Bridgewater Associates may love Dartmouth College, but that feeling is not reciprocated by everybody at the Ivy League school.
One undergraduate raced to the barricades after, as he claimed, "a friend told me that Bridgewater Associates paid her $100 to explain why she didn't participate in sophomore summer recruiting."
"The sheer arrogance and senselessness of this anecdote made me sick to my stomach, partly because, as planned, the exercise made her second guess her choice," rising senior Andrew Lohse wrote in a guest column for the school's student newspaper, The Dartmouth. "But I had to admit there was a certain conceited logic to it—if this company can pay her $100 just to explain why she did not want to work for them, it’s easy to imagine how much cash she could rake in if she decided to pursue the job."
The Bridgewater episode, after Lohse was "done vomiting in my mouth," led to the broadsheet screed, which accuses "the recruiting culture [that] has permeated our College" of having "siphoned off some of our great minds into a dead-end field that sanitizes the intellect, offers almost nothing to human society, and conditions people to act in ways that are decidedly inhuman." And Lohse probably hasn't even read Bridgewater's 295 principles in between picking up felony charges for allegedly using cocaine at his (now former) fraternity.
The only problem, according to Bridgewater co-CEO Greg Jensen, himself a Dartmouth alum, is that Lohse's friend was never paid $100 to explain why she didn't want to work at the hedge fund—at least, not exactly.
Jensen said that Bridgewater actually ran three focus groups on Dartmouth's Hanover, N.H., campus "to solicit opinions of upperclassmen as to how they thought about their career options," as well as whether they "had an accurate picture of Bridgewater and whether there were better ways for us to find high-quality talent on campus," he wrote in a letter to the editor published today in The Dartmouth.
"No one at these sessions was asked to write out statements; instead, the sessions were 90-minute conversations among the group," Jensen wrote. "We value people's time and so as a thank you for the time devoted and the opinions shared, we gave each student a gift card worth $100."