Ask the Recruiters: Graduate Student Edition
We asked two of our recruiters questions frequently asked by graduate students on how they should be approaching the Goldman Sachs recruiting process.
Erica and Annie recruit for our Investment Management Division (IMD) and Investment Banking Division (IBD), respectively, and are vice presidents in our Human Capital Management Division in New York. They focus on recruiting students pursuing a graduate degree. Here's our Q&A with them:
What career opportunities are there for graduate students at Goldman Sachs?
Erica: At Goldman Sachs, we offer a summer associate program, which is for students working towards an advanced degree such as an MBA or JD, and is offered during the penultimate year of study.
Annie: Our recruiters for both IBD and IMD visit campuses around the globe and recruit for summer associate opportunities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Our summer program is a direct feeder into our full time program, so we encourage students who are interested in full time opportunities at the firm to apply.
What skills are you looking for when hiring graduate students?
Erica: In Private Wealth Management (PWM), within IMD, the uniqueness of each individual is what we value, but we do have a core set of attributes that we look for. We want to find candidates with an ambition to succeed, a desire to be client-focused and an entrepreneurial spirit. We also look for graduate students with commercial awareness, emotional intelligence, and the ability to think critically. We value candidates that come with diverse perspectives.
Annie: Agreed, most candidates interested in IBD may not realize that we are not only looking for candidates with direct finance experience and qualifications but that we have a strong appetite to recruit people with diverse experiences to the firm. We are looking for self-starters and candidates who have a genuine interest in the industry. It is important that candidates are prepared to discuss how the skills they developed in their previous career lend themselves to the role they are currently pursuing, and have a well-articulated response to why they want to join Goldman Sachs.
What interview advice would you give prospective candidates?
Erica: It’s important that you do your own research on the roles and industries available to graduate students. Standout candidates make personal connections with our professionals, stay engaged during the interview process, are persistent in the follow up and communicate what they will add to the company and business they are interviewing with.
Annie: Exactly, and it is also very important that students follow the news and stay abreast of what’s going on in the markets and industry. It’s great to interview students who have an opinion, and think about how markets, industry trends and the macroeconomic environment impact our firm and our clients. You don’t need the finance background because we’ll train you, but you do need to have the interest because that’s something we can’t teach.
How can prospective applicants learn about Goldman Sachs opportunities?
Erica: Our careers site is a good place to start. You can navigate our program finder to see if anything fits your qualifications and career goals. Another good resource is your classmates and alumni who have participated in the recruiting process and/or summer internship. They can provide their personal experiences.
Annie: The process starts very early - for some MBA programs it starts as soon as you arrive to campus - and it is incredibly important to start networking and participating in the on campus events we host throughout the fall. In addition to our careers website, attending our recruiting events and building relationships with our professionals will help you learn and understand more about our opportunities.
As a recruiter, how do you help match a candidate’s skills to a role?
Erica: We take the time to understand why the student went to graduate school, and speak to the skill set we look for and how their background aligns. We are transparent, and describe a “day in the life” as well as the career trajectory to help the student decide if this opportunity is the proper fit.
Annie: We partner very closely with our professionals within IBD as well as school team members to host events on campus and at our various offices that allow us to meet candidates. The education and networking components of the IBD recruiting process are very important to help our candidates understand which industry groups and locations make most sense for them.
What can a graduate student look forward to during an internship at Goldman Sachs?
Annie: The GS Summer Associate Program is a 10-week internship. For IBD, it begins with one week of divisional training in New York, including topics on technical skills, a case study and an in depth look at Goldman Sachs. You will then spend the remaining nine weeks with your business unit, working on teams to experience the role first-hand. You will be assigned both a formal and informal mentor to help you navigate the summer
Erica: If you are interning in PWM you can expect a world-class three week training program in New York, the chance to engage with senior leaders and diverse individuals across the firm and access to the global cross-divisional resources of Goldman Sachs. The remaining 7 weeks are spent in one of our 13 offices with PWM presence. Our summer associates have the opportunity to leverage the resources that full time professionals are able to take advantage of in addition to getting added exposure to senior leadership.
For more information on how to apply to our summer associate program try our Program Finder.