Caroline Executive Director/Vice President, Global Security Services Division, Chicago
I’ve learned that you certainly do not need to major in economics or business in order to have a career at Goldman Sachs.
I am a vice president with the Office of Global Security (OGS) in Chicago. I work with a small team that manages the physical security program for all of the Americas Goldman Sachs offices outside of New York and New Jersey. My job involves everything from conducting office risk assessments to managing security vendor contracts.
My work tends to be a combination of team-based and individual projects. However, hardly anything I do can be completed without teamwork. My work often entails coordinating with OGS managers across the region to address site-specific requirements in a consistent manner.
The most rewarding aspect of my job is ensuring the security and safety of the people of Goldman Sachs. While security functions in the background of the firm's day-to-day business, it's gratifying to be aware of the underlying complexity of Goldman Sachs's global security infrastructure.
Every day at Goldman Sachs is filled with a wide range of opportunities. Goldman Sachs University offers classes to help you reach your long term career goals, and people here are always willing to informally mentor you. It’s not uncommon for a more junior professional to chat over a cup of coffee (or, in my case, tea) with a senior manager. The chance to learn from the best, both on the job and in the classroom, is readily available.
The most challenging part of my job is the sheer complexity and variety of security operations that require strategic planning, rigorous analysis and problem solving. Although security is implemented location by location, it requires a broad perspective and extensive coordination with a number of firm stakeholders.
My day sometimes begins at 7:00 am on a global project conference call with my colleagues based in Europe and Asia. I usually have a number of meetings throughout the day either with team members in my office or on the phone with New York. The majority of my work tends to occur at my desk with about twenty different windows open on the computer!
Thus far, the most rewarding part of my job has been the opportunity to work in both the New York headquarters and a large regional office like Chicago. I cannot think of a better way to acquire expertise in the core functions of OGS, as well as the breadth, depth and complexity of the security requirements and operations for offices across the United States, Canada and Latin America.
I first joined Goldman Sachs as a summer analyst with the Crisis Management Team in the Services division. Given the close relationship between Crisis Management and OGS, I had the opportunity to work with my current group and get to know the team before I was hired into a full-time analyst position in New York. After two years at our headquarters, I transferred to the Chicago office and was promoted to associate.
When I first joined, I noticed that the firm’s commitment to its people was not just a recruiting tactic; Goldman Sachs continues to demonstrate its dedication to its people long after the initial recruiting.
When I enrolled at the University of Chicago, I planned on majoring in economics and pursuing a career in finance. Like so many undergraduates, my interests changed, and I chose to major in political science.
After a summer as an intern on Capitol Hill, I realized that I did not want to pursue the typical career path of a political science major. I thought that choosing a major other than economics would eliminate the possibility of working in finance – but I was wrong! I made a full circle and ended up at Goldman Sachs.
I’ve learned that you certainly do not need to major in economics or business in order to have a career at Goldman Sachs. The most important aspect of working at this firm is your ability to learn quickly, work hard and communicate effectively with your colleagues and clients – none of which require a degree in economics.