Had I left it there, this would have seemed like a collection of well-oiled, talented superstars living comfortably at the top of their professions. But as I delved deeper, I found out that they weren’t comfortable at all, and their flashy affiliations were no guarantee that they’d actually accomplish more than anyone else. One said, “I promised myself I’d move overseas, but the Blackstone brand in New York is just so strong. I had to sign.” Said another, “The work is meaningless compared to the policy think tank I wanted to join. But everyone knows Morgan Stanley, and it’ll open up so many doors later on in life.” The same patterns surfaced: exciting visions sabotaged by the desire to be associated with well-known institutions.