Chris Associate, Fundamental Equity Investment Management Division, New York City
Joined GS: Intern, 2010; Full time, 2011
Studied: History, University of Warwick (UK)
Interests: Football (soccer)
"The skills to analyze, sift through information, do research, reach my own conclusions...all have helped me in my job today."
I am from the UK, and grew up in London. I studied history at the University of Warwick. During my time at university, two career paths seemed interesting to me: law and finance. I did an internship in law and thought is wasn't fast-paced enough for me. Later on I did some work for a stockbroker, got involved in some finance groups at school and decided to explore the field further.
I applied for an internship in the Investment Management Division. When you apply for a division, you can indicate what type of role or focus you would like within your application, but you don’t apply to a specific team within the division. That’s one of the benefits of Goldman’s application process. Although you interview with a lot of different teams, it becomes more about learning what these teams do.
Throughout the interview process, it's an opportunity for you to learn about the firm and the firm to learn about you. There isn’t a set list of 20 questions that everyone is going to ask you. Ultimately, all the feedback gets consolidated and a consensus is reached about what is the best fit for you.
I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do within finance at the time of my interviews with Goldman Sachs, but I felt my degree could help me stand out. People had told me that it was more about the skills I possess, and so I thought my interpersonal skills would be better-suited to some form of sales role. I eventually interned in a sales role within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) in London, which led to a full-time offer on the Fundamental Equity team.
In the summer of 2011, I joined GSAM full time in London on the Fundamental Equity Product Management team. The team is global and we interact with our colleagues around the world every day. I interacted with the US team on a daily basis and got to know the team leader really well. Then a position opened up in New York and I joined that team here in 2012. It was a big move for me to leave the UK, but in terms of work it was a smooth transition because it was the same team and the same role. In the US, my product coverage is slightly different, so I had to learn about these.
My academic background in history has been helpful. The ability to analyze, sift through information, research and reach my own conclusions—plus the writing skills—all have helped me in my job today. People told me all along that skills are most important. I definitely found that to be true.
The advice I would give someone who doesn’t know what they want to do is to keep your options open. Think about what you enjoy doing, what your best skills are and what you might be best suited for. Read as much as possible and develop opinions about news and key things happening within the industry. No one is expecting you to know everything or to have all the answers necessarily—in fact, for most of these topics there are no right or wrong answers.
I’m a huge football—er, soccer—fan and player. I have played all my life and actually played for the Goldman team back in the UK. People from across the firm play, not only the Investment Management Division, so it is a great way to meet people.
When I moved to the US, the first thing I looked to do was join a soccer team. I actually got lucky. A friend of a friend here runs a team, and so I joined. We play all over the city, in places like Randall’s Island. It's an 11-a-side league—which is really hard to find here. Last season we won the league. My position is centerback. Basically I’m one of the guys who just kicks the ball and keeps it away from the goalkeeper. It’s not the most glamorous position, but I enjoy it.
I love it in New York and the US. My aim while I’m here is to see the rest of the country.