My Summer at Goldman Sachs

Gladyn, a 2013 summer intern in our Human Capital Management Division in New York, reflects on her internship and talks about what surprised her most.

Goldman Sachs Careers Blog: So, tell us about your summer internship.
I just completed my summer internship at Goldman Sachs in the Human Capital Management Division. My focus was primarily on recruitment marketing and understanding how to best use social media and online recruitment tools so that Goldman Sachs can continue to bring the best people to join the firm.

GSCB:  What is your bio?
  I was born in New York and moved to Atlanta for high school. Atlanta is wonderful but I quickly realized that I was a true New Yorker and decided to come back here for college, and so I’ve been here for the last four years. I’m a rising senior at a college in Manhattan and double majoring in English and Africana Studies. I’ve always had an interest in writing and history and my majors allow me to satisfy that interest.

GSCB:  How did you learn about internship opportunities at Goldman Sachs?
I learned about the internship opportunities when representatives from different financial services firms came to campus.  I attended a “Finance Focus” weekend where Goldman Sachs employees came to my school to teach us about the firm.  That was my introduction to Goldman Sachs.

GSCB: Why did you decide to apply for an internship?
I applied because I wanted to do something different from the work I had been doing in public relations and teaching, and I thought human capital management would be the best fit for me with my background. On there are descriptions of the divisions, and so I read through them to decide where to apply.  I also took the careers quiz to gain an idea of what the “best fit” division was for me.

GSCB: What’s the biggest surprise you found while working at Goldman Sachs?
  The biggest surprise I found was the investment that full-time employees are willing to make in an intern’s development.  I remember speaking to a managing director in legal about a project that I was working on, and he had no idea about the project—but he was so curious about my research and findings and showed a genuine interest in helping me out. That was surprising because I didn’t expect someone who is so busy to take such an interest in the work I was doing.

GSCB:  Do interns really get a lot of responsibility?
  Interns definitely get a lot of responsibility! On my first day on the desk, my managers already had a project list for me. They already had people they wanted me to network with, and different divisions where they wanted me to meet people in. They have specific ideas for what they want you to do, but it’s up to you to run with it.

GSCB: Can you take us through a typical day?
On an average day I could expect to attend 2-3 meetings with my manager. We discussed a range of different topics ranging from internal communications to how we leverage social media to attract new people to the firm. Sometimes I would have informal catch ups and networking meetings with employees ranging from junior level to managing directors. I also spent a few hours working on my summer projects and researching different topics.  

GSCB: What types of events are held for interns during the summer?
Events are held throughout the summer for interns.  There are weekly leadership insight series, where the leaders of the firm deliver speeches and advice to all interns globally. And there is Community Teamworks, where we can volunteer in the community alongside other employees of the firm. We have ice cream socials, cookie socials, and some people have taken team trips to baseball games. One of my favorite events this summer was my division’s intern cooking class. It was nice to see interns and our recruiters out of their element and bonding over great—and not so great—cooking skills!

GSCB:  What are your key takeaways after this internship?
  After 10 weeks working at the firm, I learned that this is a place that really thrives on creativity and innovation. We’re always thinking about how to stay ahead of the curve and about what’s new in the industry. Even on individual projects, you’re expected to be creative. My managers gave me summer-long projects and didn’t micromanage.  You have an assignment and you use your creativity to figure out how to present it and make it into what you want.  Also, there are so many people to help you here—teammates and people in different divisions who are willing to help.

GSCB: What advice would you give someone who is considering applying for an internship at Goldman Sachs?
If I could give advice about working at Goldman Sachs, it would be to understand that you learn on the job. I was so nervous about coming to the firm without having a particular background but I learned the most at my desk, in meetings, and with my team.  It’s important also to be excited and to be willing to learn. Show that you have a passion and a sense of curiosity for what you’re doing.

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