Martha Executive Director/Vice President Human Capital Management Division, New York
The Affinity Networks offer a great opportunity to meet people with similar backgrounds. They also offer great networking and learning opportunities, access to senior management and exposure to areas of the firm you normally do not interact with.
I attended Pace University and graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.
Starting Out at Goldman Sachs
I remember being overwhelmed by all the acronyms and all of the information provided to us during the orientation, but soon after it all began to make sense. There are a lot of resources available to help with your integration into the firm, as well as networking opportunities to meet other new hires and senior managers at the firm.
I wanted to jump into work and start contributing, but pretty soon I realized it was going to take some time to understand the flows, systems and processes. It is very true that it takes at least 90 days to get past the learning curve and start contributing.
I was very fortunate to know people who had worked at Goldman Sachs, and they were key in guiding me through my first months at the firm. I think it is extremely important to have someone you can trust to whom you can ask questions without apprehension.
Working in Finance
I am a project manager, and at any point in time I have several projects in progress. In my role, I deal with people from different teams, divisions, regions and at all different levels of seniority; I have to adapt and adjust my style for particular situations and audiences. At certain times, I’ll have to provide granular details about a project, and thirty minutes later I’ll present very high level updates on several projects.
I need to be creative in coming up with solutions and alternatives when we face hurdles in a project. There are many instances when we face technology resource constraints and I have to work with our team and technology to reallocate resources to different initiatives. Often, this entails a lot of negotiating and careful maneuvering about which project will need to take a back seat for a few weeks to address a more pressing issue.
Working with so many talented, dedicated and hard working people has really inspired me to strive to be the best and contribute to the team. The firm provides a dynamic, fast paced and intellectually charged environment that keeps you engaged and mentally stimulated.
I have several informal mentors, both in and outside of the firm. I think it is important to have people that you trust to bounce off ideas, concerns, and issues with. These are people that know me very well, that know my strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. They have offered me career and life advice for several years.
I am also a mentor to several people. I believe in giving back and try to impart the same knowledge that was given to me. My mentees include professionals as well as students. I think it is important for young people to see there are people that look like them that have careers in this industry.
I am the co-head of the Firmwide Hispanic/Latino Network (FHLN) Recruiting Committee; I am very involved in our recruiting efforts at the lateral-hire and new-analyst levels. I am also part of the recruiting team for the University of Puerto Rico. In 2010, I was the senior divisional sponsor for the Women’s Career Strategy Initiative.
The Affinity Networks offer a great opportunity to meet people with similar backgrounds. They also offer great networking and learning opportunities, access to senior management and exposure to areas of the firm you normally do not interact with. Through the events they sponsor, I have been fortunate enough to see and hear world famous leaders.
Goldman Sachs has helped me hone in my creativity and organizational skills. These have helped me professionally, but they also have afforded me the opportunity to help people outside of the organization. I have been the team captain in several Community TeamWorks, and I still volunteer with the organizations I’ve worked with. These include Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, The Salvation Army and Sanctuary for Families. I continue to work with Sanctuary for Families, a great organization that helps abused and battered women and their families. Every year since joining Goldman Sachs I have participated in and raised funds for the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Walk.