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Nonso Executive Director/Vice President, Client Services Practice Group Technology division, Jersey City

You are constantly pushing for improvements through lessons learned, searching for better ways of doing things, and never settling for the status quo.

Background

I have an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University. I also have an MBA degree from the Stern Business School at NYU, with specializations in Finance, and the Management of Technology and Operations

I have a passion for technology and the huge role it plays in literally all facets of our lives—it has made our world a more comfortable place to live in. I also realize the importance of the financial services industry as the backbone of most economies. The Technology division at Goldman Sachs presented a unique opportunity to work in an environment that combined both areas of interest.

My previous summer internship experience with the division helped me explore and ascertain that this was exactly what I wanted to do. The fast-paced environment, the fact that I was constantly challenged, the need for real-time solutions to problems, and the instant gratification or feedback that came with providing such real-time solutions, positively influenced my decision.

Getting Started at Goldman Sachs

My biggest concern was fitting in and adding value. I knew that if I was going to be successful I had to fit in as fast as I possibly could with my team, managers, organization and the firm as a whole. Goldman Sachs is known to go the extra mile in finding the right fit for recruits, aligning their work with their interests and skill sets. This gives you the opportunity to showcase your potential right from the start. I found out the environment where I was placed was right in my comfort zone, and I easily blended in. Through their accessibility and guidance, my teammates and managers ensured my transition into the professional environment was smooth. Though the curve was steep, I learned fast from their wealth of knowledge, and utilized the information I gained to add value in my own capacity.

Working in Technology

Technologists at Goldman Sachs are constantly consulted for their technical expertise by other top firms and professionals in the industry. In my role, I have worked with a couple of technology vendors, helping pilot new products and providing actionable feedback on design features and enhancements. This means I am empowered to drive the design and development of new software products and contribute to the professional community.

As a lot of transactions our business clients partake in are time-sensitive, issues they may experience with their technology systems have to be resolved as soon as they occur, so that there is no impact on performance. My team is the strategy arm of the Technology Client Services organization. We ensure that our client-facing support teams have efficient tools and processes to effectively and timely resolve client issues as they occur.

We have been creative in developing proactive approaches as well. By deploying monitoring agents on clients’ desktops, we are able to capture specific system events and errors. Also, by trending previous client issues using data modeling techniques, we can identify patterns. The results of these exercises are forwarded to the product and engineering teams to resolve the potential issues at their core. This allows for the resolution of looming issues before they are even noticed by the client or become a threat.

Career Development

Ongoing training and development is top priority at the firm. The Goldman Sachs’ product is its people; the quality of the people is the cornerstone of the firm’s success. When I started here, I went through a technology training program for new analysts that lasted approximately ten weeks. This gave me in-depth exposure to the various technologies used in the firm to facilitate its businesses and helped me integrate with our parent team.

Over the years, I have taken courses offered regularly by the Goldman Sachs University that have enhanced both my technical and professional skills. The Technology Career Development Program has also enabled me to work with my managers continuously in ensuring my personal development and career goals are in sync with those of the firm as a whole.

Looking ahead, I want to take advantage of the functional and geographical diversity of roles that exist at the firm, as well as the emphasis and support the firm places on mobility, to explore other roles. This may be within or outside the Technology division, depending on the opportunity. I hope to become a specialist in whatever role I have the opportunity to play.

Teamwork

My global team works as a single unit, gaining and sharing both credits and blame together. Every team member has a vested interest in the success of the other team member’s project or deliverable and so lends a helping hand wherever required. When issues are being analyzed, we explore everyone’s diverse ideas to ensure everything is being considered. The implementation of these ideas is a collaborative effort with everyone working towards the success of the team as a whole, rather than the individual responsible for the project. This collaborative effort also fosters learning and knowledge transfer among team members.

Challenges

There is always something here to challenge you. You are given a lot of responsibility right from the start and expected to put your own spin on your project. You are constantly pushing for improvements through lessons learned, searching for better ways of doing things, and never settling for the status quo.

Affinity Networks

I am a member of the Technology Black Network and the Firmwide Black Network affinity groups. The mentorship and career development programs they run, have equipped me with the right strategies for effectively navigating the firm. By providing insight into how I can demonstrate commerciality and impact, these programs have helped me build an actionable framework for proactive career management.

Giving Back

Looking ahead, I see myself ultimately playing a leadership and mentorship role to students and young professionals, as a way of giving back for all the opportunities that were made available to me for professional growth. I want to be an instrument to these individuals, providing the right guidance, tools, and support framework that will enable them excel professionally.