Julie Managing Director, Global Operations Operations Division, Jersey City
Joined GS: Full time, 2007
Interests: Bicycling, Raising Twin Boys
"It’s always rewarding to see the team draw on the collective expertise of the group to work through a problem that had seemed unsolvable."
I was a computer science undergrad and went into consulting, actually doing computer programming for a couple years. Early on I decided to go the business analysis route, helping to solve business problems with technology. It has been the focus of my career since.
After getting my MBA, I joined a small consulting firm, which led to consulting at Goldman Sachs. I joined Goldman in 2007 after being a consultant to the firm for seven years and knowing many people. I often joke that we have a rigorous interviewing process—mine took seven years!
My team makes it all worthwhile – it’s my favorite thing about Goldman Sachs. There is an emphasis on innovation and collaboration, which makes this a rich learning environment. It’s always rewarding to see the team draw on the collective expertise of the group to work through a problem that had seemed unsolvable. I feel so fortunate to work with such sharp, dedicated and down-to-earth people. It’s encouraging and empowering—there is not a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new.
The Operations Division helps through the entire lifecycle of a transaction. We process a huge number of transactions every single day, all over the world, at Goldman Sachs. Before a particular product can be traded or for a deal to happen in the first place, key data, processes, and systems need to be set up. Operations makes sure that everything that goes into the care and feeding of a transaction or deal happens the way it should. This is extremely important, because there are so many things that need to happen correctly and precisely to make a transaction work.
Innovation is key to our success; we believe that reaching the best solutions requires diversity, including diversity of thought. While Operations has many STEM graduates, we also have people with liberal arts backgrounds. Having different perspectives enable us to pick up on unfamiliar content, understand it and imagine a better and different way to do it. Anyone who is a good lateral thinker with a natural curiosity, who can take a problem and see an opportunity, has the raw skills we look for.
Outside of work, I volunteer on the board of the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan. It's an opportunity to work with people from different industries and to give back to a community that I care deeply about. Taking my skills and applying them in a new context is a rewarding experience. One of our major annual fundraisers is a Boston-to-New York AIDS ride—a 275-mile, 3-day trek. Twenty-four people from Goldman Sachs participated this past year, and we raised the most of any team. Many of the people on the team hadn't even owned a bike when they signed up, myself included! Now I’m hooked.
My partner, Amy, and I are quite busy with our 9-year-old twin boys. I've actually found that becoming a parent has had both an illuminating and winnowing effect in helping me determine what's really important. The firm is supportive of people making the right choices to achieve balance in their lives. It won’t be a perfect balance every day—urgent things come up for me as both a professional and a parent—so I look to make sure that the balance is right over time. When you have a career and you're raising a family, it's also important that you have some time for yourself.
Early in my career I did improvisational theatre, which was fun. I called it "taking my brain shower" because it really allowed me to hit the reset button by just being in the moment. After that, I started running. I have run 8 marathons, and many more half-marathons, which have taught me a lot about mental fortitude and persistence, life lessons that I’ve carried over to my career. My current passion is cycling, which is much easier on the body than running! Like running, cycling has also allowed me to raise money for charitable causes that I’m passionate about.
I think the firm’s focus on diversity is extraordinary. Goldman Sachs doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk. I've seen this on LGBT matters, where the firm has been quite public in its position on marriage equality. It's amazing how we tap into a global talent pool and bring it all to bear. We respect and seek to understand each other’s differences, and use these as a foundation for mutual respect and collaboration. In the end, we are bound to the belief that we are one firm. To me, you can't be one firm unless you cast the broadest net, look for the best people, and allow people to be exactly who they are—their whole selves—at work. It makes me proud to be here.