By Daily Mail Reporter. Aleksey Vayner, the very determined Yale student with the infamous video resume, died this weekend, according to reports. The Yale student who catapulted to Internet infamy with a disastrous video resume he sent to a prospective employer has reportedly died at his home in Queens, New York after a friend sent him desperate messages on Facebook asking him to 'pick up the phone' and think of his mother. On Jan. In response, just before midnight, Vayner angrily wrote back to his Facebook friend by responding 'Volodia, go to hell' in Cyrillic. A spokesman for the medical examiner told Ivygate that a man matching Vayner's description under the name of Alex Stone died at 8 a.
|Published (Last):||27 October 2006|
|PDF File Size:||7.58 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||19.8 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Aleksey with Pete Sampras. According to IvyGate , the website that first reported on his fabrications in , a spokesman for the New York Medical Examiner's office said the cause of death was pending investigation, although one family member has attributed it to a heart attack from an overdose of medication. A driven athlete, coach, and entrepreneur, Aleksey had become synonymous with the perils of unintended Internet fame. His fiasco began in with "Impossible is Nothing," a video he made and sent to the investment bank UBS as part of a summer job application.
Peppered with inspirational quotes and almost tongue-in-cheek in style, the video may have been the "world's greatest" resume, quipped Ben McGrath at the time, for its depiction of Aleksey as a super-human Renaissance Man: he was a tennis and skiing star, an expert ballroom dancer, capable of bench-pressing nearly five hundred pounds and slicing bricks with his fist.
Despite some fibs, he acknowledged, these were things he actually did. Even as a pre-freshman, he was featured in a issue of the Rumpus , the campus humor magazine, for his tales of studying in Tibet under the Dalai Lama and participating in a "Blood Sport"-type tournament in Thailand. He said he never made those exact claims, but Aleksey's reptuation for telling outlandish stories had been established. The video was, Aleksey said, intended to be seen only by recruiters at UBS; but someone at the bank forwarded it to friends.
Soon, it was spreading across Wall Street and then the Internet. And the Internet laughed hard, and harder. Once it went viral, Aleksey became the target of endless barbs, parodies including one very funny one by Michael Cera , and even death threats.
When I met him a few years later, he said the backlash had been surprising, humbling, and deeply hurtful. At the time a spokesman for UBS said in a statement, "As a firm, UBS obviously respects the privacy of applicants' correspondences and does not circulate job applications and resumes to the public.
To the extent that any policy was breached, it will be dealt with appropriately. Instead of complying with a cease-and-desist letter regarding Aleksey's video, the blog instead launched a larger investigation into his backstory. That uncovered other fantasies, including a book he had authored about female Holocaust survivors that appeared to have been plagiarized.
Still, Aleksey's threats managed to keep copies of the original resume video scarce. Aleksey was friendly and gracious, but guarded and reserved. He had come to the meme conference to sit on a panel with Jack Rebney, aka Winnebago Man , whose apoplectic videos had also made him the subject of ridicule first among a certain crowd of VHS owners, and later on YouTube.
As I understood it, Aleksey hadn't discussed his saga in public before. Afterwards, I asked him if we could sit for an interview the following day.
His story was not a subject that seemed easy for him to discuss, but I was there to report on Internet culture. Even in an atheletic sweatshirt and running pants, he looked like he was wearing a suit, and acted every bit a gentleman. In a room at the MIT Media Lab and with his wife sitting to the side, he described his former obsession with weight-lifiting, his more recent passion for martial arts, tennis coaching, Buddhism and business.
He paid tribute to his judo coach, Radomir Kovacevic. He ruminated on the perils of web culture, and the backlash that would wreck him personally. The mean comments were especially hurtful, and deeply counfounding to him too; he admitted some parts of the video were exaggerations--the skiing shot could have been taken from another video by accident, he said--but this video was also a demonstration of who he was and aspired to be.
You can't take this personally. I'll say that again, you can't take this personally. Hell if I did… well let's not go there. In a blog post, Aleksey described how he responded to the criticism. I often find myself looking for faults in athletes on TV, even though I realize that I cannot do the things they do. I think that the amount of misinformation about me and the caricatures created make it easy for people to see me in a critical light.
After college, he married and moved back to New York City, where he taught tennis, blogged, and started companies. At one, Vayner Capital Management, he was a financial advisor; another, a charity called Youth Empowerment Strategies, designed reading software ; another, Elite Internet Marketing, addressed a topic that, in a way, he came to know quite well.
His online profiles said he had attended the London School of Economics--although there is no record of a Vayner at the school's website--and that he was working at the ebusiness automation company QuickPayPro. Googling his name yields vitriolic comments but also a steady stream of curiosity, inspired by his legend as much by his notoriety, and the desire to answer that eternal American question: "Where are they now?
Or, "What is the point of this? He's still hustlin'. With anonymity and distance, the web accommodates fakery in a way that no other social medium ever has see Manti Te'o. For similar reasons, it's also shown a remarkable capacity for outing fabricators, and for shaming and bullying them too. After Invisiblle Children's "Kony " video raised questions about the group's credibility last year, the video's creator, Jason Russell, lost his nerve on a San Diego street corner, leading to an altogether different kind of viral video , this one involving public nudity; he ended up seeking psychological help and was later interviewed by Oprah.
The culprit, he said, was "extreme exhaustion, stress, and dehydration," brought on by his newfound fame. That same week, a jury in New Jersey delivered a guilty verdict in the cyberbullying case of university student Tyler Clementi, who killed himself days after his roommate filmed and broadcast a web cam video of Clementi kissing another man.
The roommate was found guilty for violating Clementi's privacy, and served 20 days in prison. The threat of bullying, the old-fashioned kind, has reared its head in the aftermath of the suicide of Aaron Swartz, who was dogeddly pursued by federal prosecutors for his hacktivism. And the impassioned response to his death has demonstrated again the power of digital activism to mobilize against injustice.
Aleksey's struggle with his Internet reputation offers an inverse lesson, highlighting the kind of terrible pressures and venom the web sometimes carries too.
For his video, he became a kind of anti-folk hero, the target of the snark of blogs and the cruel justice of 4chan, where a new kind of bullying criminal justice system takes aim at "crimes" like fabrication and immodesty--even sometimes in the form of nothing more than a crude anonymous comment.
And yet, these impulses of fibbing and boasting, aren't alien to the web. Here we craft our profiles to contain the best possible things , and, when we have to, find subtle ways to humblebrag to our friends or to whomever is listening. Years after the incident, Aleksey was still not comfortable with the attention he garnered, but he took his notoriety in stride. Friends said he had moved past the "Impossible is Nothing" saga, spurred on by the same ambitions that were apparent in the video.
John's University. I always knew that he would have my back. He was a very positive guy and a very creative person, someone who had a lot of belief in what he was doing. He would occasionally comment on his lasting fame on his Facebook wall, alongside inspirational quotes from authors and mentors. A comment left by a male friend on Januaray 18, the day before his death, is cryptic. The rest, written in Russian, says, "Damned egoist, pick up the phone, who's going to take care of mom?
The circumstances aren't clear; a request to the friend for comment has not yet been returned. At Aleksey's last postings, dated January 16 and 17, were a photograph of Yale's Sterling Memorial Library, with the note "how i miss thee," and a quotation by Helen Keller:.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men experience it as a whole. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. After his death was announced on his Facebook wall on Saturday, Aleksey's friends and family paid their respects in dozens of wall posts.
I will keep everything you said to me. I can't stop crying. You were amazing. Even though we just started to play together. I improved greatly. I will do all my excersise I will eat better and I hope you are in a better place.
I will do everything you told me. I hope you have found peace. Update: The original translation of the Facebook wall post was a rough version and has since been corrected.
My apologies. This story is over 5 years old. Jan 24 , pm.
Impossible Is Nothing: Final Words of Career Advice from Aleksey Vayner
Four and a half years ago, Jordan Bass, a freshman at Yale, met a tall blond Uzbek immigrant named Aleksey Garber—a prospective student who, in this era of increased specialization, stood out for his almost cartoonish well-roundedness: a twenty-first-century Renaissance man. The Dalai Lama had apparently written his college recommendation. The occasion for the Bass-Garber meeting was Bulldog Days, an annual event where high-school seniors who have been admitted to Yale descend on New Haven for a sample of collegiate life: beer-drinking, pizza, relentless a capella. Garber preferred to remain in the dorm and tell Yalies all about himself.
Aleksey Vayner: 'Impossible is Nothing' résumé star 'dead from an overdose'
Aleksey with Pete Sampras. According to IvyGate , the website that first reported on his fabrications in , a spokesman for the New York Medical Examiner's office said the cause of death was pending investigation, although one family member has attributed it to a heart attack from an overdose of medication. A driven athlete, coach, and entrepreneur, Aleksey had become synonymous with the perils of unintended Internet fame. His fiasco began in with "Impossible is Nothing," a video he made and sent to the investment bank UBS as part of a summer job application. Peppered with inspirational quotes and almost tongue-in-cheek in style, the video may have been the "world's greatest" resume, quipped Ben McGrath at the time, for its depiction of Aleksey as a super-human Renaissance Man: he was a tennis and skiing star, an expert ballroom dancer, capable of bench-pressing nearly five hundred pounds and slicing bricks with his fist. Despite some fibs, he acknowledged, these were things he actually did.
Aleksey Vayner, The Yale Student Whose Video Resume Was Widely Mocked On The Internet, Has Died
Amused by Vayner's apparent puffery , an unknown member of UBS staff emailed his application materials to other investment banks. The video was posted on various blogs , then YouTube , where it became an immense viral Internet phenomenon. The video opens with an apparently scripted interview between Vayner and an offscreen voice, which consists of a single question, to which Vayner gives a lengthy response. Using a considerable amount of business jargon, Vayner praises himself and shares his various insights on success, talent, and overcoming adversity. Interspliced with the interview are clips of various feats purportedly performed by Vayner, including bench pressing, skiing, playing tennis, ballroom dancing, and karate-chopping a stack of bricks. Legal threats by Vayner against UBS, YouTube, and various blogs did not slow its progress, only providing further fodder, subject to the Internet Streisand effect. One blog, IvyGate , became famous due to its disputes with Vayner.