10/03/2012 03:55 pm ET Updated Oct 04, 2012

Chelsea Clinton On Her Wall Street Job: 'I Didn't Get Any Meaning From It'

When your pops is a onetime president, a meaningless existence, however wealthy, just doesn't cut it.

That's why Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, says she doesn’t regret leaving her job on Wall Street, according to Businessweek. After working from 2006 to 2009 as an associate at the New York-based Avenue Capital Group LLC, Clinton is now doubling as a NBC News special correspondent and working on a Ph.D. in international relations. The decision to switch careers was the correct one, she says.

“Intellectually, I loved my job, but I didn’t get any meaning from it,” Clinton, 32, said during an interview at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. “I didn’t fundamentally become re-motivated every day in the way that I do now.”

She’s far from the only young American to struggle with some Wall Street disillusion recently. Perhaps most famously, Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive, made headlines earlier this year when he penned a revealing NYT op-ed calling the company's atmosphere “toxic and destructive.”

Finance journalist Joshua Brown took a similar path, telling Businessweek in February that his former brokerage business began "with a lie.”

Is this part of a trend? More experienced Wall Street workers are leaving bigger firms to start their own hedge funds, while some younger traders are considering entirely different career paths. The number of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business graduates taking jobs at investment banks fell to 16.6 percent in 2011, down from over 25 percent in 2008.

Despite all that, Clinton says that she continues to respect the industry. Finance, she says, can still play a part in helping to develop poorer nations.

“Not only do I not regret a day of it, I’m so grateful for that experience,” she said.



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