Q&A with Joseph Adjei, Vice President in Salt Lake City

In this Q&A we catch up with Joseph Adjei, a data scientist in our Asset Management Division in Salt Lake City, who shares a bit about his background and career path, how he found a sense of belonging at the firm, and what makes Black History Month special for him.

What did you want to be when you grew up? 
I wanted to be an engineer/inventor, specifically I wanted to invent a motorbike with a retractable cover.

How’s it going?
I still enjoy engineering and making processes better. While I am not actively working on inventing, I find joy in helping and enabling others to create. I still want to be able to invent something in the future.

How did you find yourself at Goldman Sachs? What was your path here?
I studied statistics in college and wanted to use data to drive decisions. One of my professors suggested I look into financial firms because they have some of the most interesting and broad datasets. That's when I applied to, and ultimately got hired by, Goldman Sachs.

How did you find your community at the firm, your sense of footing and belonging?
The Black network helped a lot. Several of the Black vice presidents I met took me under their wings and connected me with their network, which allowed me to have a broad base of mentors from whom I could seek career advice. Additionally, programs like the Black Analyst Initiative provided me with coaches who were interested in my lived experience as a Black professional even though they didn’t look like me. That also helped broaden my network and help me find a sense of belonging.

Young Joseph in Kindergarten (left) and his two older siblings

How do you nurture your community outside of Goldman Sachs and create a sense of belonging for others?
I try to provide value in areas that I have expertise. I discovered that financial literacy and principles of investing constituted a significant knowledge gap in my community. So, I created a real estate investment meet-up to share ideas and help my community learn about investing. This has been very impactful for many of my African friends.

Similarly, I noticed that very few people in my local community pursued education and careers in STEM fields, so my friends and I set out to create the African Professionals in Technology as a way to introduce people to careers in technology and provide coaching, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

You have many passion projects, whether as co-founder of African Professionals in Technology, starting the meet-up real estate group or GK Folks Foundation and others.  What has been the most meaningful and why?
I really enjoy them all and they have all been meaningful. If I were to pick one, my real estate meet-up groups have been most meaningful because I have seen the impact it has had on members of my community. It has been rewarding to witness members of my meet-up group take action, invest in real estate, and reap the benefits of their investments.

Where do you see yourself in two, five or 10 years?
I would want to have built a platform that allows me to impact more people. I want to grow as a leader in the financial industry, I want to be able advocate for more people and help lower or tear down barriers that block those who look like me from pursuing their dreams.

What do you want your legacy to be?
I want to be remembered as one who provided an expanded vision for others. Someone who helped others “see” what was possible and provided not only mentorship, but also the tools that helped them achieve what they previously thought was out of their reach.

What is your wish for your daughters?
First and foremost, I want my girls to grow up with a strong sense of self-worth, I want them to know that, no matter what, they are worthy of love and belonging and have the courage to pursue their dreams and goals. I want them to grow up having all the resources they need to make their mark in the world.

What is your favorite memory working at Goldman Sachs?
Leading the production of the “Our Voices” video as part of Black History Month 2021. It was a great way to bring the Black community and allies together to talk about racial equity and the path forward .

How has Goldman Sachs helped you grow as a person?
The firm has provided me with opportunities to get involved in initiatives that allow me to build skills that positively impact my life and the lives of others.

What’s your superpower?
I think my superpower is teaching. I have the ability to teach and explain complex concepts and ideas in a way that a lot of people can understand.

Why do you enjoy working at Goldman Sachs?
I enjoy working at the firm because of the problems that I get to participate in solving. Whether it is streamlining a business process, or helping grow market share through differentiated client service and performance, or participating in initiatives to grow careers and make Goldman Sachs an employer of choice for diverse employees, all these bring me satisfaction. Working with people who are equally engaged in the things mentioned above makes the community here a fun place to be.

How does the firm empower you to be yourself?
There is a place and job for everyone at Goldman Sachs, and that means whatever I am interested in, there is an opportunity for me to engage and grow my skills in that area. The firm has helped me become a better leader and has provided me with the platform to meaningfully help and impact many people in my community.

What makes Black History Month special for you?
Black History Month is special for me because it is an opportunity to pause, reflect and take stock of the progress we are making towards a more equitable society. My hope is that when the future generations tell their story, they will tell the story of what we are doing today and how it has positively impacted their experience.