James Executive Director/Vice President, Campus Recruiting Human Capital Management Division, Hong Kong
Recruiting gives you instant and direct exposure to all areas of the business. It is a big responsibility, given the focus that Goldman Sachs places on attracting the right person for each role.
I was looking to gain international experience by starting my career in Germany, having studied German and Politics at the University of Nottingham. A friend made me aware that Goldman Sachs offers a Year Abroad Program for students. I applied for the role and was fortunate that a full-time opportunity ensued.
Having studied Politics and German, working for an investment bank was not an obvious choice. The internship experience, however, was a valuable opportunity to learn more about the industry and Human Capital Management as a profession. It cemented my desire to make this a long-term career choice.
Getting Started at Goldman Sachs
The strongest impression I received in my first few days here was a sense of strong communication and team spirit. From the very beginning you are included in meetings, copied on emails and your opinion is genuinely valued. It is a very inclusive environment. This can initially seem daunting, but it is an ideal environment for those who seek early responsibility.
Working in Human Capital Management
I work in the Investment Banking Division graduate recruiting team in Hong Kong. Our role is varied due to its cyclical nature. Amongst other things, we visit universities and hold informational presentations about Goldman Sachs and manage relationships with university career centers and student societies. We run the application and selection process for all graduate and intern vacancies and organize all interviews. We are also responsible for the content and logistics of our spring and summer internship programs.
We are currently running the review process for our division’s summer analysts. Reviews are an essential aspect of the internship, as they offer the interns the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on their performance. The feedback plays an important role in whether they receive an offer of full-time employment at the end of the summer. Behind the scenes, our team is working with Investment Banking Division managers to analyse this feedback. Additionally we are working with our global counterparts to assess the division’s full-time hiring needs for the following year to determine how many offers we extend.
Recruiting gives you instant and direct exposure to all areas of the business. It is a big responsibility, given the focus that Goldman Sachs places on attracting the right person for each role. Whether travelling to a recruiting event in Stockholm or running interviews in Frankfurt, the interactions we have with both colleagues and students are very enriching.
Our work ethic is very much team-orientated. Each divisional recruiting team works very closely together to ensure we are offering a tailored service. We also work across divisional teams to ensure that we take a consistent approach and can share ideas effectively.
My position has a steep learning curve, as you need to be in a position to explain to students what the firm does. At first this can be daunting if you have never had exposure to finance and don’t know which team deals with initial public offerings or derivatives. The great thing is that everybody is willing to sit down with you to explain their areas and the Goldman Sachs University also offers regular courses and online training to help expand your understanding of the business.
The most rewarding part of the job is when a new class of full-time analysts begins. Potentially you will have met these new employees for the first time three years ago, on campus at their first recruiting event. You may have fostered the relationship throughout their university career and accompanied them through the spring program and summer internship. It comes full circle when they then join you on campus presenting the firm to prospective recruits.