Our London Apprentices Offer Best Advice to Next Class
We asked our 2016 class of technology degree apprentices to share their best advice for the incoming 2017 class. The Goldman Sachs Degree Apprenticeship is a four-year programme, providing participants the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship within Goldman Sachs’ Technology Division while studying for a degree at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Here's what they had to say:
- Account for your time. Always plan how you are going to spend your day. Make sure you set time-sensitive goals for both the long- and short-term.
- Achieve a balance. You will be constantly juggling your work, student and personal life over the next four years. Always ensure you find a balance of the three.
- Enjoy yourself. As you know, you are going through university, try and partake in some of the university activities. Meet other student and apprentices and make the most of your university experience.
- Remember that you’re here to learn. Take every opportunity available to learn about everything related to technology and finance. In doing this you will find what you enjoy the most and what areas you really have a passion for.
- Communicate openly. Be completely open with managers and your teams about what you would like to learn about and what to work on. If there are any projects that particularly interest you, you should always mention this to managers. They’ll most likely be able to accommodate you.
- Ask questions. Don’t be daunted by challenging projects, ask questions and you’ll learn a lot from these.
- Do your research. Use the internal resources to find out about tools, projects and acronyms that you hear in meetings and what’s going on within the firm.
- Be social. Get involved in team events and meet as many people as you can. You can learn a lot from talking!
- Get it done early. Use your time wisely and frontload work. There is less pressure at the beginning of semester and certain modules such as Procedural Programming will give you all of your assignments in bulk. If you aim to complete these earlier in the semester it will definitely take the pressure off when everything is due at the end of the semester.
- Leverage your colleagues. The firm has many people who are subject matter experts in the modules you are studying. Utilise these resources and be sure to ask them for help or even go beyond the course spec and see how what we learn at university is applied to work. This will make understanding university content much easier (and hopefully result in higher grades!).
- Have fun! Remember that you are a university student in London and make sure you explore everything the city has to offer. Go to museums, visit some sights, get involved with sports and experience the nightlife.
- Make the most of the resources around you. There is a wealth of knowledge at Goldman Sachs and Queen Mary, whether that is through your colleagues, professors, the online resources available, etc. Utilise these to your advantage and build up your own network.
- Follow your interests. Don’t feel confined to your team. If you have interests in other areas of technology, how the firm operates, etc., reach out to people in those areas and they will be more than happy to spend some time with you.
- Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Striking the balance of your work load is a challenge that we all have and it is especially apparent when starting a new role! When finding your feet, you will be keen to impress, however it is important to take a moment and be realistic with your time and what you can achieve.