"In October 2006, Yale University student Aleksey Vayner applied for a job with UBS AG. Amused by Vayner's apparent puffery, an unknown member of UBS staff emailed his application materials to other investment banks. They were soon posted on various blogs, then YouTube, from where they became an immense viral Internet phenomenon."
"The video opens with a staged interview between Vayner and an offscreen voice(believed to be his own). However, the "interview" ultimately consists of a single question, to which Vayner gives a lengthy, rambling response. Using considerable amounts of business-speak jargon, Vayner praises himself and shares his various insights on success, talent, and overcoming adversity. Interspliced with the interview we see clips of Vayner performing various feats designed to look impressive, including bench pressing, skiing, playing tennis, ballroom dancing, and finally karate-chopping a stack of bricks. The video ends with a dedication, and a fairly lengthy credits sequence.
With his name and image appearing on the "Today" show, in The New York Post and all over the Web site Gawker, Aleksey Vayner may be the most famous investment-banking job applicant in recent memory.
But he says his new celebrity is less blessing than curse."
""This has been an extremely stressful time," Mr. Vayner, a senior at Yale University, told DealBook over steak in a northern New Jersey restaurant Thursday.
It was his first face-to-face meeting with a reporter since an 11-page application and elaborate video clip that he submitted to securities firm UBS showed up on two blogs, and then quickly spread to every corner of the Internet. The clip, staged to look like a job interview spliced with shots of Mr. Vayner's athletic prowess, flooded e-mail inboxes across Wall Street and eventually appeared on the video-sharing site YouTube. And the overwhelming reaction was mocking laughter.
Mr. Vayner is not amused. Instead, he said he feels like a victim. The job materials that were leaked and posted for public view included detailed information about him that allowed strangers to scrutinize and harass him, he said. His e-mail inbox quickly filled up, with most of the messages deriding him and, in certain cases, threatening him. Since the video surfaced on the Internet, Mr. Vayner said he has deleted at least 2,000 pieces of e-mail."
It was Mr. Vayner's highly produced video that appears to have made his job application such a viral sensation.
"A Zen-like koan — "Impossible is nothing" — introduces the seven-minute clip, which shows Mr. Vayner performing various feats of physical strength and skill, interspersed with inspirational maxims. Viewers are presented with images of Mr. Vayner bench-pressing weights (a caption suggests it is 495 pounds), playing tennis (firing off what is said to be a 140 mile-per-hour serve) and performing martial arts (he breaks seven bricks with his palm).
The tone of the video seems too serious to be parody, yet too over-the-top to be credible. After sharing the clip, fellow students at Yale began to share their favorite Aleksey-style tall tales, notably involving reminiscences of bare-handed killings and nuclear waste.
In person, Mr. Vayner is much as he appears in the video. Tall, with gelled-back hair and a navy pinstriped suit, Mr. Vayner — along with his sister, Tamara, and his lawyer, Christian P. Stueben — met with DealBook on Thursday afternoon. Throughout the interview, Mr. Vayner was reserved, speaking deliberately, sometimes peering at what appeared to be notes in his Yale University portfolio."
"Mr. Vayner, 23, said he has been interested in finance since he was 12 years old, when he was creating financial data models. So Mr. Vayner, who is registered in Yale's class of 2008, decided a few weeks ago to look for a job at a Wall Street firm. He thought that making a video would help him stand out in the often cutthroat competition for investment-banking positions. By emphasizing his various athletic pursuits, which he listed as including body sculpting, weightlifting and Tai Chi, as well as brief stints on Yale's polo and varsity tennis teams, Mr. Vayner said he could show that he had achieved success in physical endeavors — success that could carry over to the financial world."