Eleanor Executive Director/Vice President, Global Mobility Services Human Capital Management Division, London
Working at Goldman Sachs is demanding, empowering, sometimes frustrating but a great learning experience.
I studied French and German at university, which led to me spending most of my summers in French and German speaking countries. I also spent a year working for Goldman Sachs as an HR Generalist in Zurich and Geneva as part of my degree. I really enjoyed discovering other cultures and exploring different places, but I also became familiar with the challenges of moving between countries and integrating into different societies. Having spent a couple of weeks with Global Mobility Services (GMS) at the end of my internship, I was interested in working there in a longer-term position, as it combines technical knowledge (for example of the immigration and tax regulations of different countries) with a need to solve practical problems in an often fast-paced work environment. Having experienced some of the logistical challenges and the sense of dislocation that can come from moving between countries helps when dealing with other people in similar situations.
Getting Started at Goldman Sachs
I think in some ways I was lucky in that I’d worked here before, so had some knowledge of our organization’s culture and structure. It was daunting to join a large “hub" office following my experiences in Zurich and Geneva, as they are much smaller offices and the challenges/experiences you have are very different. The good news was that the Goldman Sachs culture was the same in Zurich as it is in London, and it proved surprisingly easy to pick up old relationships and make new connections.
I have done some courses with Goldman Sachs University and in my division, but a lot of my learning has been on the job, which I find is the most constructive way to learn. I’ve learnt a lot in terms of technical knowledge from colleagues around me, both those with extensive experience at the firm and those who have joined more recently.
I tend to think of my team members within GMS as sounding boards and advisers—whenever I have a situation and I’m not sure how to deal with it, I tend to bounce ideas off one of them. I think one of the advantages of working in a smaller division like Human Capital Management is that you have to work as a team, because otherwise we couldn’t be as effective. Often I won’t be sure exactly who the right person to contact is, but I can normally think of someone who might be able to point me in the right direction. You very quickly get to know people in different functions across the division.