Ask the Engineer: Dana
Dana, an engineer in Goldman Sachs’ IMD Finance Engineering team within the Technology Division, describes how her interest in math and science led to a career in engineering.
Q: How did you become interested in Engineering?
I always did well in math in school. As a child, I loved doing my math homework and my favorite projects were the ones where I could build something (for example, a solar-powered robot). I chose software engineering specifically because I was naturally inclined to fix software problems in the office at my first job as a secretary. Moreover, prior to selecting my major in college, I did research on which careers were expected to grow the most over the next few years. Software engineering was always one of my top choices.
Q: What led you to a career at Goldman Sachs?
Initially, I was drawn to Goldman Sachs' reputation for excellence. I am also interested in economics. I wanted my daily work, efforts and the projects I work on to have a global impact. During my internship, I saw that hard work was rewarded, resources for learning were plentiful within the firm and I was working with some of the most talented developers. Additionally, opportunities for me to be a mentor were available inside and outside of the firm. All of these factors were instrumental in my decision to accept the full-time offer.
Q: How would you describe your career so far and what are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on one large project and several smaller ones. The larger project involves moving an existing price and processing system to a more robust, in-house Java framework that utilizes a cloud-hosted platform for sophisticated data processing and storage. The smaller projects involve onboarding pricing solutions for new security types for global clients. In addition to coding, my role involves a lot of design and analysis, which is fun because I have the opportunity to learn about the business and my team’s applications.
Q: How would you recommend someone starting out in the industry establish him/herself?
Find ways you can be an asset to your team. Take up and do something no one else is working on and become a subject matter expert. Identify what your strong skills are as well as topics that you love, and find ways to use those skills on your projects. Challenge yourself. Encourage a good team relationship by doing activities together outside of work like lunch, coffee and holiday gatherings. Team-building is important because you will have to work closely with them.
Q: What advice do you have for engineers thinking about pursuing a career in financial services?
Financial services companies often have a wide variety of projects ranging from consumer mobile banking to foreign exchange trading. In today’s market, there are plenty of opportunities for engineers from different backgrounds and skillsets. These services are needed internationally and the work that is done for a firm can help and impact people globally. The nature of the financial services business is very fast-paced and allows engineers to sharpen their skills rapidly because solutions to complex problems must be created quickly and precisely.