Grad Job Insights: Q&A with a Trader at Goldman Sachs

Graduate scheme applications are in full swing now, but have you ever thought of pushing yourself to apply for one of the Top 20 Graduate Employers as of 2019?

We chatted with Lily, who has worked at Goldman Sachs as a trader for over a year now, to give us an insight into the life of a graduate there.

But before we launch into the interview with Lily, it is important to know who Goldman Sachs are! (As researching the company first is always best practice).

Goldman Sachs are a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management company. They provide a wide range of financial services to different clients that include corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Goldman Sachs are renown for their culture of success and excellence in pushing their graduates to achieve their best. An interesting fact about the company is that they use a total of 1 million computing hours per day for risk management calculations!

Q&A with Lily from Goldman Sachs

Q: What does your role involve as a trader?

As a trader, your main role is a market maker and a risk manager – so providing prices to clients and then managing whatever risk you buy and sell. On top of that, you’ve got to analyse the companies, speak to clients, follow the macro risk and come up with trade ideas.

Q: What is it like working at Goldman Sachs?

It’s intense, but in a challenging way. The expectations are high and there is the constant pressure to succeed; but saying that, the opportunities are endless! The company has the mantra that if you prove yourself and you do well, then we’ll give you the responsibility, which makes it more accessible for juniors to get involved.

Q: What is the mentor system like at Goldman Sachs?

There’s definitely schemes in place for mentorship from top down. We have round tables with MDs, allocated mentors within our franchise and within Women in Trading, they also assign you mentors. There’s the culture for it!

Q: What was the interview process like?

After an online pre-recorded interview, I was invited to an assessment centre, which consisted of 3 single interviews, so I’d say the easiest out of all setups. In a positive way, the interviews took me by surprise at how they tailored them to your experience. I was up against people who had worked in the industry, had relevant masters and in general, much more experience than a 2nd Year University student. However, they recognised that and tested me more on how I thought and approached problems than my technical knowledge. To not have just standard questions for everyone really was a good surprise!

Q: Did you take part in any extracurricular activities at University or do any work experience that helped you stand out from your peers?

I was the secretary for the Trading Society at Durham University, but I also played rugby and ran the fresher’s week for the college at University. Realistically, everyone has something about finance on their CV and good grades etc, so although you need it, it doesn’t make you stand out. They were much more interest in the sport I played or what hobbies I enjoyed – to almost prove I have a life outside of work.

What can you do next?

If you would like to find out more information about the Goldman Sachs Graduate Scheme or what they can offer students (including internships) you can visit their student careers section here: https://www.goldmansachs.com/careers/students/

And don’t forget we’re here to support you in your journey, so if you’d like your CV checked, to find out more about different jobs, to practice for an interview or assessment centre, or anything else related to your career, book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants.

We’re catching up with some other recent graduates to find out about their careers and get advice from them too, so look out from more blogs from us!

Pictured below: Goldman Sachs Office Floor in London.