Ben’s Summer at Goldman Sachs
Ben interns in the Securities Division of Goldman Sachs in London and is pursuing his master’s degree in Finance at EDHEC Business School in France.
THE UNEXPECTED ELEMENTS OF MY INTERNSHIP
04 SEP 2015 - LONDON
I remember starting this internship thinking that the technical skills I acquired at university would be my greatest asset. Even though financial knowledge may have been a plus at the very beginning, I’ve found this internship is actually about a much broader range of skills, especially working efficiently, collaborating with others and learning quickly.
I was also surprised by how much interaction I’ve had with senior traders. Since starting, I’ve had the opportunity to work on three different desks – a quantitative desk, a macro-driven desk and a commodities trading desk. During each of these rotations, I interacted with the entire team, regardless of seniority, and learned from their experience. For instance, a senior oil trader took the time to sit down with me and explain how oil prices reacted to the financial crisis, which gave me a better understanding of issues related to oil as a commodity.
Adapting to life in London has actually been more challenging for me than adapting to work. The vast majority of our class comes from outside of London so very few of us are knowledgeable about the city. The plus side of this is that we usually end up exploring London in groups during the weekends and it has added another element of learning to my internship experience.
AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
06 AUG 2015 - LONDON
On my first day in the Securities Division at Goldman Sachs, hundreds of interns gathered for breakfast before orientation, offering the perfect opportunity to meet one another. The diversity of the interns is what struck me most. I immediately noticed the accents. It seemed like I never heard the same accent twice; we had come to Goldman Sachs from all over Europe and even the world. I was born in Hilversum, a small village in the north of Holland. Once I began talking to people I found that everyone not only comes from different geographies but also unique backgrounds. For instance, I had the chance to meet someone that decided to come into Sales and Trading after studying philosophy for five years. Every intern was as curious about me as I was about them. I felt that a morning wasn’t enough for us to get to know each other.
Fortunately, throughout my day and in places like the Goldman Sachs gym, I have the chance to continue meeting people. I am not sure I am actually doing much exercise but it’s worth it to get to know more of my peers and colleagues.