Goldman Sachs Hosts Inaugural Leadership Summit for Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

11 DEC 2017

More than 100 student leaders from 35 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the US convened at the firm’s headquarters in New York recently for the inaugural Goldman Sachs HBCU Leadership Summit.  HBCU students joined Goldman Sachs professionals for a three-day event focused on skills-building, networking and exploring what it means to be a leader.

Harvey Schwartz, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, spoke to the students at a fireside chat about the importance of diversity to the firm’s success. “To be successful, we have to be open-minded,” Schwartz said. “At Goldman Sachs, our belief system that diverse opinions make us a better firm has been proven over a long period of time and is a priority for us.”

Other highlights from the summit included an interactive session on connecting passion with purpose and defining what it means to be an authentic leader. There was also a student-led “unconference,” where students facilitated discussions with their peers on topics ranging from combating elitism among HBCUs to facilitating international travel as an undergraduate student. 

Students also had the chance to hear from distinguished speakers, including documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Jr., Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick and Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny Taylor, Jr. on the history of race and education in America. The session featured a special preview of Nelson’s new film, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities.

Nicole Pullen Ross, region head of the Private Wealth Management (PWM) business for the Mid-Atlantic region and head of the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. offices as well as a proud Hampton University alumna, spoke with the students on the first evening.  In the video above, she shares three pieces of advice with students: be intellectually curious; be open-minded and authentic about your interests; and pursue your goals with real passion.

The HBCU Leadership Summit is one of many of the firm's exploratory programs where students can learn more about careers at Goldman Sachs and the industry. Students interested in this program should refer to our Program Finder.


Many students donned their college gear for the opening night kickoff networking event.

Students had an opportunity to engage with Goldman Sachs professionals from across the firm.

Goldman Sachs President and Co-COO Harvey Schwartz greets students prior to a fireside chat.

One of the breakout sessions led by Ayanna Clunis of our Operations Division.