On the whole, I had a great experience with the firm despite the internship being a completely virtual experience from start to finish. I had the chance to meet a range of employees from different seniority levels and get involved in a variety of tasks and activities, so I enjoyed it a lot. We had the opportunity to also learn about initiatives the firm has going on outside of the day to day work environment.
I was surprised to find that I actually felt very valued by the company over the 5 week internship. I was placed in a team of over 10 people, and they all put in a lot of time and effort to make me feel like part of the team, and a valued part of the team at that. People outside of my immediate team were also friendly and welcoming, seeming to be genuinely happy to have me there.
I had many different streams of support throughout the experience. I was assigned with a buddy and a manager from within my team, then with a mentor from outside of my immediate team, who was in a different division. Having this mentor was really valuable and I had weekly calls with each of these people, where I could ask any questions and check my progress and areas for improvement. Overall, I received a lot of guidance.
I developed a lot of skills related to how to navigate the workplace, for example how to communicate effectively with colleagues and ask the right questions to find out necessary information. I also learned a lot from the various sessions I attended about how the firm works and what other divisions and teams do, and I believe this will be invaluable in helping me to make decisions regarding my future career choices, so I am now well informed.
The internship was very well structured to make sure we were always kept busy and productive despite being at home. We had a mixture of firm events (like talks and panel discussions), division sessions (where we could learn about other teams and divisions), and round table discussions with more senior people in the firm such as Vice Presidents or Managing Directors. If we had gaps in the day, we could independently work on out projects.
In general, there was a really great atmosphere because everyone was there to learn about the firm and the other interns were friendly and driven. Within my team, the atmosphere was very focused but also friendly because the team got on well with each other and would joke around before meetings formally started, for example. The atmosphere was not as strict and business-like as I expected from the internship, so I was pleasantly surprised on the whole!
The HR people put on loads of sessions throughout the 5 weeks to ensure that we were constantly learning and developing our knowledge of the functioning of the business. We also had sessions about the data software the firm uses, so we had an insight into data preparation and data visualisation, which was new to me and very useful! The project we were set also helped me to further enhance my understanding of my team.
Even though the experience was all virtual, I feel like I still managed to get a very good picture of what it would be like to work at the company full time. I got a good understanding of what the day to day tasks of my team looks like, as well as what the goals and aims of the division are. Working on my project and assisting in daily tasks meant that I now know what it's like to work with them.
I really understood the company culture by the end of the internship, thanks to events put on by the various Affinity Networks that the firm has (for example, the Black Network and Women's Networks, which they have for all of the divisions). We had talks and panel discussions from these networks, and also about initiatives by the firm (such as Launch with GS and the Analyst Impact Fund) which showed me that the company culture is very open.
The content of the internship was incredibly valuable, as I got a detailed insight into the firm and got to meet people that had just joined the firm. Gaining their perspectives gave me an idea of where I could take my own career path, and it was inspiring to hear from more senior members of the firm as well to learn about how they navigated their own careers from other firms or through Goldman Sachs.
The company was very generous in paying the interns for this virtual experience, even though it was shortened from the originally intended 9 weeks to just 5 weeks virtually. They honoured the financial commitment and we received our payments during the internship. The amount of payment was better than expected, and has given me a good idea of what kind of salary they would be offering someone who joins as a full time analyst next year.
There were plenty of opportunities to meet lots of people outside of my immediate team. Networking was definitely encouraged, and I feel like I met a lot of people. Conducting the internship online made it almost easier to arrange calls with people, as people seemed to have more time available for a quick catch up with me. I also met people through the Affinity Network sessions and everyone was always open to catch up and explain their roles to me.
I got to meet a lot of people through working with them and having catch up calls with them, but we did not have many social networking events to meet people informally. If the internship was in person, I feel that we would have bonded with each other a lot more, but our interactions are limited due to the virtual environment. It would have been nice to have quizzes or casual calls to get the know each other better.
I found out about a range of activities employees can take part in, such as attending events put on by all of the Affinity Networks or team social events. There are also charity initiatives to get involved with, such as volunteering or running a corporate marathon with other large firms to raise money for charity. You could also take part in a pitch challenge to raise money for a charity of your choice called the Analyst Impact Fund.
All in all, I would recommend the Goldman Sachs summer internship programme to a friend because it is genuinely an amazing way to figure out whether you would want to pursue a career with them and join as a full time analyst, without too much commitment involved. I got a lot out of just 5 weeks, so I think it is definitely a worthwhile opportunity to experience what it would be like to work at the firm.
Banking - Investment
Central London and City
8th August 2020
Less than £ 10,000