Every first year student in the Business School completes an embedded employability assessment. Last month, I took eight students who submitted the best work to visit the Goldman Sachs Birmingham office. Goldman Sachs are a world-leading financial institution famous for their investment banking division.
The Goldman Sachs office is located on Colmore Row at WeWork, a very fancy office which has all the creature comforts you could dream of: a lounge area with pool table & foosball table, free coffee and bar just for starters. During our visit, we met with some senior staff at the bank, who explained what each division of the group does. We then heard from analysts, who work in internal audit, compliance, communications and Human Resources, as they talked about what they do in their roles. It was great to see that two of the analysts speaking, are Aston Alumnae.
One of the students on the trip commented “It was really interesting to learn about the four functions at GS and about the placements and internships they offer. I found it very insightful to speak to people from each function about the journey they’ve been on, the projects they have worked on whilst at GS and the culture of their Birmingham office.”
Each member of staff that spoke about their role would mention how collaboratively they worked with members from other teams. Another theme, was how much responsibility staff were given early on, but at the same time, given so much support. This meant that those who really seek extra responsibility and drive their career forwards can do so at Goldman Sachs and that drive and career ambition is something they look for during interviews.
Goldman Sachs chose to open their regional Headquarters in Birmingham because of access to Talent, with Aston University being a target for them. A graduate recruiter talked through the placements and graduate schemes open at Goldman Sachs and explained what they look for during application and interview stages. They want to know: why you want to work at Goldman Sachs, why you applied to work in a particular role and what makes you different. Many firms will ask similar motivation-based questions. Gaining insights into the firm and the various divisions and functions really helps when it comes to writing applications, because you’ll be able to demonstrate comprehension of their business and the job to which you are applying.
We had a great afternoon at Goldman Sachs office and really appreciate the time all the staff took out of their day, to share insights.
Written by Adam Basdogan, Careers Consultant