December 19, 2008 / 9:20 PM / 12 years ago

Innovative New York jobseeker scores employment

NEW YORK (Reuters) - One innovative New Yorker’s desperate search to find a job this summer paid off big this holiday season, after a year when over a million jobs have been lost as the U.S. economy spiraled into recession.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Joshua Persky, known to many as the “Sandwich Board Guy,” is now happily employed by accounting firm Weiser LLP in midtown Manhattan.

“While his story is unique and an example of his perseverance in today’s economy, what we were attracted to most was Joshua’s rich and impressive experience,” said Douglas Phillips, Weiser’s managing partner. Persky is now a senior manager in the firm’s business valuation and corporate finance group.

His new office is not very far from where he first gained notoriety as the unemployed investment banker who wore a poster suit reading — “Experienced MIT Grad For Hire” — while parading past a key area for commercial banks and investment houses hoping to lure future employers.

The job seeker encountered many well wishers along the way, and offers of potential jobs across the country and the world, but most recently he secured one in New York, hard hit by massive layoffs in the financial industry.

“Wall Street has become very humble, based on what’s going on. There are many fallen angels and hidden treasures out there and we’re able to attract them because of the growth opportunity that my group represents right now,” said Eliot Ogulnick, director of the business valuations and corporate finance group, who hired Persky.

“I’ve been looking for someone like Joshua, with his specialization since I arrived at this firm,” said Ogulnick. He said while his earlier efforts to secure work were certainly innovative, Persky was hired based on his own merits and a month-long interview process.

Persky had remained unemployed for 11-months this year after losing his job as a valuations specialist at Houlihan Lokey. He said he generated many leads because of all the publicity from wearing the sandwich board, including a recruiter who recommended him to Weiser.

While many segments of the financial industry are undergoing challenging times, Weiser’s business valuations and corporate finance group is growing as request for valuations specialist grows. The firm remains in hiring mode for candidates with the right skills.

“For the right talent we will consider bringing them on because we’re getting more and more work,” said Ogulnick. The 80-year old firm provides accounting, tax and consulting services to business enterprises and high net-worth individuals.

Persky is looking forward to reuniting with his two children and wife who temporarily relocated to Omaha, Nebraska to stay with family during the summer while he searched for work.

“My family is coming in for the holidays on Friday,” said Persky.

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