The Running of the Bulls: Inside the Cutthroat Race from Wharton to Wall Street

Nicole Ridgway, Author
Nicole Ridgway, Author Gotham Books $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-59240-125-3
Paperback - 299 pages - 978-1-59240-216-8
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Wharton, the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, has a glamorous reputation that is fueled in part by illustrious alumni, like Donald Trump and Ronald Perelman, and Forbes reporter Ridgway makes a big deal of its prominence. The institution's distinction, however, does not rub off onto Ridgway's undistinguished account of the 2003-2004 academic year. She follows six seniors as they make their way through the corporate recruitment process while completing their degrees. Though she tries to make everything sound special (it happened at Wharton!), what she lays out is a series of generic experiences-from internships to interviews to job offers-that could have taken place at any business school. The students themselves present a limited range of high-achieving personalities, and since there's never any doubt that they'll be able to find jobs, Ridgway is unable to infuse their stories with any real dramatic tension. What might have made an interesting magazine article proves too thin when stretched to book length. Wharton officials are bound to love it, though-there's barely any acknowledgment that other business schools exist, or any substantial challenge to the school's prestige.
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