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Sam

What is your role in the Technology Division at Goldman Sachs?
I sit within the Compliance Employee Services Technology Team, which in brief means that I work within the technology team that supports the Compliance Division of Goldman Sachs. This involves building solutions to problems and also improving current processes/software that are in place.

What does your average week look like?
On a Monday and Tuesday I am based at Queen Mary University, where I attend lectures and partake in lab (practical) sessions for my modules. From Wednesday to Friday I am based at Goldman Sachs, where I will partake in projects that my team are working on. This can include anything from project meetings, to actually programming solutions. In addition to this, there is also the opportunity to network with other business units, attend internal training sessions and also attending events such as the Talks at GS sessions, which give great insight on a whole host of topics!

Why did you decide to pursue the degree apprenticeship programme?
The key reason I decided to pursue this programme was the chance to blend the experience of working at a global industry leader and also gain academic experience at a Russell Group University. What I am learning at University translates into the work that I do at Goldman Sachs, so that I am able to put my educational experience into action and vice versa, where I will see process and technology at Goldman Sachs that I would have missed out on, had I chosen to go the pure academic route.

What were you doing before you joined the programme?
I was working as an External Auditor for an accountancy firm before I decided to apply for this scheme. I was looking for the opportunity to get into the technology field, whilst also staying in the ever-changing finance industry.

In your view, what are the benefits of studying and working at the same time?
Experience and education are both incredibly import areas that shape who we are as individuals and therefore the ability to improve both simultaneously is the key benefit of this route. I have spoken to friends and colleagues and both have stated that they wished a programme like this was available to them!

How have you approached balancing responsibilities for your university studies and your  work at Goldman Sachs?
Being realistic with your time and also communicating openly are both useful tools to balance the responsibilities of this programme. Goldman Sachs have been very supportive when it comes to education, by holding weekly meetings with the apprentices to get our thoughts on the week, speaking through upcoming deadlines and trying to assist us in any way that they can.

What’s the one piece of advice from your experience that you would pass on to someone applying to an apprenticeship programme?
It may sound cliché, however just be yourself. When I had my interviews, I was open about the fact that I did not have any programming experience, however Goldman Sachs will assess you on your potential and what skills you can bring to the firm. My colleagues all come from very diverse backgrounds, with varying experience and this is actually one of the key strengths of the firm as a whole.