Jake Executive Director/Vice President, Internal Audit Technology Internal Audit Department, New York
Hometown: Westfield, NJ
Undergrad: Hofstra University, New York
Interests: Mixed Martial Arts; Physics
Joined GS: Full time, 2011
Having an opportunity to be at the forefront was one of the reasons why I chose to join Goldman Sachs.
I work in the Internal Audit department as a technology auditor, covering our Securities Division. My job is to assess the risks of the businesses we audit, as well as the business process and technology systems, and to identify areas that need control enhancements.
I went to school at Hofstra University on Long Island, where I majored in business computer information systems. I completed the Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at Hofstra, so immediately following graduation I joined the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant, where I was trained as a surveillance and reconnaissance officer and was put in charge of a scout platoon. We deployed internationally, executing a variety of missions in hostile environments.
While the skills of surveillance and reconnaissance in the military may not be immediately recognizable as transferrable to corporate America, some really are, like leadership skills, teamwork skills, the ability to adapt in stressful situations, knowing how to work under pressure, and focusing on completing the mission.
An example of our work in Internal Audit: To trade a particular security, we use one of our technology trading systems. One technology control would be a mechanism that verifies only the right people are entitled to trade that security. Our job, in this example, would be to look at the logic in the code to verify that the control, which is in place to ensure that the entitlements are operating properly, is designed appropriately. Then, we would complete effectiveness testing to see if it’s actually working as intended.
As independent auditors, we report directly to the Audit Committee, which is made up of some members of the firm’s Board of Directors. While we're independent, our role is to assess the control structure of our businesses, identify areas for control enhancements and monitor the implementation of those enhancements. We essentially provide assurance that the risks surrounding the firm’s businesses are properly controlled and compliant with applicable laws and regulations.
You have to be willing to learn—and enjoy learning—to thrive on this team. Each of our projects is about three months long, and when one is completed, we often move on to a totally different area of the business. Our work also requires strong analytical skills in order to determine the risks associated with a business and how best to address them.
When I was interviewing with Internal Audit, I knew there was going to be an increase in regulations within the financial services industry. Having an opportunity to be at the forefront of this was one of the reasons why I chose to join Goldman Sachs.
I’m a fitness enthusiast. I competed in mixed martial arts in the Army and finished in the top ten in my weight class in the All-Army Championship in Fort Benning, Georgia. We had fighters come in from US bases all over the world to compete. Here at the office, I can work out a few floors down in our fitness center during the middle of the day, which is great for maintaining high levels of energy.
I love reading about science—about topics such as the Higgs Boson, theoretical physics, astrophysics, relativity, quantum mechanics —and authors like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Brian Cox and Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s really just super interesting.