Anand Executive Director/Vice President, Operations Technology Technology Division, Jersey City
Everyone is encouraged to take on more responsibility and stretch themselves. People are very professional and are always there to help you if you get stuck. This makes it a fun place to work even though the nature of work is very challenging.
My undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering and my masters is in electrical and computer engineering. So working for a financial firm like Goldman Sachs was definitely not what I had in my mind. Even though I came from an electrical engineering background, I was always more inclined towards computer science.
When I started looking for a summer internship while in my graduate program, I had two options in mind, either to go with a product based technology company or with a financial firm. At first I thought the decision would be a tough one, but I had some friends working at Goldman Sachs and I talked to them. After discussing the nature of their work and the overall prospects for a software engineer, I decided to enter the finance industry. Goldman was the first firm that came for campus interviews and luckily, it worked out for me.
Starting Out at Goldman Sachs
I enjoyed my internship with the Client Reference Data team a lot, and got to experience the good things my friends already working at Goldman Sachs had told me about. When I was offered a chance to come back as a full time employee, I accepted the offer right away. Looking back at last few years, I am so glad I did that.
The recruiting process, my summer internship, the training program I entered when I joined as a full time employee and every single project I have worked on has been an amazing learning experience. I am still thankful to my first manager for helping me switch my tracks from academics to the professional world. When I first joined, I was impressed with the fact that every discussion begins and ends with how a particular change would be beneficial to the firm. I soon realized this was an integral part of the Goldman Sachs culture.
Working in Technology
I work as an application developer in the Client Reference Data team, which is a part of the Operations Technology Division. Our current focus is the design and build of the proprietary Common Reference Data Framework, which will make the client data maintenance more efficient. In addition, our team is engaged in the development of technology to support the Client Onboarding Initiative, which will reengineer our approach to on board new clients, as well as expand the scope of business they can engage in.
As a part of the initiative to put better controls and procedures around maintenance of the client reference data, we are building a workflow based intelligent system that will handle any request to change this data. Our goals are to reduce the workload of our data governance team and to make sure that this data is accurate and it meets the required standards before it is stored in the data repositories . I am very excited about the project as I am working on a business process management system for the first time.
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the solutions we developed in use and improving efficiency of the business processes. During the 2008 financial crisis, I was instrumental in developing an application that generates reports for our firm’s exposure to any company. It gives me immense satisfaction to see that application still being used in our team. We developed the application in a very short amount of time and under extremely high pressure, yet it has turned out to be not just a tactical solution but a strong foundation for a strategic solution.
We are a global team with presence in New York, Salt Lake City, London and Bangalore. The best part of my job is the interaction with team members across the globe on varied projects.
As a global team, we work on most of the projects with team members from Bangalore or London. Short-term assignments in other geographic locations are also encouraged. I was in Bangalore for two weeks early this year and it was a great experience.
At Goldman Sachs, everyone is encouraged to take on more responsibility and stretch themselves. People are very professional and are always there to help you if you get stuck. This makes it a fun place to work even though the nature of work is very challenging.
If you are a technologist who has the same dilemma that I had in the beginning of my career, here is some advice that might help you in making a decision:
The Finance industry is a fast-paced and challenging industry which provides you ample growth opportunities. Working in the technology division of a big finance firm is not very different from working in a technology firm. The finance industry has its own unique challenges that you could enjoy solving. You will get many opportunities to design and develop software solutions using the latest technologies. You will also get to know how they are used to solve real world business problems. Talking to the people who work in the industry will definitely answer a lot of questions and would assist you in making the right decision for your career.