Steve Executive Director/Vice President, Internal Communications Executive Office division, New York

The transition to Goldman Sachs was great. The people here are smart, affable and professional.

Background

I’ve been working in corporate communications for more than 15 years, with the last 12 in financial services. I joined Goldman Sachs in 2009.

I was a creative writing and literature major at Dartmouth College, and I was planning to be an English teacher after graduation. I knew very little about this field when I was in school, but it’s been intriguing to learn and communicate about the different industries and clients that the firm serves.

Getting Started at Goldman Sachs

The transition to Goldman Sachs was great. The people here are smart, affable and professional—my type of people! When I joined the firm, I had already worked at a number of large companies, and I was impressed at how approachable even our very senior people are. It’s not uncommon to send them material to review and receive responses within hours—sometimes minutes.

Working in the Executive Office

I manage Goldman Sachs’ global intranet homepage and write remarks for our executives speaking at conferences, internal town halls and other events.

We’re a global firm, and our leadership spends a great deal of time traveling to meet with our people in cities such as Bangalore, Paris, São Paolo and Beijing. As we’re preparing the briefing materials and remarks, it’s interesting to speak with team members around the world about the state of business and the issues that are on their minds.

I also enjoy working on internal websites. They inform people on a daily basis about what’s going on at the firm, but more importantly, they help strengthen our firm’s culture and increase our productivity. More selfishly, as a writer and editor, it’s meaningful to know that you have a daily readership of tens of thousands of smart, well-informed people.

Teamwork

Working in communications often means your knowledge base is a mile wide but only an inch deep. You rely on other people who are subject-matter experts to get your job done. If you don’t create and nurture strong relationships throughout the firm at all levels, it is hard to perform over the long term.

We conduct global team meetings every week to stay coordinated, but it’s the frequent calls and IM conversations that really help us collaborate. It’s also a great way to get to know colleagues around the world. People at Goldman Sachs tend to have interests outside the firm that they are passionate about. I’ve found myself talking to them about being a parent for the first time, finding new hiking trails and swapping training ideas for the next triathlon.

Mentorship

I serve as an informal mentor to an employee and I have an informal mentor outside of my division. Mentoring is important for perspective on day-to-day minutiae. Everyone has good and bad days, sometimes good and bad weeks. While you might talk to your manager, colleague, friend or significant other about an issue at work, mentors can give you a viewpoint that’s objective but still well informed. They know the culture and the unique expectations of working at Goldman Sachs, but they haven’t been inundated by the day-to-day details of your working life and relationships. It’s good perspective to reach for from time to time.

Advice

Be honest — with yourself and with us. It’s a rigorous process to apply here, and the rigor does not stop once you get in the door. You’ll be challenged to know your projects, products and services inside and out, from high-level strategy to the logistical details of how it all works.

Still, when you step back after the completion of a major deal, conference, paper, project or whatever you were working on, you come to appreciate the magnitude of what you and your colleagues have accomplished. You can see the impact your work has on our business, our people or the communities we’re a part of. And then you realize how difficult or impossible it would have been to complete something that big on your own. It’s a satisfying feeling.

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