Goldman Sachs Reservists on Balancing Dual Careers

10 NOV 2017

There are a select group of Goldman Sachs employees who live in two worlds: having full-time careers at the firm while serving a commitment to the U.S. military as National Guard or Reserve Service members. They know they can be called to military duty at a moment’s notice, but many say they would not have it any other way, as being part of the military is part of who they are.

“We know that the skills that reservists bring to the corporate world are invaluable. Their military experience in terms of leadership, teamwork and adaptability directly impacts their work here,” says Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, Goldman Sachs’ chief diversity officer and global head of Talent. “We are committed to retaining, developing and supporting our veterans and reservists because we highly value their contributions to the firm and our clients, and we are proud of their service.”

Here we profile four service members:

Analyst, Investment Management Division, Salt Lake City
US Army Reserve, Firefighter

For as long as Julie could remember, she had wanted to be in the US Army. “My dad worked on Wall Street on 9/11 and was in the north tower during the attacks. He made it out by just a few minutes, so I have always wanted to join the Army to repay our good fortune,” said Julie, an analyst in the Investment Management Division (IMD).

After graduating from college in 2015, Julie was torn between wanting to join Goldman Sachs, where she had completed two summer internships, and wanting to go into active duty. “I started having open discussions with Human Capital Management and everyone was immensely supportive of my career goals,” said Julie, who joined the firm’s Operations Division in the Salt Lake City office shortly after graduation. The following year, Julie enlisted in the Army Reserve and spent seven months in basic training and the fire academy before moving to IMD in 2017.
Julie says she would not have it any other way as the dual careers are mutually beneficial.

“Being a soldier makes me a better Goldman Sachs employee and vice versa,” she said. “In the Army, you are always focused on pulling up everyone around you, so that when I come back to Goldman Sachs that team-building attitude really stays with me.”

Julie recently deployed for 12 months as a firefighter in the US Army.

Vice President, Investment Management Division, Private Wealth Management
Combat Pilot, Commander in the US Navy

When Kenyon joined Private Wealth Management in 2012 after 13 years of active duty, those around him knew that military service was a big part of his life. “In 2015, when I was mobilized, it was a reasonably smooth process because we had the lines of communication open from the start,” says Kenyon, a vice president in our Boston office.

Kenyon recalled that he was just two and a half years into his job when he was notified by the US Navy that he was being recalled to active duty. The firm had clear policies in place that allowed everyone to be on the same page. “From the very beginning, my regional management team, the rest of the Boston office and my leadership at the firm could not have been more supportive.”

During his roughly year-long deployment, Kenyon remained voluntarily engaged in the business and continued to communicate with his Goldman Sachs team, while fulfilling his military duties to the highest levels. “I remained in constant contact — it was something I chose to do,” he said. “In doing so, we helped to make the experience a success from the Navy’s and the firm’s perspectives.”

Vice President, Technology Division, GSET, Technology
Engineering Duty Officer, US Navy

In the seven years since Raymond has been at Goldman Sachs, he has been deployed to active duty three times. During those missions for the US Navy, he has run acoustic analyses to help the Navy locate submarines and built financial models for the Pentagon. In just a few weeks, Raymond will embark on another military deployment to Japan.

“The culture that we have here at Goldman Sachs aligns with the culture of the military,” he says. “We put our clients first and the military puts the people that it protects first,” says Raymond.

Raymond says the resources assembled for reservists have improved dramatically in recent years—moving from a process of “extreme networking” and information collected across various spreadsheets to what ultimately became the “Reservists Roadmap.”

Vice President, Technology Division
Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force Reserves

Andrew, who has been deployed three times in the five years he has been at the Goldman Sachs, is currently serving as an Air Mobility Division Chief with the US Air Force Reserves at Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Florida. In that role he exercises operational control over C-130 Hercules heavy cargo aircraft and crews and coordinates the airlift delivery of emergency supplies in and out of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane Maria.

"Whenever I've been called to serve, leaving my Goldman Sachs team behind, they've pulled together to pick up my work because it doesn't just go away" says Andrew, a vice president in Technology Risk.  The firm's team-oriented infrastructure helps to support reservists when they deploy, he says.

Several years ago, Andrew and veterans across Goldman Sachs worked with Human Capital Management help to create a “roadmap” with guides, resources and best practices for reservists.  It was designed to help ensure a smooth transition for managers, employees and their families when an employee is called to active duty.

“Creating a resource of best practices for veterans, including those who continue to serve in the reserve, seemed like the right thing to do for my colleagues who will be facing these challenges in the future,” he says.