Ask the Diversity Recruiters: Navigating On-site Events
Recruiters Chauncey and Adam share advice on navigating on-site recruiting exploratory programs – from application to post-event follow ups.
What are exploratory programs?
Adam: Exploratory programs provide selected candidates an inside look at the businesses of the firm while exposing them to the various cities we recruit interns into. Further, candidates receive real-time advice on the rigors of our application process by giving them access to professionals who went through this interview process not too long ago. Most events last two to three days and take place at our offices, although we also offer digital programs for those that can’t make the trip.
Chauncey: The value of attending our exploratory programs can be summarized in three C’s: connectivity, content and context. In meeting real professionals from across the firm, learning about what they do and how they do it, you will get a rich education in our culture and build relationships with professionals, and with each other, that often extend indefinitely. Moreover, exploratory programs teach you how to talk (and walk) the talk. You may know Accounting 101, but understanding first-hand how we apply these concepts in our businesses can make the difference between an excellent interview and a strong one.
What are the different kinds of events Goldman Sachs offers?
Chauncey: Most of our exploratory programs focus on specific groups of students such as Black, Hispanic, LGBT, women, or first generation college students. To this end, they afford students the opportunity to meet and fellowship with other students (and professionals) who share their background.
If you don’t identify with one of the aforementioned groups, we invite you to apply to our virtual Insight Series and be on the lookout for campus or regional events in your area.
Why apply to an exploratory program?
Chauncey: Exploratory programs afford students a low pressure environment to learn about individual divisions and improve their candidacy. The expectation is that “you the candidate” will be more knowledgeable, more polished and more prepared than “you the exploratory program applicant.”
Networking with professionals is the best way to learn about the day to day realities and nuances of a company. By attending an exploratory program, you no longer have to fight the battle of tracking down extremely busy professionals.
Adam: That’s exactly right - it’s great to see candidates leave our events with the personal connections, industry knowledge, and interview prep that will help them pursue their next opportunity.
Do I need to be a business/finance major in order to apply?
Adam: Although we are a financial firm, we have careers that can utilize the skillsets and spark the interests of most undergraduate majors. So the short answer to this question is no, you do not need a financial background or degree in order to apply! What we look for is passionate, hardworking individuals who are involved in extracurricular activities, in good-standing with their academics, and curious about the business and the markets.
Do you have any application tips?
Chauncey: Through our short application, we hope to learn more about who you are. Applicants submit a resume, answer some short questions and complete a two-minute introduction video. The whole thing will take about 10-15 minutes.
Adam: Any eligible student interested in careers in business should apply to our exploratory programs as this often serves as one of the first ways to get your name out there in our recruiting process. Last year, we had many people who applied, were not selected to attend an exploratory program, later walked away with an internship opportunity.
What does a typical event look like?
Chauncey: Our goal from these events is to expand participants’ networks while driving content that helps students understand the various divisions and roles at the firm.
We also know that many candidates come to the firm with a limited understanding of the industry and we design these events to help expand participants’ working knowledge of finance and Goldman Sachs.
Finally, we spend a large amount of time getting candidate next steps in order. Given the rigors of our interview process, we work to make sure candidates understand the best application timeline for them and provide them with the necessary tools to prepare for potential interviews.
What differentiates a standout event participant?
Adam: At Goldman Sachs, a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences is a key part of our culture and our success – which is to say, we are interested in students from a wide range of majors and schools. That being said, the candidates that really stand out show strong intellectual curiosity and are keen to expanding their knowledge base inside and outside of the financial markets. We find standout participants come to our events having done some research on their own about the industry and are beginning to explore how it interacts with their own interests.
What happens after the event? How should I keep in touch with the people I’ve met?
Chauncey: Exploratory programs are really the beginning of the Goldman Sachs career exploration as candidates leave the event having developed their own action plan for maintaining relationships and preparing for their potential interviews.
Adam: Throughout the summer, our team will host a virtual series that focuses on preparing to be successful in our interview process. The goal is to build off of the foundations provided in exploratory programs and through coaching, application and interview resources, and industry insights.
Applications will open soon for the Winter and Spring 2020 Exploratory programs. More details to come!