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Akil Associate, Facilities Management Services division, Jersey City

I am particularly proud of my involvement in the firm’s carbon reporting initiatives and my team’s role in driving down these emissions through operating our facilities as efficiently as possible.

Background

I studied mechanical engineering and received a BS in Engineering Science from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). I was introduced to Goldman Sachs at a career conference for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers during my junior year of college. At the conference, I met with an engineer who works in our Corporate Services and Real Estate (CSRE) group. I spoke to him and to recruiters from Human Capital Management about my interests and my prior internship experience within the construction management field, and I was called back a few weeks later to interview for the CSRE summer internship program.

After passing a round of interviews, I was brought in as a summer analyst in the Capital Projects group. Then, after my ten-week internship, I was hired as a full time analyst within the Facilities Management team.

Five years ago, when I was in the middle of my undergraduate career, I did not expect to be working at a finance company within the facilities management field, let alone at Goldman Sachs. At the time, I was interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry. I had two summer internships at a construction management company, which led me to become interested in the real estate field. I developed a strong desire to be on the owner’s side of the construction/operations industry, and that led me to a career at Goldman Sachs.

Starting Out at Goldman Sachs

During my first few days with the firm, I was impressed with a few things. First, I liked that I had colleagues with a vested interest in teaching me about our firm’s culture and who were willing to help me learn about our division and how to succeed here. Also, I was impressed with the diversity of people—all of whom had varying educational, career, and cultural backgrounds—and with the expertise and ideas that these people brought to the table.

Working in Services

I am an analyst within the Critical Systems and Engineering team, which is a part of the Facilities Management Department within the Corporate Services and Real Estate division. My team’s primary function is to oversee and maintain the day-to-day operations of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure of our offices and data center locations across the Americas.

I have four main responsibilities on my team. First, I conduct many of the reporting functions and analysis for my team regarding the Technology Division’s power capacity for our New York/New Jersey campus and our global trading floor. I also develop multi-year projections regarding Technology’s power capacity for our data centers. Second, I work on tracking and calculating our carbon footprint across our global real estate portfolio for our annual environmental report. Third, I manage the engineering operations of our co-location data centers within the New York/New Jersey region. Lastly, I am the operational engineering lead for our global headquarters at 200 West Street in New York and our disaster recovery site at 1 American Lane in Greenwich, CT

The most interesting part of my job is the fact that no day is ever the same. Throughout a day, I could go from briefing project managers about when their contractors can perform certain construction activities onsite, to advising engineers about an operational issue in our headquarters, to assisting our colleagues in Technology with the installation of new equipment to support desktop and trading applications.

Teamwork

I rely on my team and their many years of experience in engineering design, construction, and operations to provide guidance on my decisions and projects. Although my team is small and we are each responsible for different properties within the Americas real estate portfolio, we constantly work together when tackling operational issues at any location. We communicate with each other constantly to ensure we drive the same operational standards across all our facilities.

Challenges

The most challenging part of my job is dealing with multiple tasks from various people during the course of the day and balancing that with emergency issues that may come up at one of the facilities I manage.

Rewards

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I play an active role in helping the firm operate its infrastructure more efficiently on a day-to-day basis and that I support the firm’s growth in the data center spaces. I am particularly proud of my involvement in the firm’s carbon reporting initiatives and my team’s role in driving down these emissions through operating our facilities as efficiently as possible.

Opportunities

I was interested in doing community service at the firm, and over the last two years I had the chance to be a team leader on two Community TeamWorks projects, as well as serving as a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ school based in Jersey City.