Rex Analyst, Global Natural Resources Investment Banking Division, New York
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Undergrad: Dartmouth College
Joined GS: Interned, 2014; Full-time 2015
Hobbies: Running, Triathlon, Film, Creative Writing
I think that Goldman's junior banker initiative has made a huge difference in my experience as a junior banker.
I was born in Connecticut but grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and went to high school there. I always wanted to head east for college and was looking for a strong undergraduate program with a beautiful campus— I liked the appeal of a college town, as I figured I'd be in a big city for many years after! Dartmouth felt like a community and like home. In college I was a middle distance runner, and Hanover, New Hampshire, is a beautiful place to train.
My interest in finance developed through introductory economics classes and through joining some finance clubs at Dartmouth. I joined the Dartmouth Finance Society, and eventually worked my way up to President of the club, which exposed me to upperclassman who were working in investment banking. After a summer internship in wealth management in Tucson my freshman summer, I did internships in classic mergers and acquisitions advisory in New York.
In college, Goldman had been on my radar for a few years. Dartmouth alums visit often for recruiting events and speak highly of the culture and their experiences. I attended some Goldman events and saw an internship as a way to get a better understanding of the firm and improve my skills. When I began interviewing, I really connected with the people I met. Everyone impressed me as bright and accomplished, but also personable and approachable. I was offered a summer internship in the Investment Banking Division (IBD) group in the summer of 2014. I interned on the Global Natural Resources team, which is the team I’m on now.
Finding the right opportunity involved meeting with a couple groups within IBD. I was looking for two things: first, the opportunity to learn and be challenged; second, the chance to work with great people. Working in Global Natural Resources, you’re exposed to a lot of different products and sectors. We touch debt, equity, restructuring, and classic M&A advisory, and we work on everything from energy to power and utilities to chemicals and metals. You get a wide array of skills, which appealed to me. The people were important to me, because I wanted to work with people who would invest time in mentoring me, challenge me intellectually, and also make me look forward to coming to work every day. I really connected with some of the people I met when I visited the group, and I could see myself fitting into the culture.
I had never taken any finance or accounting classes, and I was concerned about that. Joining Goldman from a liberal arts background can be a little intimidating. But Goldman prides itself on bringing in talent from a diversity of backgrounds, educational and personal, and cultivating people who are willing to put in the time and work to learn. The most important thing is to come in with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. There were others in my hiring class that also didn’t have experience in finance, but were passionate about learning with a great attitude.
Investment Banking is an apprenticeship business. As a summer intern, I worked really closely with an analyst who would stay late just to walk me through what he did during the day, and teach me new skills, such as how to build a financial model. He could have left a couple hours earlier, but instead he took the time to help an intern learn the ropes. I’ve found that senior people really take a vested interest in the junior people, and view them as an important asset to the team and to the firm. They encourage junior people to have exposure to clients and work with them. This morning, for example, I updated the CFO of one of our clients on the progress of our model and valuation. It's really cool to have that exposure with clients this early in my career. Goldman encourages us to build those skills of communicating with clients and building relationships, which will be even more valuable when you’re a senior banker.
Investment banking is a client-driven business. Our goal is to serve our clients and ensure that all their needs are met, which can change at any moment. That’s what we signed up for and I enjoy the excitement that comes with that. It’s part of the industry. I think that Goldman's junior banker initiative has made a huge difference in my experience as a junior banker, particularly having a protected Saturday to make plans. We have what's called the 9 to 9 Rule. From 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Sunday, we need an exception to be in the office. It's really nice to know you can make plans with friends and that work will not interfere.
I try to run four or five days a week. It can be tough with the busy schedule, but I typically try to go in the evenings. We work right along the Hudson, and it's a beautiful place to run. I also try to get to the gym in our building a few days a week to lift weights. Going for a run or going to the gym are nice ways to break up the day and keep a balanced lifestyle.