How A 21-Year-Old Built The Popular Instagram Account “Wall Street Confessions” To Shine A Light On Life In Finance

“The burnout is real. I have thought about seeing a shrink, but my insurance doesn’t cover it, so I drink. “The anonymous post, which was posted in late 2019, is from the popular Instagram account, Wall Street Confessions.
The post is written in black letters on a white background. This simple formatting is standard on the account with more than 115,000 followers. It is self-described as “Wall Street’s Gossip girl” and was created by Riya Sharma (22-year-old New Jersey native who is a financial media professional and the daughter of Indian immigrants).
Sharma revealed her identity for the first time last year in Business Insider. The account was growing rapidly with 84,000 followers, and Sharma was still at Marymount Manhattan College. Sharma has since graduated from college, and her Instagram followers have risen to six figures. She is also the account manager for Bullish Studio, a financial media company. Stocktwits is her social media manager. Rich Handler, Jefferies CEO, comments on many posts.
A post from early 2019 read: “During sophomore years, I did a research internship, and my analyst invited me to dinner for me to celebrate the end of my internship. It was an act of kindness to make me dosh*t work. I was 21 years old at the time, and he tried to get me drunk. He then took me back to his house and tried to have an affair with me.
Riya captioned the post with: “#MeToo#TimesUp Whoever submitted this in – You’re worth much more than what happened here.”
Sharma’s mission revolves around her personal experience as a victim of sexual assault at the tender age of 17.
She describes the experience as “frightening, isolating” Several early posts on her Instagram account were made by women who had experienced sexual harassment at work. “I felt not alone for the first time since it happened when I was young. Because no one should go through what I went through, my assault has helped me see the light.
Some of the serious issues discussed on the account include work abuses and cultural issues. However, some lighthearted content includes accounts of high-pressure sectors that are unlikely to ever be shared.
One such post reads: “We’ve been receiving resumes for our Summer Interns, and one kid put on his that was an ‘early investor’ in GameStop.”
Sharma founded wall Street Confessions in 2019 to provide unfiltered, anonymous accounts of finance life. She saw a lot of posts by finance professionals showing off Gucci Loafers and other luxuries. However, she was not honest about cultural issues. Sharma was in college at the time she opened the account. She had aspirations of becoming an investment banker.
She recently made it mandatory that anonymous submissions be shared on LinkedIn to maintain accountability. This is as she approaches the 700th post.
Sharma states that the whole point of this project is to create connections and make people feel less alone. As the page grows and evolves, there is a shift. I am progressing. It was a great blessing that women shared their stories with me at first.
She is currently planning the future of the account and has considered partnering with Ellevest to provide career coaching for women and other partnerships in financial modelling courses.
It is not surprising that her social media interactions were positive.
It can be not easy when men make misogynistic comments, but that is part of the internet. “And at this point, I’m quite used to it,” she states while admitting some naivety when she started the account at 19 years old.
She adds that her views have changed since her freshman year of college. “My views have changed from working a real job to my current view.” My views on Wall Street and gender have changed, as have my views. As a woman, I have become more aware of my place in the world.
It was a surreal experience that led to moments of quasi-fame. A Brooklyn resident approached her at a birthday party and asked her: “Are your Wall Street Confessions?” Before praising her work.
She says, “When you work 80 to 90 hours per week, it can feel lonely. But this account shows that it’s not.”

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Robert Scoble
Robert is the assistant managing editor for HC News, overseeing coverage of markets, companies, strategy and business leaders. Originally from Boston, Scoble began his journalism career in 1997 & now resides outside New York.

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