Shekhinah Executive Director/Vice President, Global Leadership and Diversity Human Capital Management Division, New York
I am constantly presented with unique opportunities to meet individuals both inside and outside the firm and to build relationships with senior industry experts and thought leaders.
I am a member of the Human Capital Management (HCM) division, which plays a critical role in managing the firm's most important asset, its people. HCM is responsible for a broad range of activities, including identifying and recruiting the best talent, and partnering with managers to retain, develop and motivate our people to reach their fullest potential. As a member of the Global Leadership and Diversity (GLD) team, my job is to infuse diversity into each of our key people management processes.
I am responsible for developing talent management programs targeted towards our diverse professionals. My role involves various duties including: conducting research and demographic analyses, managing relationships with internal clients and partnering with external organizations. In addition to my firmwide responsibilities, I am aligned with the Legal, Compliance, Internal Audit, Services and Technology divisions and interface with the HCM and business partners to drive diversity throughout those divisions.
I love that my job requires me to think creatively in order to enhance existing programs or develop new programs when we need to strengthen our diversity strategy. I am constantly presented with unique opportunities to meet individuals both inside and outside the firm and to build relationships with senior industry experts and thought leaders.
On any given day, my calendar may consist of calls with my global counterparts to discuss local updates on a particular project, meetings with senior leaders to get buy-in for new programs or initiatives, lunch with the head of a consulting firm to review products or discuss potential collaborations for a divisional leadership conference, or crunching representation statistics and developing presentations. Needless to say, my days are always filled with excitement.
One of my current projects is co-managing the Women’s Career Strategies Initiative, which is a global, five-month program designed to engage and strengthen the retention of our female associate population. Throughout the program, the participants are exposed to many senior leaders and as a program manager I have the ability to interact and build relationships with each of those leaders.
Overall, working within GLD allows me access to our talent management programs that are aimed at developing and preparing our top talent for the next level. Many times I may be in the room to ensure that a session is running smoothly but I can’t help but to listen and pick up some of the great insight and advice that is being shared.
My role allows me to see first-hand the positive impact training and/or mentorship can have on one’s career. My job may sometimes require early mornings, coupled with late nights – maybe even a weekend or two – but getting an email from an appreciative internal client makes it all worth it! It’s rewarding to know that we have a real impact on the careers of the people that we serve.
The summer before my senior year I accepted a summer analyst position in the Human Capital Management division. I had heard great things about Goldman Sachs, but I wasn’t aware of the numerous opportunities available outside of Investment Banking and Securities. I didn’t realize that there were so many other opportunities at an Investment Bank. Fortunately, I discovered a description of the Human Capital Management division, and in particular, an overview of the Office of Global Leadership and Diversity.
That summer my team was very welcoming and I was given robust responsibilities, from which I learned a great deal in a short ten weeks. When I got my full-time offer I couldn’t help but accept it! Given I had not come from a traditional finance background (I majored in Industrial and Labor Relations), I was a little nervous about having to learn about the world of finance on my own.
However, from day one at the analyst orientation program, I was provided with the detailed training that I needed to be successful. Even outside of the orientation programs, there is an abundance of training resources available through Goldman Sachs University on an ongoing basis. Additionally, you come across many supportive colleagues that are willing to sit down with you and help you get up to speed on how to navigate the firm.
Throughout my undergraduate career I was focused on going straight to law school – I had even prepared my applications! When I received a call from a Goldman Sachs recruiter, I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to do. I had been so impressed by Goldman Sachs during my internship that I decided I had to go back. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work at an amazing place among such smart people. I still have a passion for law but I’ve never regretted my decision – it has proven to be an invaluable learning experience.
For a career in any industry I would advise people to do their research! For a career in finance I would recommend narrowing down the divisions that you’re interested in and then taking time to speak with people that work in those particular areas. The finance industry, no matter what area you work in, is going to be a fast paced environment and having an informal mentor is extremely helpful in getting yourself up to speed as quickly as possible.