

Before you monkeyshit me, if you are a URM, ask yourself this: would you be okay with your country of origin deliberately sabotaging the success of its population in favor of a bunch of foreigners? Would you be fine with China giving lower qualification standards to non-Chinese? They are barely containing their Uighurs as it is.

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:03pm

My main problem with diversity hiring is two things (1) so many of the diversity candidates aren't even passionate about the role. They don't prep technicals, and they will most likely be bottom performers or leave prematurely when the going gets rough. (2) Atleast half the representation from the diversity programs literally comes from liars. People who are not, and should not be counted as diversity (i.e rich women, 12% black, fake gay).. 

Jan 19, 2021 - 9:04pm

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  • Intern in Research - Other
Jan 19, 2021 - 9:45pm

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
May 4, 2021 - 5:13pm

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