The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing the solutions we’ve created in action and adding value to the firm.
I work as an application developer within Fixed Income Technology. My team develops and supports applications used by the Interest Rates desk to trade and to manage their risk. As a developer, I’ll typically see a project through its lifecycle – work with the business to establish requirements, develop the software, test it and implement it. We work closely with trading and operations to ensure that technology is focused on projects that will add the most value to the firm.
The most interesting aspect of my job for me is seeing our business evolve first-hand. At Goldman Sachs, you can always expect to be working with motivated and talented individuals, which I really enjoy.
I think that there is really no limit to the opportunities available at Goldman Sachs. People are given responsibilities and are encouraged to take initiative and stretch themselves at every level of the firm. For example every year that I’ve been here, I’ve worked on a project that is more challenging than the previous. I find that as I start to get comfortable in my current role, I volunteer for additional assignments. My manager supports this and actively encourages everyone on the team to be stretching themselves.
My work is very team oriented. Most of the work I do involves the team and we are constantly speaking to each other to make sure we are on the same page. Although most people tend to work very closely with their teams, there are definitely all types of roles at Goldman Sachs. For example, last year I worked on a project which was with a small team in New York, so I spent a lot of time working individually. I also spend considerable time talking to my counterparts in other regions as well as other teams across the Technology division.
My current assignment is to upgrade our bond trade booking flows from legacy technology to the firm’s strategic platform. This upgrade involves developing and testing a large number of components and working with the teams in New York and Tokyo to ensure that what we implement is globally consistent. I spend a lot of time working with people from my team and from other technology teams to ensure that the project is executed smoothly. Communication is a big part of my job.
If I were to describe the most challenging part of my job, bond trading is a high volume electronic business which means that even a few seconds of delay or outage can have big impact on our business – so the pressure to get it right the first time is high. We maintain a high focus on performance and resiliency – the systems should cope well with the high volumes we see today, as well as should be easy to maintain and support.
The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing the solutions we’ve created in action and adding value to the firm. For example, one application that I helped develop is being used across several fixed income desks to book bond trades. It is very satisfying to walk across the trading floor and see it being used.
Other rewarding aspects for me come from outside my day-to-day job - I am the recruiting team captain for my old university, so it’s always nice to go back and help with campus recruiting and to give students an insight into Goldman Sachs.
I interviewed with a handful of investment banks for a summer internship in Technology. I was attracted to the financial sector because it really seemed to invest in technology and I thought that I would have the opportunity to work on diverse and challenging assignments.
I was attracted to Goldman Sachs in particular because a few of my friends had worked here and only had good things to say about the firm! I thoroughly enjoyed my summer internship and gladly accepted when I was offered the chance to come back as a graduate analyst.
I recall that everyone – from the people I met during campus recruitment, to my interviewers, to my first manager – was extremely professional and very engaging. They were also very committed to the beliefs of the firm, believed in stretching yourself and believed in meritocracy. I also remember thinking that people at Goldman Sachs were all very driven and liked to get things done – that impression has not changed in the last four years!
When I think back, I thought I’d be working in Technology since I’ve always enjoyed computer science, but I didn’t know that I would find those technical challenges within the financial services industry. However, the more research I did at university, the more I was interested in exploring the opportunities within Goldman Sachs. I especially like the fact that we work closely with internal clients and build software for users within the same firm, and I also like the large breadth of work available here.
If I were to offer advice to someone who is considering a career in finance, I would say that you need to do your research – talk to people in the industry, go to recruitment events, ask questions and find out whether you would enjoy working in the industry.
An internship is a great way to find out more about a firm first-hand and also to find out where your own skills lie, so I’d definitely encourage people who are at earlier stages of their career to apply for internships.