Johanna Executive Director/Vice President, Equity Research Management Global Investment Research division, New York
I participate in Community TeamWorks every year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of working at Goldman Sachs.
I attended a five-year program at St. John’s University where I obtained a BS/MS in Accounting. Upon graduation I joined a public accounting firm to work in their financial services assurance division. I later joined their consulting group.
I didn’t go through the usual interview process. I was servicing Goldman Sachs as a client and then was hired after working on a project for nine months. The decision to join was an easy one; I knew early on that the firm would be the perfect fit for me.
Getting Started at Goldman Sachs
The three most important things I remember from my early days are:
The caliber of the people I interacted with across the division, their willingness to share information and provide guidance.
The mentoring relationships that I developed early on and that are still in place.
The intensity of the people who work here, specifically their desire to deliver the highest quality product and service to our clients.
Working in Global Investment Research
My ability to work with people and manage relationships is my biggest asset. In my role, I’m responsible for the management and development of junior talent. This requires me to connect with managers across the division and adjust for varying styles. Working with different personalities and appropriately managing difficult interactions is where I’m able to add the most value.
I believe the next year holds new challenges for our industry as we continue to work in a demanding economic environment. However, Goldman Sachs has a history of being able to respond quickly and intelligently to changing markets and client demands; I believe Global Investment Research has done the same. I look forward to the opportunity to expand my current role and gain greater exposure to new areas of the business that will challenge me and help me grow my skills.
I have a few mentors that have played a critical role in my professional development—people from different areas of the business and different points in their career. They have served as my board of directors, providing perspective and career advice along the way. Mentors have also helped facilitate new opportunities that have allowed me to prove myself and widen my network.
I am also a mentor. I think it’s important to provide the same opportunities for others to have as much access as possible to information and guidance.
I belong to the Black and Hispanic Network as well as the Women’s Network. Both provide fantastic platforms that offer guidance on career management, greater insight into the firm and exposure to senior leadership.
For example, the Women’s Network in Global Investment Research hosts an annual conference which often touches on ways to think about career progression. Specifically, they’ve hosted sessions on the importance of networking and developing a personal board of directors, which I believe was impactful to many of the attendees. In addition the network has offered additional information about on the promotion process at all levels, which is an issue on the minds of many of my colleagues.
Working at Goldman Sachs affords me the opportunity to participate in supporting causes I believe in. One area of interest for me is the importance of education and the role it plays in the economic growth and development of young women. Through a colleague here, I’ve joined the Board of Trustees for a University whose demographic is mostly minority women. The experience has been both rewarding and challenging. I’ve been able to leverage my business acumen and management skills gained at Goldman Sachs to provide support in the strategic planning for the University’s future. The end goal is to have a long term impact on graduates and help them secure opportunities that are accessible with solid education.
Also, I participate in CTW every year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of working at Goldman Sachs. The appreciation of the organizations and the support we’re able to provide makes the time spent away from the office worthwhile. It’s also a great opportunity to meet new people and network with other divisions.