Goldman Sachs is one of the most well known multinational investment banks and financial services companies headquartered in New York City. What type of people work at Goldman Sachs?
I worked in the International Equities department at 1 New York Plaza, NYC from 1999–2001.
During analyst training, I got to know the roughly ~60 first year analyst classmates in the Equities department hired from around the world.
This was a time when Goldman Sachs had just gone public (1999), and the culture was extremely tight as the firm was also much smaller than it is now. Supposedly, joining the firm back then was harder than it is now as well.
Type Of People Who Work At Goldman Sachs
Here are some observations from my 1999 analyst class:
- Most of my analysts (80%) come from well regarded private schools. Some of my classmates I became friends with in the international equities department in NYC came from Harvard (emerging markets trading), Princeton (LatAm trading), Harvard (GSAM), UPenn (GSAM) and Dartmouth (US trading), and Yale (US institutional sales).
- A couple of the analysts had parents who were Private Wealth Clients, which required back then, a minimum of $25 million in assets under management. One of my classmates came from Virginia Tech, and was not particular impressive, but with parents who are clients, does it really matter?
- One guy was the son of the last Canadian prime minister at the time. I think he went to McGill.
- One woman was a model before deciding to work in banking.
- Then there was me, a relatively unimpressive guy who went to William & Mary, a non-target public university who got lucky by getting on a bus at 6am and attending career fair in Washington DC. See: The Luckiest Financial Move I Ever Made Is Something Everyone Can Do
Goldman culture at the time was very humble. They prided themselves on Stealth Wealth, putting the client first, and secrecy. I still remember a bunch of us analysts got to have breakfast w/ Mike Mortara, the guy nicknamed “fat ankles” in Michael Lewis’ Liar’s Poker, just b/c we reached out and asked.
I also felt that my analyst class at Goldman Sachs was quite diverse. However, the more senior employees tended to be mostly male, Jewish, and White. You also won’t find fake people like Melania Edwards at GS (remember that HSBC publicity stunt?)
As a parent now, I find the chances for my son to get a job at a good firm to be slim to none. It really seems impossible to join firms like GS, fake news king Facebook, or the next hottest startup without excellent grades, excellent communication skills, and DEEP connections.
Best of luck to everyone! Banking is a good training ground for building endurance, more endurance, calm under pressure, communication skills, and problem solving skills.
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