Former Zuccotti Park Protester Now Working On Wall Street

I believe this is an example of what you call irony:

She’s gone from Occupy Wall Street to occupying a job on Wall Street.

Down-on-her-luck protester Tracy Postert spent 15 days washing sidewalks and making sandwiches at Zuccotti Park — then landed a dream job at a Financial District investment firm thanks to a high-powered passer-by who offered her work.

“I never thought I would be doing this,” Postert admitted to The Post.

The Upper West Sider, who has a Ph.D. in biomedical science specializing in pharmacology, was unemployed and had all but given up on finding work in her preferred field of academia when she joined the movement in October.

She held signs that read, “Reagan sucks,” and, “I’ll vote after the revolution.”

But she said she still needed to get a real job. So she made a new sign.

On the front, she wrote, “Ph.D. Biomedical Scientist seeking full time employment,” and on the back, “Ask me for my resume.”

It caught the eye of Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst for John Thomas Financial Brokerage. The exec wasn’t looking to hire, but he took Postert’s résumé anyway.

That was Oct. 22, Postert’s Day 10 as an Occupier.

The next day, Kaufman, impressed by her CV, sent her an e-mail asking if she’d like to come for an interview.

It wasn’t far — only two blocks from Zuccotti Park at 14 Wall St.

“I had been unemployed for so long, I thought why not?” said Postert, adding that she is in her 30s and has no background in finance or business.

Her last paying job was as a lab assistant at Touro College making $2,500 for the one semester she worked there, she said.

Kaufman offered her a job as a junior analyst evaluating medical companies as potential investments.

Postert said the decision to accept was painful.

But practicality won out.

The starting salary as a junior analyst is near minimum wage, but in time, she can earn a cool six figures, assured Kaufman.

Postert has now just completed her third week as a Wall Street geek.

She’s already studying for her exams to be a certified financial analyst.

“I want to get a perfect score,” she said.

No value judgment on Postert. I’d take the job myself if I were in her position, and it sounds like a great opportunity for a new career. One wonders what her former Occupy Wall Street comrades think, though.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    She’s covertly occupying wall street…from the inside.

  2. Herb says:

    “One wonders what her former Occupy Wall Street comrades think, though.”

    Here’s an idea: “Mission accomplished?”

    Especially considering this part:

    adding that she is in her 30s and has no background in finance or business.

    And yet Wayne Kaufman was willing to give her a chance anyway……Smell that? That’s American opportunity.

    Kudos to Wayne Kaufman for being part of the solution and not the problem.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    One wonders what her former Occupy Wall Street comrades think, though.

    Probably making new signs and updating their resumes.

  4. john personna says:

    Good for her, though the “starting salary as a junior analyst near minimum wage” shows the “churn ’em and burn ’em” risk. Still, aiming for 100% on her CFA exams shows that she’s a contender.

  5. There was a time when getting your foot in the door with the hope of working yourself up was considered a good thing. Given that she’s starting out in a field pretty far removed from her field of study, I’d say she’s doing okay at the moment.

  6. john personna says:

    As an aside, it may not be exactly “irony.”

    The financial system should be just large enough, and just smart enough, to allocate capital wisely. Having a PhD review biomedical companies seems appropriate for that sensible goal.

    That is not at all the same as special dispensation for, sweetheart deals for, the 1%.

    Did you see the recent quote on back door financing for the banksters?

    The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

    That is what OWS is about, not reading the fine print on medical companies’ technology claims.

  7. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If you’ve been around you know what “churn ‘em and burn ‘em” means on the hiring side. My friends weathered years at accounting and similar firms. Those often run on a raft of “entry level” workers, to be cycled out for a new set the next year.

    Some small percentage do beat the odds, but the thing outsiders may not know is that the cut is harsh. Say 10:1 or worse against making it to those six figure salaries. After all, new Biomedical PhDs are being minted as we speak.

    As I say though, it sounds like she is playing the game hard, which will improve her odds.

  8. mattb says:

    @Doug Mataconis

    There was a time when getting your foot in the door with the hope of working yourself up was considered a good thing. Given that she’s starting out in a field pretty far removed from her field of study, I’d say she’s doing okay at the moment.

    No offense, but on this topic you really don’t know what you are talking about. This sort of hiring isn’t all that strange in the financial industry, and this isn’t a case of someone jumping into a position over other candidates who are working their way “up.”

    The fact is, when it comes to hiring analysts, most “Wall Street” firms don’t typically care too much about the specific degree (though in this case there’s no question it helped) but are more focused on the educational pedigree.

    Well into the early 2000’s, if you graduated from one of a number of east cost colleges such as Princeton or Harvard, there was a good chance of getting an analysts job regardless of your field of study. Advanced degrees did improve ones chances if they were from outside schools.

    Karen Ho dedicates an entire chapter to these somewhat weird hiring practices in her book “Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street”.

  9. John P says:

    @john personna: When you think about it though a 10% shot at a six figure salary puts you ahead of the curve. How many folks get that opportunity?

  10. Ernieyeball says:

    “Postert said the decision to accept was painful.”

    I would think pain would be continuing unemployment, food stamps, welfare, eviction and living in a box on the street.
    For her to take this offer guilt free is a no brainer.

  11. john personna says:

    @John P:

    How many people with STEM PhDs need to take that gamble? I’d hope not many.

  12. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That was before the days when employers realized that the new “employment at will” model permitted them to hire people at minimum wage and terminate them the day before their raise anniversary date. Since then, “coming in on the ground floor” hasn’t worked out as well for many of us.

    Just the same, I hope that this works out well for her and that her new boss is a good employer and not just another libertarian “creator” looking to profit off of the work of another “parasite.”:

  13. irony! says:

    what a stupid liberal amirite fellas

  14. PogueMahone says:

    The next day, Kaufman, impressed by her CV, sent her an e-mail asking if she’d like to come for an interview.

    And then thought… ‘should I call the Times or the Post.”