Impact of Anti-Israel Protests on Career Prospects, Particularly in Finance

The rise in protests against Israel on college campuses could hurt students’ chances of getting a job, especially on Wall Street.

“We have seen offers revoked from candidates who have been publicly recognized, especially through social media, for controversial behavior and engaging in hate speech,” said Emily Levine, executive vice president at Career Group Companies.

Levine also mentioned that companies have fired employees for joining non-peaceful protests. Protests against Israel have been happening at Columbia, New York University, Yale, the University of Michigan, and the University of Southern California.

Some protests have led schools like Columbia to switch to online classes for the rest of the semester and forced USC to cancel its main graduation ceremony.

Police have been called to campuses to break up some protests, resulting in arrests.

Companies have revoked offers due to controversial behavior, including participation in protests. (Credits: iStock)

Pro-Palestinian students are protesting against the attacks on Gaza, which have caused tens of thousands of civilian deaths. At the same time, some Jewish students, especially at Columbia, say they no longer feel safe.

According to Gary Goldstein, CEO of the Whitney Group, law firms, and Wall Street are sensitive to aggressive protests.

“It’s one thing to be involved in a peaceful protest where you’re debating political issues like abortion or women’s rights. … Those are the types of discussions you can have a public point of view on,” Goldstein said and added “When you start getting involved in something that involves genocide or accusing people of genocide or the extinction of a state, you’ve crossed the line,” per a report from Fox Business.

The conflict began in early October when Hamas attacked Gaza, killing over 1,100 Israelis and kidnapping over 200, some of whom are still hostages. The Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health claims over 30,000 Palestinians have died, but the Biden administration disputes this figure, saying Hamas doesn’t distinguish between soldiers and civilians.

Social media activity can affect job opportunities, leading to offers being withdrawn. (Credits: iStock)

Goldstein pointed out that working for big companies like those on Wall Street means you’re in the public eye, and your actions reflect on the company.

“If you’re not comfortable with that, you shouldn’t work for them,” Goldstein said. He praised companies like Google for firing employees who took part in sit-in protests. However, Brianna Rooney, CEO of TalentPerch, criticized executives for being biased towards candidates.

This bias will come back to haunt them. People should be free to stand up for what they believe in unless they’re causing chaos, Rooney said. Integrity and staying true to yourself shouldn’t be sacrificed to get a job.

She urged employers and job seekers to respect each other’s differences.

While Rooney doesn’t think these protests will ruin someone’s resume, she warned that potential employers look at social media posts, so people should be careful what they share online.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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