Ask The Engineering Recruiters
Recruiters Catherine and Mallory discuss career opportunities in engineering at Goldman Sachs.
Q: How does Goldman Sachs define "engineering" as it relates to roles at the firm?
Mallory: The word “engineering”, as it relates to roles at the firm, is referring to individuals who are passionate about solving complex problems through math and software. Our engineering professionals come from diverse backgrounds including STEM and many other academic and professional backgrounds.
Catherine: Absolutely, it’s a way of thinking, not a particular degree that defines our engineering teams. As an engineer at Goldman Sachs, you'll contribute to a variety of projects including using big data and quantitative methods to address our clients’ needs or developing systems that are essential to how Goldman Sachs participates in financial markets worldwide.
Mallory: Of course, within engineering there are more specific roles and opportunities. For example, you can work with teams building sales and trading platforms or the engineering behind our cloud computing strategy, to name just two.
Q: What other opportunities are there for engineers at the firm?
Mallory: Our engineers develop transformational technologies that drive business and financial markets worldwide so there are many ambitious projects in progress at any given time. Check out the “See our Work” section on gs.com/engineering for an in depth look at the types of projects you could be working on in areas like open source, mobile apps and cloud computing.
Catherine: We also have specialists under the umbrella of engineering that we call “strats” who create quantitative solutions. Strats leverage their backgrounds in mathematics, computer science, engineering and science to build models, algorithms, and various other quant solutions, for example building out our electronic trading systems.
Q: What skills are you looking for when hiring for engineering roles?
Mallory: We focus on individuals with strong technical skills who strive to be innovative and creative, are passionate about what they do and have the drive and analytical capabilities for solving complex problems. Experience within the financial industry is not necessary...
Catherine: For strats, it’s important to note that math skills are equally important as classic technology disciplines like computer science. I would also add that we look for people who are ready to jump in, contribute and make an impact early in their careers.
Mallory: And we help our new hires get there as fast as possible with an extensive global training program that has different tracks for developer, infrastructure, and business analyst roles. Following training, new analysts form pods (or teams) for a seven-week-long first project focused on innovation. This brings together analysts from different backgrounds and regions to collaborate on a technical project with a common theme each year.
Q: What is it like to interview for engineering roles?
Catherine: Because problem-solving ability is the most important skill in engineering, that’s what the interviews focus on. We present the candidate with a problem, give them a few minutes to consider it, and then evaluate his or her thought process for finding a solution. We’re not always looking for an answer. We’re looking to understand how your mind works. This method is crucial for us to really evaluate a candidate’s technical skills and ability to work in a dynamic environment.
Mallory: This year we also added a coding challenge to our application process that lets candidates who are passionate about programming show us their technical skills and actually try solving some of the complex problems our engineers work on.
Q: As a recruiter, how do you help match a candidate's skills to a role?
Mallory: We do our best to pair candidate skillsets and interests to the right roles. We help students navigate the direction of their career and guide them within our engineering organization. We outline the roles of our engineers by the functions they perform—opportunities exist for everyone from developers to business analysts.
Q: What are the big trends in the industry and how do they relate to opportunities at Goldman Sachs?
Mallory: Well, the big trend in general is how technology-driven finance has become. Therefore, our engineers are a huge part of our overall success as a firm. We often say we are as much a technology company as we are a financial services company.
Catherine: But in terms of more specific trends, big data is very significant. The amount of financial data available has grown immensely in the past few years with technology and market structure changes. This has created a huge opportunity in data analysis and machine learning for Goldman Sachs. That’s why this trend has us interested in candidates across the data spectrum including those that focus on data wrangling and scrubbing at scale and also data scientists that draw conclusions from the data to make process improvements and create efficiencies.
Mallory: Additionally, we are increasingly looking for ways to expand our relationships with clients and increase flexibility and transparency through technology. Marquee is an example of how we are leveraging technology to change the way we interact with our clients, leveraging digital channels to complement services that have traditionally been delivered only via voice. These digital services include liquidity, trade ideas, and analysis that can be delivered via web applications or APIs, programmatic connections to our platform. Our Marquee offering also allows us to respond to changes we are seeing in the industry, as technology continues to decreases start-up costs and time to market for new entrants and regulations alter market structures and promote digitization of data and workflows, in addition to our clients and our own workforce exhibiting a strong preference for electronic communications.
Q: When you're speaking with students, what do they find most attractive about engineering opportunities at Goldman Sachs ?
Catherine: Students really like that they're going to see their work in production in a relatively short period of time and, more often than not, have the opportunity to work directly with their clients and end users who provide real-time feedback. For example, a strat may be sitting directly next to the trader he or she has been working with on a client or platform solution and the second it’s live they’ll see that trader using it and sharing immediate feedback. They also find very attractive the opportunity to make an impact on the organization from an early stage in their careers.
Mallory: Our work isn’t theoretical—it has real world impact on how our people do business, the ways in which we serve our clients and, by virtue of that, on the capital markets themselves.
Q: How can prospective applicants learn about Goldman Sachs engineering opportunities?
Catherine: Start with our engineering site on gs.com where you can learn about what we do, who our people are and what job and internship opportunities are available. Then sign up for My GS Events to look for opportunities to with meet us all over the world. We also participate in university-sponsored hackathons throughout the US and host our own hackathon, CodeGS.
Mallory: For university students, the absolute best way to learn about careers at Goldman Sachs is to apply to our summer internship program. In addition to receiving a tremendous amount of training, our interns spend 10 weeks working to solve real, business-driven problems alongside our employees.