21 AUG 2019

Connecting with Black Undergrads and High School Students During Summer Event

On Martha’s Vineyard recently, Goldman Sachs co-sponsored a Black Economic Alliance event about the future of work, and a group of GS colleagues later hosted black undergraduate and high school students at a recruiting event.

The Black Economic Alliance is a coalition of business leaders and aligned advocates committed to economic progress and prosperity in the black community with a specific focus on work, wages, and wealth.  Lisa Opoku, global chief operating officer for Engineering, participated on a panel that highlighted the impact of technology and the digital economy on the black community.  Leaders convened for a panel discussion that highlighted the impact of technology and the digital economy on the black community.  Lisa Opoku, global chief operating officer for Engineering, participated on the panel.

Lisa Opoku, with students

To build off of the momentum of the Black Economic Alliance gathering, a group of Goldman Sachs colleagues hosted a recruiting event for black undergraduate and high school students. The students had a chance to learn about the firm and network with firm leaders, including Lisa and members of our recruiting team.  Megan Hogan, head of Diversity Recruiting, offered advice to the attendees, saying, “whether your next step is learning more about the businesses of Goldman Sachs, applying to an internship, or making a career pivot, we are on the journey with you.”

The recruiting event was a reminder of the importance of networking and making authentic connections – especially while applying for internships or making a career move. 

We asked Megan to share her top tips on how to be a pro-networker:

Network Across Levels.  Don’t just try to get the time with the most senior person in the room.  Sometimes the most helpful advice comes from your peers.
Be Curious.  Ask questions to learn about the person’s career, background and interests.  And, really listen – lasting connections can form from what you learn.    
Be Yourself.  Share what makes you, you but no need to sell!  Have a few talking points about yourself ready but try to scrap the elevator pitch.  The best first impressions should come naturally.
Practice.  Networking is an art.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone and break the ice.  The more you attend events and throw yourself into networking situations the better you’ll be. 
Follow-up.  Sending an e-mail post interaction is a nice touch.  Don’t overthink the e-mail, just a simple “nice meeting you” and mention of the conversation does the trick.