Over the past two weeks Goldman Sachs published blog posts by eight different interns detailing their first impressions of the investment bank.
The posts set out some of the interns’ experiences over the past five weeks or so, and — as you might expect — nobody is rocking the boat. Posts carry headlines like ‘Why I Wanted to Work at Goldman Sachs’, ‘Examining My Preconceptions’ and ‘Overcoming Challenges through Learning.’
More telling, though, is the profile of the interns Goldman has chosen to show off.
Of the eight featured, only four are in New York, five are women, and only one is from an Ivy League School. Three are in the technology group, three are from Bengaluru, and one is in Salt Lake City.
Just who Goldman chose to showcase says a great deal about the image the bank is looking to portray to would-be recruits. Goldman Sachs did not return calls seeking comment.
The investment bank has made plenty of noise about its or moving jobs — to lower cost U.S. locations like Salt Lake City, as well as offshoring in India. Finance chief Harvey Schwartz said on the bank’s second quarter earnings call that around three quarters of the bank’s hires in the second quarter were in places like Salt Lake City and Bangalore.
Goldman has also made clear it considers itself a technology company. The company has more engineers and programmers working for it than Facebook, and consider itself to be in competition with start-ups and tech companies for tech talent.
That means it is going to have to address tech grads preconceptions about working inside a big bank.
Nikhil, an intern in the technology team in India said: “Being a computer programmer I wondered how on earth computer science engineers and people from the financial field would work together.
“Those two fields seemed utterly disconnected to me. But here I am collaborating with fellow interns from commerce, psychology and computer science.”
Then there is the “flat structure” – another recurring theme for Goldman Sachs, which says on its website that it promotes collaboration and that “everyone’s point of view is valid (even the newest intern)” and that “ideas can come from anywhere.”
Goldman also says that to have the best people it must draw from the broadest pool of applicants. In the words of another intern: “Each person’s uniqueness shapes the GS culture and that’s what makes things work.”
Ultimately, the bank is trying to reach millennial workers who have different career expectations, and tackle the stereotype that investment banks are hierarchical, mostly male, mostly white, and mostly Ivy League.
One of the interns said: “Coming into the firm, I was afraid certain stereotypes regarding investment banks would prove to be true.
“All I can say is that Goldman has flung those stereotypes out the window for me.”