Jenna Associate, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Compliance Global Compliance division, New York
In order to be successful, it’s critical to take an active role in your career and seize opportunities that will take you out of your comfort zone, expand your network of colleagues and broaden your knowledge base.
Looking back five years, a career in financial services wasn’t even on the radar. In college, I was an English Literature major with a minor in Business Management and had a passion for theatre and non-profit volunteer work. I had completed two internships in the media industry during college and expected that I would pursue a career in journalism. However, after attending a Goldman Sachs information session on campus, I was immediately drawn to the firm’s culture and was particularly impressed with the way in which current employees spoke about the firm—with genuine pride and passion. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of that.
Starting Out at Goldman Sachs
During my first few days at the firm both as an intern and employee, I was very impressed by the work ethic, drive and motivation of my colleagues. Everyone strives for excellence, no matter how junior or senior the employee, no matter how large or small the task. I realized quickly that while it’s important to be an independent thinker, success at Goldman depends on your ability to bring your ideas to the table and work with your team collaboratively to produce the best quality work product.
As an intern, I networked with several colleagues to learn more about the various divisions within the firm. The work in Global Compliance really resonated with me, because I was interested in learning more about the dynamic regulatory landscape. At the conclusion of my internship I decided to apply to the intern mobility program and landed a spot in the division.
While I came into Goldman Sachs without a strong finance background, I was able to expand my knowledge of the industry by taking courses offered by Goldman Sachs University. Throughout my time at the firm, I’ve continued to enroll in these types of courses and other professional development opportunities. The firm also brings in some of the world’s most well-known thought leaders to speak on issues ranging from women developing small businesses in emerging markets to politics and the environment. This is one of my favorite aspects of the firm—continuous learning is both valued and encouraged, and the opportunities are just an elevator ride away.
Working in Global Compliance
I work on the marketing and distribution team within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) Compliance. I partner with several business areas, including GSAM marketing, portfolio management, sales, product development, client relationship management and Legal to ensure GSAM’s marketing literature, strategic campaigns and product positioning complies with all relevant rules and regulations. Additionally, as a Compliance Officer, I create and deliver Compliance training, helping to ensure my colleagues are equipped to make decisions that will help grow the firm’s businesses and advance our franchise while staying within the parameters of the law and firm policy.
In addition to my work in GSAM Compliance, I hold leadership positions in the firm’s Legal, Compliance, Internal Audit and Executive Office Women’s Network, as well as the Global Compliance People Development Committee Junior Advisory Board. As part of the Women’s Network, I work with the leadership team to develop and execute the network’s strategy for promoting the professional development, mentoring opportunities, recruitment and retention of women at the firm. My position on the Junior Advisory Board enables me to work with my colleagues globally to develop initiatives designed specifically to provide the analyst and associate population of Global Compliance the opportunity to development their careers and build their professional network.
Juggling the day-to-day with extracurricular involvement can be challenging – there are very few days when I’m not racing with the clock. However, your experience at Goldman Sachs will only be as rewarding as your level of effort and dedication. In order to be successful at the firm, it’s critical to take an active role in your career and seize opportunities that will take you out of your comfort zone, expand your network of colleagues and broaden your knowledge base.
One example of the many exciting opportunities that I’ve had as a junior employee at the firm is when I delivered Compliance training to over 1,200 interns on their first day at Goldman Sachs. Ingraining a culture of compliance in new employees at the start of their careers at the firm is an exciting responsibility. It’s very rewarding to play a part in the ethical decisions employees make each day.
My work is extremely team-oriented – whether I’m advising the business on how to effectively and consistently communicate our message to the global marketplace, developing and delivering training programs for new hires and existing employees or enhancing our current technology platforms to create new efficiencies – every success is a product of the dedication from several employees across the firm, all over the world. I enjoy the strong relationships I build by being part of a team that works on projects that are multi-faceted and allow me to strategize and develop pragmatic solutions that will ultimately help to protect the reputation of the firm.