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SUMMER 2015

Charlotte's Summer at Goldman Sachs

Charlotte is a summer analyst in the Global Compliance division in London doing rotations with the Regulatory Affairs team and Investment Banking Division Compliance. She is about to graduate with a law degree from Oxford University and is originally from the Netherlands.

EXAMINING MY PERSONAL BRAND

17 SEP 2015 - LONDON
 

Two weeks into my internship, my manager saw me waiting by the printer and asked, "I'm Lloyd Blankfein, how has it been going Charlotte?" She was giving me a chance to practice my elevator pitch following a training session during orientation called "The Art of Self Promotion" in which we were taught how to talk about ourselves and develop our personal brand. I quickly delivered the message I'd practiced with my partner during that session, thinking back to advice we were given about being prepared to speak confidently about ourselves at any time. 

I often return to thinking about "The Art of Self Promotion" and reflect on the ways in which I can continue developing my personal brand. Following interactions with my colleagues, I try to consider how successful I was at communicating my brand and what I could have done better. For example, my buddy recently asked me how I thought I was coming across. I hadn't thought about my personal brand in that context and felt my response could have been much stronger. Afterwards, I dedicated time to considering the question and what I could say if presented with a similar inquiry in the future. 

The Compliance intern project presentation is coming up and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to apply the self-reflection I have engaged in to the way I communicate during that presentation.

 

DISCLOSING MY DYSLEXIA

23 JUL 2015 - LONDON


Charlotte is a summer analyst in the Global Compliance division in London doing rotations with the Regulatory Affairs team and Investment Banking Division Compliance. She is about to graduate with a law degree from Oxford University and is originally from the Netherlands.

I am nearly halfway through my summer at Goldman Sachs and, next Monday I will be joining the Compliance for the Investment Banking Division, after having spent the last 4 weeks with Regulatory Affairs in Central Compliance. The move from Central Compliance to Divisional Compliance will be radically different and previous interns have said it’s almost like having another first day.

When I think back to my first day, I remember how nervous I was. When I received the Occupational Health questionnaire, which is part of the standard paperwork all interns fill out, I debated whether I should declare I was dyslexic. After all, Regulatory Affairs, like my Law studies, would be very reading intensive and I didn’t want to be perceived as less able to do the job. I decided to disclose my dyslexia and, little did I know, it would lead to some of the most motivational conversations I would have in my time at Goldman Sachs.

A week and a half into my internship Charles Eve, Head of Global Compliance EMEA, called me into his office. He asked me about being dyslexic, told me about diversity within the firm and shared his own experience of being dyslexic. He talked about different advancements, like colored filters that you lay over reading materials, that could help me (his preference was crème, his son’s light blue). He mentioned that he’d seen me read the Fair and Effective Markets Review, a rather lengthy document put out by the Bank of England, off a computer screen and kindly suggested that this may not be the most effective way to read such documents. Our conversation ended with a discussion of dyslexic senior leaders at Goldman Sachs, including President and COO Gary Cohn, whose inspirational story I then went on to read in “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell. 

The main lesson I learned that day wasn’t how successful you can be with a disability (although that was encouraging), but about what Goldman Sachs is like as an organization. The culture of excellence, cooperation and diversity we heard so much about at orientation  are embedded in everyday life at the firm and illustrated with a clear “tone from the top," as the Fair and Effective Markets Review would call it, a document I found is, in fact, much easier to read printed with a crème filter.