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Weiser's Sandwich Guy Story Garnished with Fabrication

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December 12, 2008

If you're any type of news junkie, most likely you've heard the story regarding the unemployed investment banker with the MIT degree who flanked himself in a sandwich board, parading on New York's Park Avenue this summer, bearing his credentials. The economy being the way it is, the media was all over him – and not surprisingly – when he finally landed a job at Weiser LLP, an accounting firm in New York, credit was given to his antics to sensationalize the story, instead of his resume.

Turns out, Joshua Persky, the formally unemployed, had been working with an executive search firm and his resume was picked up by Elliot Ogulnick, Weiser's director of business valuation and corporate finance, after his summer circus on the street. Ogulnick said he had been looking for someone of Persky's caliber for some time. The recruiter told Ogulnick about Persky's personal blog documenting his job hunting process but didn't really realize the scope of Persky's Park Avenue dramatics until he saw it reported in the news. Though he was initially deterred, Ogulnick interviewed Persky in October and Persky adhered to a rigorous month-long process that included several meetings and a writing sample.

Joshua Persky (right) made headlines for his creative approach to job hunting - though he really landed his current position at Weiser LLP in New York through an executive search firm. (Cindy Kohll photo)

Ogulnick also said he's had to repeatedly tell news outlets that he found Persky the old-fashioned way- through a search firm – and not by his creative strategy.

"I thought it was very innovative," Ogulnick told Accounting Tomorrow of his new hire, who has been on the job for two weeks as a senior manager within the Business Valuation/Corporate Finance Group. "[However] I wasn't impressed by it. It didn't lure me to him, but I give him credit for what he did. He got hired because of his merits."

Persky's sandwich board stated the message, "Experienced MIT Grad For Hire," and his actions have drawn emails from around the world on his blog, Oracle of NY.

"For us, our competence is accounting, audit and tax and to be able to attract talent like this is a reflection of the firm," Ogulnick said. "It's been humbling for a lot of folks on Wall Street and there are a lot of fallen angels or hidden treasures out there that we might not have been able to attract before."

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