One great thing about being in Internal Audit at Goldman Sachs is that no two days are the same and I am constantly learning.
My primary areas of study at both undergraduate and graduate school were finance and accounting. I had previously spent four years working as a financial auditor at a prominent firm in the Netherlands and knew that auditing was a profession that I enjoyed and which constantly challenged me.
My background has been of tremendous value to my work at Goldman Sachs, as I have the technical skills which allow me to better understand the many businesses and financial products within the firm. From an audit perspective, this is important as it allows me to better appreciate the risks when I am auditing a specific business or process.
I remember that I was very nervous my first day. I had met all of the team during the interview process and was very impressed, both from a professional and personal standpoint. I was eager to demonstrate to them that they had made the right decision in hiring me.
One great thing about being in Internal Audit is that no two days are the same and I am constantly learning. Creativity is a very valuable skill set to have in the division, given the many diverse businesses and processes that we work with. Each audit is very different and oftentimes an approach that works for one review may prove unsuccessful on another one. Our clients expect us to be able to look at each process with a fresh pair of eyes and to identify opportunities to enhance the process.
Teamwork within Internal Audit is absolutely critical. On any given day, I am working on many different projects across divisions and regions and rely on the collaboration of my peers. Each individual comes from a unique background and will approach a situation from a different perspective. As we work towards a common goal, it is this diversity of ideas that will bring us to the best solution.
Within Internal Audit, we are very much encouraged to participate in the many training opportunities offered by the firm. The department has an annual two-day Audit Academy, which all employees from analyst to management directors are required to attend. As a Certified Public Accountant, I also attend many professional training sessions on specific accounting topics as it is important to stay current with the constantly changing accounting standards.
My focus has always been on making sure that I am continuously learning and developing myself. I am still at an early stage in my career and expect that it will have many twists and turns. I would hope that with each new role I find fulfillment, both professionally and personally, via the many experiences I have and colleagues I meet and learn from along the way.
I am very proud to work for a firm that places such an emphasis on involvement in the local community. During my time here, I have had the privilege of working on several Community TeamWorks projects. As much as the organizations we worked with have gained from these experiences, it has also opened my eyes to the responsibility each of us has to better our local communities.
In February 2009 I was diagnosed with leukemia. My initial diagnosis was terrible, with the oncology doctors telling my parents that there was a ten percent chance that I would be alive in 48 hours. While initially shell-shocked with this grave news, I was determined to prove the doctors wrong. After many rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and ultimately a bone marrow transplant, I feel privileged to call myself a cancer survivor. During this tough period, the firm and my many colleagues supported me each step of the way. Never was I prouder to call myself a Goldman Sachs employee!