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Ask the Recruiter: Liberal Arts Edition

Erika, a recruiting manager in New York, and Dianne, head of University Relations and recruiting in Salt Lake City, discuss the breadth of career opportunities for liberal arts majors at Goldman Sachs.

Does Goldman Sachs hire liberal arts majors?
Erika: Absolutely! We hire liberal arts majors as interns and full-time employees in every division. A lot of what liberal arts majors learn—writing skills, communication skills, project management, research—is applicable across all of our divisions. We also believe someone’s career path is determined by their interests. What are you drawn to? What makes you excited?

Why is the firm interested in hiring liberal arts students?
Dianne: Diversity of thought is very important to us. We look for people across all levels who can approach problems differently, and the way we achieve that is by seeking out a variety of backgrounds and majors. It’s also important for us to have people who are good communicators and who can distill complex information into  understandable terms, and we’ve found that this is a strength for many liberal arts majors.

Are liberal arts majors at a disadvantage coming into more technical divisions like Investment Banking or Securities?
Erika: Definitely not. Our summer and full-time analysts participate in a robust training program developed by Goldman Sachs University that provides all analysts with a strong foundation of technical skills and helps them integrate into the firm.

Dianne: There will be things that finance majors may have covered in school that maybe liberal arts majors haven’t.  So maybe there’s more of a learning curve, but we’re going to teach analysts everything they need to be successful.  The key is to be comfortable asking questions and be willing to do some extra homework. Coming from a liberal arts background can be an advantage because of the different set of strengths and skills learned in school.

What’s the number one thing you look for on a resume?
Dianne: I look for candidates who can demonstrate an interest in the industry. I’m always interested in learning more about liberal arts majors who did an internship in financial services: are you pursuing a minor in business or do you belong to a finance-related club?

Erika: I look past the headlines about major, clubs and internships to the bullets underneath. What clubs have you participated in or improved—or maybe even you helped start? I look for people who demonstrate leadership skills, drive, initiative, commitment and grit.

Dianne: It’s worth mentioning that cover letters have varying levels of importance to different recruiters, so make sure your resume stands on its own in telling your story.

Do you recruit from non-MBA graduate degree programs such as JDs and PhDs?
Erika: Yes. We recruit talent from all backgrounds who show an ability and aptitude to do well here. Of course, JDs and PhDs are hired into certain areas more often than others. Read our ‘Ask the MBA Recruiter’ Q&A for more information.

How can liberal arts students learn more about opportunities at Goldman Sachs?
Erika: If you are interested in a career at Goldman Sachs, you should come to events, read our website and connect with our people live or virtually. Explore whether this is a place you’re interested in working.

Dianne: I highly recommend students coming from liberal arts backgrounds apply for an internship. Our internships are a great way to see if Goldman Sachs is the right fit.