Cristina Analyst, Equities Trading Technology Technology division, New York
Opportunities are not going to chase you, but will rather present themselves to the ones who pursue them and volunteer for more responsibility.
I received a BSE in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Michigan. During my school years, I always enjoyed solving problems and finding answers to questions. Since then, I've know that my ideal work place would be a meritocracy where you are held to your highest standards and constantly challenged, an environment where your contributions to the team are appreciated and rewarded.
In my sophomore year, I attended an on-campus information session held by recent graduates who were working at the firm. Their enthusiasm fascinated me, and made it clear to me that Goldman Sachs fit my definition of an ideal work environment.
Starting then, I learned more about Goldman Sachs through information sessions, and my interest in this field and firm began to grow.
Starting Out at Goldman Sachs
In my first days, I was surprised by the quickness with which I was integrated into the team. Everyone took time to give me an introduction to the business and make sure that I was comfortable reaching out to my colleagues. I was very happy to see that my teammates were easily approachable and willing to take time out of their day to help me.
Working in Technology
I work in the Equities Trading Technology group, focusing on supporting the firm’s electronic trading platforms. We have a large number of internal and external clients that use our platforms to access the equities, options and futures markets. My team plays a critical role in keeping our trading infrastructure running smoothly and efficiently, from the receipt of an order at the point of entry to the delivery to the client of an execution received from an exchange.
I am currently working on a project that focuses on reducing the time an order or execution spends in our system. Given today's competitive landscape in the electronic trading space, it is crucial that we optimize our systems to reduce as much latency as possible. This project requires me to work very closely with our application development teams to implement software improvements, and with the infrastructure teams to ensure the critical pieces of our system are laid out optimally and perform at their highest levels. The most interesting aspect of this project is discovering all the possible ways that we can reduce latency . With this project, I have the ability to work on all layers of the technology stack.
The variety of the tasks I come across every day makes the job very interesting. I am constantly interacting with various teams in the firm, ranging from the sales and coverage groups to developers and infrastructure groups. My team acts as the liaison between all these groups, ensuring that our platform is the best trading technology on the market.
Due to the high complexity of our systems and the constant interaction between various groups within the firm, a majority of the work we do is team-based. However, there is room though for individual initiative. For example, many of the tools that make our support job more efficient got started by individuals, and as more people used them, they became group projects.
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to collaborate with my team members to brainstorm ideas for improving our system. There is a lot is to be learned during these sessions as everyone brings a different perspective to the problem. We get to identify an improvement area, develop a potential solution, drive its implementation and quantify the benefits. It brings great satisfaction when I see a simple idea turn into a plan that then gets executed.
My job requires an extremely fast reaction time, and the ability to quickly assess the impact of my decisions. Often the market conditions do not offer us much time to react and this can become a challenge. However this is also one of my favorite parts of the job, as it allows me to develop my problem-solving skills.
My advice to anyone interested in a career in technology in the finance field is to stay motivated and constantly try to find better ways to do things. Opportunities are not going to chase you, but will rather present themselves to the ones who pursue them and volunteer for more responsibility.