The trials of a young woman interning on Wall Street.
Godiwalla reveals what initially drove her from the suburbs of Houston to seek her fortune in one of the most high-stress, male-dominated work environments on the planet. The third child in a family of exceptionally bright, hardworking daughters, Godiwalla was raised by her first-generation Persian-Indian parents with the expectation that she would excel in school. Wishing to distinguish herself from her sisters, the author looked to Wall Street as the sole means to earning her father’s respect: “I became fixated on the idea that money would not only allow me to live by my own rules but also, down the road, win the love of my father, who was still in awe of the American dream—wealth and prestige.” And so the straight-A student set off for Wall Street, becoming the sole freshman from the University of Texas to undertake a summer internship at JP Morgan, where she quickly learned to lose “anything Southern or middle class.” Undaunted by the exclusive world of finance, Godiwalla returned to New York City the summer of her junior year to participate in Morgan Stanley’s highly selective Scholars program for minorities, which gave her access to the ultra-elite, high-powered world of Corporate Finance along with a six-figure salary to help pay off her student loans. It was here that the author found the horrifyingly sexist and classist environment untenably soul numbing. As with many tales of personal reformation, the real story—how Godiwalla walked away from Wall Street and eventually achieved her other dream of getting married—remains unexplored and is only hinted at in the end papers.
An intriguing but incomplete outsider’s tale of lethal ambition.