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Inside View: Goldman Sachs

MBAs ranked Goldman Sachs as the investment bank they would most like to work for. Find out more about GS careers from Global Co-head of Campus Recruiting Sandra Hurse.

By  Aydin M

Thu Mar 7 2013

In a 2012 poll, MBAs ranked Goldman Sachs as the number one investment bank that they would most like to work for, and the seventh hottest employer across all industries. 
The world's most famous investor, Warren Buffet, broke from his traditional corporate investments in 2008 to buy a chunk of Goldman Sachs shares - everyone wants a piece of them! 
Known for being top of their game, Goldman Sachs operates across all types of investment banking (corporate finance, securities and asset management) with headquarters in New York and offices in all the major global financial centers. If you haven't stepped inside one of these offices yourself, this week we take you inside to meet Sandra Hurse, the Global Co-head of Campus Recruiting. 
Sandra, based in the Big Apple, has more than 15 years of experience in the banking sector. In this week's Inside View interview you'll get to learn from Sandra about careers at Goldman's, the MBA Summer Associate Program and Goldman Sachs University.
Which areas of the bank do you hire MBAs for? 
Currently the two areas of the bank that we hire MBAs for are our Investment Banking Division and our Private Wealth Management division.
Roughly how many MBAs do you hire into full-time roles each year?
Typically over 150 globally, but it varies.
Which business schools do you target in the US?
We target many of the top business schools including Harvard Business School, Wharton, Columbia Business School, Michigan-Ross and Chicago Booth for both investment banking and Private Wealth Management. Additionally, for Private Wealth Management we also include schools that are closer to some of our regional offices.  For example, in recruiting for our Dallas and Houston offices we target schools such as the University of Texas at Austin, UT McCombs and Rice.
However, candidates from any school across the country can apply at
Do you target any specific business schools in Europe or Asia?
In Europe we target the top schools such as LSE and INSEAD. There are less target schools from an MBA perspective in Asia but anyone has the ability to apply for a GS Associate role through our website.  
What percentage of your MBA Summer Associates typically receive job offers at the end of the program?   
We typically have room for all the MBAs. There's no typical number. We evaluate based on performance.
What's the typical starting salary for a New Associate?
We don't discuss salaries in public but we offer a competitive starting salary within the marketplace.
GS was placed among the top 10 firms where MBA students said they'd most like to work (CNN, 2012). Why do you think MBAs desire to work at GS over other investment banks?
I think one of the reasons candidates look to us is that we offer a long term career platform. That is pretty evident in the managers and senior leaders at Goldman Sachs who started as Associates. We have world class training and professional development, and our senior leaders are really committed to developing talent. 
Our people have the opportunity to work on prominent deals with important clients in a very entrepreneurial environment, especially in our Private Wealth Management business. They are directly managing high net worth clients and get a lot of responsibility early on to go out and generate new business.
How have careers at Goldman Sachs changed compared to six years ago?
We operate in a dynamic and evolving business environment, and give our new MBAs have the opportunity to make an impact and take responsibility early on in their careers. The market is shifting and we have to move with it in order to meet our clients' needs. So MBAs have the opportunity to really work on projects that can change from year to year depending on our client's needs.
Also, we're very committed to retaining our talent and promoting from within. We have groups in place such as the IBS Associates Advisory Council and the New Private Wealth Advisory (NPWA) Development Framework so candidates are supported early on and as their careers develop.
What do you think is the biggest mistake an applicant can make in the application/interview process?
I don't think that there is necessarily a biggest mistake. Overall we are looking for people who have a track record of excellence and can work in a team environment. We're also looking for people who are a good cultural fit and it's not necessarily a mistake if they aren't a good fit for Goldman Sachs.
Are you looking for different skills or backgrounds in Europe compared to the US?
Not really. On the technical side, we're looking for a pretty similar skill set around the globe. In Private Wealth Management one of the things we look for is people who are comfortable doing sales and managing a clients' needs. Overall we look for people who are committed to excellence, who like to do teamwork, and love to give back to their community.
How many applicants do you get for the Summer Associate Program?
We see over 10,000 applicants or more globally, but it can vary year by year.
Can you tell us more about the training that an Associate would go through?
In the Investment Banking Division, Associates work with a particular industry group, and have access to the training that is available to all GS employees through our GS University.

In Private Wealth Management people train in New York. Some of them then go and work in our regional offices. Wherever they are they continue to access training through GS University.

What is GS University?
GS University is the training arm of the firm. Through the University we offer training in hard and technical skills as well as soft skills such as presentation skills. Training is delivered both in person at our locations around the world, or online.
You attract the very best applicants. But is it easy to figure out which ones are really right for GS?
Our line managers are very involved in every step of the recruiting process, from talent identification, to educating candidates about our opportunities, to evaluating them. 
Our Summer Associate Program is the key feeder for our full-time roles. Our senior leaders are committed to ensuring that these summer interns get a good experience. It also gives us the opportunity to evaluate the talent: it's basically a 10-week interview for both sides. 

Learn more about Goldman Sachs careers at