The Amazing Aleksey Vayner

The New York Times reports how Aleksey Vayner's video resume quickly spread around the Internet. Vayner submitted his video as part of his application to UBS. In the video, Vayner talks about success while video clips show him bench pressing over 400 pounds, skiing, playing tennis, dancing and unleashing a powerful karate chop that splits a tall stack of bricks. The application also included an eleven page resume.
Mr. Vayner's curious celebrity came after an 11-page cover letter and resume as well as an elaborate video that he had submitted to the Swiss bank giant UBS showed up on two blogs, and then quickly spread on the Internet. The clip, staged to look like a job interview, is spliced with shots of Mr. Vayner lifting weights and ballroom dancing and has him spouting Zen-like inspirational messages.

The video clip flooded e-mail inboxes across Wall Street and eventually appeared on the video-sharing site YouTube.

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Mr. Vayner's seven-minute clip, entitled "Impossible is nothing," presents images of him bench-pressing what a caption suggests is 495 pounds and firing off what is purported to be a 140-mile-an-hour tennis serve.
You can see the video on YouTube here or here. It hasn't been easy for Aleksey Vayner since the video became popular. He even left Yale temporarily.
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 some cases, threatening him.

Mr. Vayner's experience shows the not-so-friendly side of the social-networking phenomenon. While sites such as YouTube allow aspiring comedians or filmmakers to share their creations with millions of others, they also provide the ideal forum for embarrassing someone on a global scale. Materials can quickly make the rounds on blogs, via e-mail and through online hangouts like MySpace, becoming all but impossible to contain.
The Times article says Vayner stands by his impressive athletic feats -- except maybe the skiing.
Despite the mockery that the video has inspired, he still speaks proudly of his athleticism. Nearly all the feats in the video are his, he said, and they are real. But he says he is not certain that the skiing segment actually shows him.
The Times says Vayner is currently think about real estate development as a career and focusing on his mid-terms. He is also looking at legal options against firms that may have leaked his job application video and resume.

Posted on October 22, 2006

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