While admission to the conference is free, the catch for participants, who come from universities round the world, is that they are selected by a student committee on the basis of their academic credentials and experience in the sector – most have done internships in banks or hedge funds.

Christina Li, president of Olin Business School's council at Washington University, runs a “road trip” taking 40 paying students to meet companies including Deloitte, JPMorgan and Google. She agrees that competition for places will increase as the recession takes hold.
华盛顿大学(Washington University)奥林商学院(Olin Business School)学生委员会主席克里斯蒂娜•李(Christina Li)组织了一次“公司之旅”,带领40名自付旅费的学生与包括德勤(Deloitte)、摩根大通(JPMorgan)和谷歌(Google)在内的公司会面。她认为,随着经济衰退站稳脚跟,对这类活动名额的争夺将更加激烈。

For the companies recruiting graduates, student-led events are extremely attractive. Randall Dillard, director at Liongate Capital Management, one of AIC's sponsors,says: “It's much more cost-effective for companies to attend this conference than get their HR staff to trek round the universities on the milk round.”
对那些招聘大学毕业生的公司而言,由学生牵头的活动极具吸引力。另类投资会议的赞助者之一、Liongate Capital Management的主管兰德尔•迪拉德(Randall Dillard)表示:“与让公司人力资源部员工长途跋涉展开校园巡回招聘相比,参加这种招聘会对公司来说更具成本效益。”

Gordon Chesterman, director of Cambridge University Careers Service, agrees that some companies are less likely to be active this year when it comes to recruiting graduates.
剑桥大学职业服务(Cambridge University Careers Service)主管戈登•切斯特曼(Gordon Chesterman)认为,在招聘大学毕业生方面,一些公司今年不太可能表现得很积极。

“We're working hard at getting companies to advertise with us. In better times, they would come to us but now we have to knock on their doors. It's not that we're able to make a job out of nothing; it's just that they don't think, if they've got three jobs on offer instead of 20, it's worth coming in and doing a presentation.”

Student events are more than just a way to cut costs. They provide companies with a chance to identify future stars. Mr Dillard explains his involvement in the AIC as a way to attract the best talent. “The students attending the conference are preselected so we know they are keen and ambitious,” he says. He says it is also a way of rooting out the dilettantes focused on high salaries. “It's a way to tell them what finance is really like – you have to work long hours and give up some of your social life.”

Furthermore, it is also engaging for the speakers. “Students ask blunt questions about ethics or regulation,” he says. “We've been asked about influential books and risk. It's energising. It is a way of giving something back to the younger generation. You wouldn't get such high-level people at a commercial conference.”