On the first day of his internship, Indiana junior cornerback Bruce Hampton stood in the middle of the trading floor, absorbing a scene that was a total sensory overload.
Everywhere Hampton turned, he saw stock tickers and TVs turned to Bloomberg News or CNBC. A soundtrack of screaming suits filled the room. Desks were packed in next to one another, each accompanied by four computer screens and a phone with several lines. When announcements came across a loudspeaker, the room fell silent, only to spin into action again.
At first, the view inside the JPMorgan office in midtown Manhattan overwhelmed Hampton, but there were familiar elements. He was accustomed to high-pressure platforms. He knew how to read and react. Most important, he had experienced constant competition.
“You go to practice every day in football; everyone’s fighting for a job,” Hampton said. “No one wants to sit there and not play. It’s the same here. People are trying to impress the managers, they’re staying late, coming in early, doing little things to try to make themselves known.
“As an athlete, that’s where it plays into my hand.”
If Hampton plays his cards right, he’ll have two jobs locked up by the end of the summer: a starting spot in Indiana’s defensive backfield and a full-time position as an investment banker with JPMorgan.