Leah Executive Director/Vice President, Foreign Exchange Sales and Trading Technology Securities Division, New York
Whenever I had any questions, I had a large number of people around me who were excited to help me learn.
I work in Foreign Exchange Sales and Trading Technology in the New York office of Goldman Sachs. My team closely supports the trading floor and creates and enhances the technology used for both manual and electronically booked trades. We also design and implement the applications that our traders and salespeople use to monitor orders and view risk, as well as working directly with Operations to provide technology that better allows them to establish business controls.
I work closely with my team in New York and also with our counterparts in London and Tokyo. We have regularly scheduled conference calls, and when necessary, we travel to visit with the other teams in person.
There are many opportunities to learn and move ahead. When our business has a new challenge – ranging from rapidly increasing volume, new products to trade or new services to provide – technologists immediately begin brainstorming. As an individual on the desk, this is a great opportunity to showcase your thoughts and ideas and take on additional responsibility. Often, the people who succeed are those who volunteer for new projects, rather than those who wait for new projects to be assigned to them.
Sitting on the trading floor, working directly with the business, is a fantastic side benefit of working in technology at a financial firm. This helps me do my job better, because I understand what the business is looking for and the financial terms used, and I can ask intelligent and appropriate questions. By understanding the needs of our business, I can better anticipate which technologies can assist them.
We have many different projects, and the most challenging part is working with our users to gather business requirements and set realistic goals. We aim to deliver quality work within the shortest possible time frames.
Some of the most rewarding parts of my job come from outside my typical responsibilities. Corporate citizenship is highly valued at Goldman Sachs, and there are many opportunities to get involved. I enjoy recruiting interested college students, visiting universities, holding information sessions and conducting interviews. It gives me a great chance to meet with our next generation of employees, and it is a privilege to introduce students to the real faces behind our firm. Goldman Sachs isn’t just a name. It is a team of highly motivated individuals working toward a common goal.
When I was in my junior year of college, I interviewed for an internship with Goldman Sachs through the Technology New York Consortium. I interviewed with several other banks and selected Goldman Sachs.
It was an easy decision to join Goldman Sachs. The people I had met, from Human Capital Management through Technology, were bright and enthusiastic. There was no greater pull on me than seeing a team who thoroughly enjoyed what they were doing. After accepting the offer, I worked for 10 weeks in the summer analyst program, then worked part time over my senior year and joined the firm as an analyst after graduation.
I was greatly impressed by the intelligence and friendliness of my colleagues. Whenever I had any questions, I had a large number of people around me who were excited to help me learn. Everyone was enthusiastic and driven to succeed, and I was pleased to be part of such a positive environment.
I knew that I wanted to study Computer Science. Growing up in California, I always assumed that I would end up in the aerospace industry. However, while attending college in New York, the majority of the companies recruiting for technology positions were in the financial industry, which happened to be a side interest of mine. Goldman Sachs proved to be a perfect fit.
I would advise those seeking a career in finance to read the business section of their newspaper every day. Strive to understand what drives business, how global events affect different sectors and the various services that full service investment banks provide. You’ll be fascinated.