Ravi’s Summer at Goldman Sachs
Ravi is an intern in EMEA’s one-year work placement program. He works in Global Investment Research in London and studied Economics at Cambridge University.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
10 SEP 2015 - LONDON
As I mentioned briefly in my first post, I sit on the firm’s Thematic Research team. We take insights from our sector-specific research teams as well as insights from our macroeconomists, and produce research on themes that have sector-wide ramifications. Some of the bigger names we’ve interviewed recently have included Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, whose work has been essential to modern economic theory, and macroeconomist Gregory Mankiw, who served as an advisor to US President George W. Bush. We also interview experts in their respective fields – whether they’re academics, scientists or business leaders – to further inform our reports. We then combine these insights with our own research, forming the backbone of one of Goldman Sachs’ flagship publications – “Fortnightly Thoughts.”
An important part of my role is knowing what’s going on across all individual teams in the Global Investment Research Division. Every morning, I spend half an hour looking through research and updates from across the division, keeping my eyes open for themes or events that many teams are talking about. For example, we’ve been recently thinking about tech disruption, China’s slowdown and emerging market competition to western multinational companies.
Because my team’s research is somewhat open-ended, I’m encouraged to pursue areas that I think might be interesting, doing both statistical analysis and qualitative research. I then discuss those ideas with my manager and refine them accordingly. That open-ended approach towards research is applied across the division – we’re fielding a range of perspectives and methods and evaluating them thoroughly before coming to a conclusion about a particular stock, trend or theme.
INSIGHTS FROM THE TOP
01 SEP 2015 - LONDON
One of the highlights of the internship has been the opportunity to listen to and engage with speakers from all areas of the firm. Within Global Investment Research in London, we’ve had the opportunity to listen to the co-head of Equity Research, the Chief European Economist and analysts from many of the sector-specific teams. Additionally, Goldman Sachs interns across the globe video-conference into talks given by members of the senior leadership in other regions. In one of these global sessions, Lloyd Blankfein spoke to us and shared his insights and experiences.
One of the interns asked Mr. Blankfein what it took to reach the top position at Goldman Sachs. His response reflected the humility integral to the ethos here. He replied that it was never his intention to rise to the highest echelons of the organization. He warned against adopting a mentality where you become overly-focused about where you’re heading, instead stressing that Goldman Sachs is an organization where you naturally progress if you strive to be the best at what you do, are intellectually curious and engage with others in a collaborative manner .
I’ve definitely seen evidence of that in my time here so far. The responsibility I’ve been given has increased quickly. I have thought-provoking discussions and debates with my team, and there is a great culture of “catch-ups,” where people happily give up 30 minutes of their time to chat with you.
Group activities are also organized for the interns like a stock picking challenge. In groups of 10 we had three hours to analyze 400 stocks before ascribing ratings to them and presenting our methodology and recommendations to a panel of judges. It was an intense but rewarding experience, and because we’d been given real historical data, we were able to see how each team performed relative to the market. Our team generated an alpha of 13.7%!
A FIRST FORAY INTO FINANCE
04 AUG 2015 - LONDON
Hi, I'm Ravi. I'm interning in Global Investment Research (GIR) in London, specifically I'm on the Thematics Team which is responsible for one of Goldman Sachs' flagship research publications - Fortnightly Thoughts.
These first weeks have been thoroughly rewarding. I was able to immerse myself in my team's work from a very early stage and I struggle to recall a time when I've learned so much in such a short period of time.
I decided to apply to Goldman Sachs because I wanted an internship which was fast-paced, where I could learn a lot and would be given responsibility early on. My first month has ticked all those boxes. I must admit though, I was concerned that I’d be working in an environment of individuals who fit a certain stereotype. That individual, in my mind, would have previous banking internships under their belt, would want to converse about nothing other than banking, and invariably was a finance major. I questioned whether I would be compatible with such an atmosphere. After all, my previous work experience has been varied and didn't include any investment banking.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I was amazed to find out that Goldman Sachs' 2015 London intern class has been recruited from 127 different universities - so far I've met people studying Classics, Philosophy and many other subjects; the diversity within the intern class makes for endless interesting conversations and debates.
The firm also makes a conscious effort to organize socials for the interns to get to know each other. For example, on day two, the GIR interns were sent on a treasure hunt across London which culminated with a trip on the London Eye and a Chinese banquet for dinner!
My first month has dispelled my preconceived notions; I've met great people and the work has been stimulating.