Phoebe’s Summer at Goldman Sachs
Phoebe is a senior at Ashesi University College in Ghana studying Computer Science. She is a summer analyst with Client Services Technology, a subdivision of Operations Technology in our London office.
FOUR THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE STARTING MY INTERNSHIP
03 SEP 2015 - LONDON
In the months leading up to my internship, I was anxious. My imagination ran wild with possibilities. For anyone as worried as I was, here are four things I learned during my internship that I wish I knew before I started:
- It’s not as intimidating as you think! I have met amazing people at all levels here at the firm. Despite being busy with their own roles, they are very interested in ensuring that you find your footing. Everyone is committed to making sure interns have a positive experience and get the most out of their time here.
- It’s challenging in a good way. People who said working at a financial services firm would be challenging were right. But that’s what makes it exciting. Unlike in college where the impact of what I’m learning is less tangible, my deliverables here are for real clients with real business outcomes. Knowing that my work is providing a solution that improves efficiency or reduces costs can be intimidating, but it’s been a fulfilling experience that makes me realize how much I’m capable of.
- It’s okay not to know things as long as you ask questions. I remember joining my team meetings during the first few weeks and, even though I listened as attentively as I could, some terms and concepts were foreign to me. People were more than willing to explain things but it was up to me to speak up and ask questions. I’ve learned to champion my own growth and that has made my internship experience even more valuable.
- You’re not alone. One of my favorite parts of the experience is going through it with so many other interns who all encourage each other. It’s a unique network I could not have built anywhere else.
03 AUG 2015 - LONDON
Before I boarded the airplane for my six hour flight from Ghana to London, I was certain that I had thoroughly prepared for my summer internship at Goldman Sachs. I had never actually been to the office, being that I applied from Ghana where I attend university and interviewed remotely. But I used the two weeks prior to my departure to brush up on my commercial awareness, take online trainings provided by Goldman Sachs and review feedback from my previous international internships. I now know that no amount of preparation could have made me completely ready. My few weeks here have taught me that there is an infinite cycle of learning at Goldman Sachs and, in the end, it is my willingness to learn that is most important.
Internships at Goldman Sachs get off to a fast start. By the end of my first week at the firm I was already attending weekly team meetings; getting on daily calls with team members in New York and India; attending lots of training sessions; and meeting with people from around the firm to understand how the various divisions work. I have had to juggle these with maintaining my network and taking ownership of my project. At first I felt overwhelmed by having so many priorities but it challenged me to develop better time management and multi-tasking skills.
The experience I’ve found most valuable so far was meeting with my manager to draw up my personal development plan. She helped me develop strategies to enhance my strengths and address my weaknesses during my time here. At that point, I realized there is as much importance placed on my personal development as there is on my deliverables.
It’s only midway through the internship and I’ve grown more in a handful of weeks than I do an entire semester in college.