Ola Associate, Internal Audit Investment Management Internal Audit Department, London
Hometown: Edmonton, UK
Undergrad: Loughborough University
Studied: Business Economics and Finance
Joined GS: Interned, 2010; Full time, 2011
Hobbies: Swimming, Cooking
I felt that interning with Internal Audit would give me a view of the entire firm, and it really did.
I am currently an associate in Internal Audit, which is a department of the firm that provides an independent assessment of the firm’s control framework. We audit across all divisions and business areas within the firm. For example, we verify that business is conducted in accordance with the firm’s policies and procedures and that appropriate supervisory controls are in place. Internal Audit is part of the firm’s overall risk management infrastructure and our role requires us to be knowledgeable about Goldman Sachs business controls, act with integrity and gain the trust of our stakeholders.
I joined the firm nearly four years ago straight from university. I attended Loughborough University and studied Business Economics and Finance. During the summer between my second and final year in university I did an internship with Goldman Sachs in Internal Audit. I chose to work in Internal Audit because I wanted to broaden my knowledge of the Financial Services Industry and I felt that interning here would give me a broad view of the firm, allowing me to develop my knowledge across an eclectic mix of business areas and products and it really did.
The 10-week internship with Goldman Sachs was my first corporate job. During the internship I was not expected to know everything given that I had just completed my second year in university. However I had to demonstrate that I was reliable and that I had a willingness to learn and would be a good team player. An assigned mentor, buddy and my team helped guide me through the internship through online and hand-on training and advice. It was important that I learnt as much as possible about internal Audit during the 10 weeks in order to decide if Internal Audit was a career for me.
For the past three years I’ve been focused on auditing the Goldman Sachs Asset Management division. Apart from executing audits, another interesting aspect of our role is called continuous monitoring. This involves meeting key stakeholders across different businesses to discuss changes to the business, regulatory developments and emerging risks including any management control concerns. This may influence the risk assessment of the area and subsequent audit coverage. When conducting audits, sources of information we leverage includes prior audits, subject matter experts in Internal Audit, data analytics and discussions with stakeholders in order to understand the business area or process under review and to identify any potential control weaknesses. You have to talk to people a lot, be inquisitive and ask the right questions which I enjoy.
A big part of the analyst program in Internal Audit is completing the ACA (Chartered Accountancy qualification) and I am proud that I was able to achieve this within the required timeframe whilst meeting my work commitments. A part of completing the ACA was that I had to sit 15 exams over the course of two years, this was achieved by having dedicated time spent in college and not working during this period. The firm sponsored me for the qualification and my team was very supportive in helping balance the competing priorities of work and study.
Outside of the office, I enjoy swimming—last year I started swimming lessons on a weekly basis. It’s a very important life skill, but it’s also a good form of exercise. I overcame a fear of water to do it—which was hard—but now I can swim!
I also enjoy baking and cooking during the weekends—I have a number of recipe books to assist me in this. Occasionally I’ll bring in samples of cakes for the team to try and give their verdict. I am also learning how to cook authentic Nigerian dishes as my roots are Nigerian.