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The Goldman Sachs Student Challenge - Frequently Asked Questions

What is 10,000 Small Businesses?
10,000 Small Businesses is one of several programmes developed and supported by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation focused on accelerating the growth of high potential small businesses to create jobs and grow economies. Since its launch in the UK in 2010, the programme has reached 750 leaders of high-growth small businesses and social enterprises across Yorkshire and Humber, the North West, the Midlands and London.

Why have you created a student challenge based on the 10,000 Small Businesses programme?
The challenges faced by businesses that have been on the programme are not unlike the challenges we solve each day at Goldman Sachs. The Student Challenge is designed to give students interested in a career at Goldman Sachs an opportunity to demonstrate creative thinking and problem solving; key characteristics we look for in our people.

Can we enter as a team?
No, submissions must be made by individuals only.

How should my 1 page document or 1 minute video be structured?
Purposefully this has been left open for you to be creative – you are not tied to only using words. The only rule is that, if you submit a document, it must fit on one A4 page and should not include hyperlinks. Alternatively, if you upload a video, it should not be longer than 1 minute.

Can I submit an entry for more than one small business?
No. You are limited to submitting an entry for only one small business.

How can I find out more about the 10,000 Small Businesses programme and participating small businesses?
The Goldman Sachs website includes a lot of information about the 10,000 Small Businesses programme. Once you have learned about the small businesses involved, you are encouraged to research further the industry, visit the websites of the small businesses and consider other publically available information.

Can I contact the small business directly for further information?
No. You must not communicate directly with any of the small businesses, their CEOs or employees. Any entrant who contacts the small businesses directly will be disqualified from the Student Challenge.

What are the assessment criteria?
Each entry will be reviewed and judged on the following:

  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Analytical skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Practical Implementation & Commercial Viability

What is the timeline of the Student Challenge?
Entries will be accepted from Monday 22 September 2014 until 11:59pm GMT, Sunday 30 November 2014. Late submissions will not be reviewed.

The top thirty shortlisted submissions will be invited to interview for our 2015 Spring Internship Programme (interviews will be held in January 2015). Finalists will be notified by email by no later than Friday 23 January 2015. All finalists will be invited to attend an awards ceremony at Goldman Sachs London offices in late January 2015. Finalists will be expected to present their ideas to a panel of judges. The category winners and overall winner will be announced on the day.

What prize will the winners receive?
Overall winner:

  • Second year university fees will be paid directly to the university on your behalf, up to the value of £9000
  • An offer to join the Goldman Sachs 2015 Spring Internship Programme in London (2 weeks over the Easter holidays)

Two other category winners finalists will win:

  • An offer to join the Goldman Sachs 2015 Spring Internship Programme in London (2 weeks over the Easter holidays)

Top 30 shortlisted submissions

  • Invite to interview for the Goldman Sachs 2015 Spring Internship Programme (to be held in January 2015)

Do I have to study a certain degree to enter?
No. Students from any degree discipline can apply.

If I am the overall winner of this Challenge, when can I take my internship?
You can join the Goldman Sachs 2015 Spring Internship Programme which takes place in April 2015.

If I win the Challenge do I have to do the internship?
If you enter the Student Challenge our expectation is that you are interested in undertaking the Spring Internship at Goldman Sachs. The challenge is designed to enable you to demonstrate skills which are important to success at Goldman Sachs, such as innovation and analytical skills. If you are successful in the Student Challenge we think it is likely you will be successful at Goldman Sachs.

What are the benefits to me of entering the Student Challenge?

  • An internship at Goldman Sachs and your university fees paid
  • A chance to present your idea and meet some of our people at our London office
  • The opportunity to solve a real problem for a UK small business

Can I apply to the Student Challenge, as well as to the Spring Internship Programme via the usual application route?
Yes. You can apply to the Student Challenge, or the Spring Internship Programme, or you can apply to both if you wish. The success of one application will not impact the other.

Does my Student Challenge submission affect my application for a position with the firm?
No. If you apply for an internship or full time position with Goldman Sachs, your Student Challenge entry will not have any impact on your application.

Can I enter if I am not due to graduate in 2017?
Unfortunately not. As part of the eligibility to enter the student challenge you are required to graduate in 2017, as this is also a requirement for our 2015 Spring Internship Programme which is part of the winning prize package.

Can I enter if I am a Masters student?
Yes, as long as you are studying a full time course at a University in England and are due to graduate in 2017.

Can I enter the Student Challenge if I am studying at a university in England, but currently on an exchange outside the country?
You may enter the student challenge if you will study at a university in England for the 2015/2016 academic year.

I have a question not included in this FAQ. How can I get it answered?
If you have any further questions related to your student challenge submission, please contact StudentChallenge@gs.com. Enquiries should be made via this email address only, and not via telephone or Twitter.