Fitsum Associate, Facilities Management Services Division, London

Education:  Masters, Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College
Hometown:  Addis Ababa and Oxford
Joined GS:  Internship, 2009; Full-time, 2010
Interests:  Sports and Motorbikes

I’ve found that my role combines my interest in environmental causes with the commercial outlook that I developed in school.

I work on the facilities management team. We cover all of the firm’s real estate holdings, and we maintain and operate the firm’s infrastructure in support of our traders and technologists. It’s an engineering and technical risk management role that, in addition to ensuring everything is running smoothly on a day-to-day basis, also requires us to think long-term and devise solutions that will decrease our energy usage and improve the efficiency of our buildings and data centers globally.

My role draws extensively on my engineering background. Engineering teaches you a rigorous, analytical way of thinking, and it’s essential to my work here. When it comes to incident management, my education has helped me break down a project into its basic components and make timely, informed decisions.

Growing up, the human impact on the environment was an important focus for me. I’ve found that my role here combines my interest in environmental causes with the commercial outlook that I developed in school. Our team manages how Goldman Sachs procure energy and considers how our efforts contribute to the firm’s environmental, social and governance commitments.

My team is very knowledgeable. There are five of us—three vice presidents, a consultant and myself—managing a combined real estate footprint of 1.6 million square feet. Working with them is a great opportunity, as I’m able to accelerate my development by tapping into their experience. In my four years with the firm, I’ve progressed as both a technical manager of engineering systems while also improving my skills from a commercial and analytical standpoint. I first worked with the team as a summer intern in 2009 and joined full time a year later.

The firm is committed to driving down energy consumption as low as we can, and, as a result, I’ve been able to go to senior management with a number of proposals. One example is lighting. Lighting both uses energy and creates heat, which we then have to use energy to cool. I helped devise a plan that replaced the firm’s lighting with high-efficiency LEDs. This has played a big role in reducing our energy footprint.

I’m working towards getting my chartership with the Engineering Council. When I first joined, this was one of my big career targets, and I’ve found that there’s great support for my professional development outside the firm, and it feeds into my work here as well.

I’m a keen motorbike rider. My interest in machines meant I was keen to get a motorbike – a 650cc – which I maintain myself. To get that all important downtime I also enjoy going for long rides on the weekend. And it’s more emissions-efficient than a car, so it ticks that box as well.