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Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon’s advice to summer interns: ‘Be an entrepreneur’


David Solomon, CEO, Goldman Sachs, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2020.

Adam Galacia | CNBC

Internships have started at Goldman Sachs‘ offices in the U.S. this week, according to the global investment bank.

Roughly 3,700 people won a coveted spot in the company’s internship program out of a record 236,000 who applied, according to a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank. That’s a 1.57% acceptance rate.

Goldman says it recruited students from 607 schools around the world, which is 100 more than last year, as it leans on software like video platform HireVue to help it cast a wider net.

With an unprecedented confluence of geopolitical events and a possible recession on the horizon, it’s an especially fraught time to be joining the workforce. (Successful interns are typically offered two-year analyst positions after graduation.)

On that topic, CEO David Solomon had some advice for his interns.

Here is a key excerpt from the email he sent to incoming interns on Thursday: 

Year after year as our interns begin the summer program, I’m asked how you can get the most out of your time at the firm, so I’d like to share some additional advice.

  • Take the long view. You’re going to have a great summer, but there’s no question some days will be challenging. There will be bumps in the road. The important thing is to keep going—and to enjoy the ride.   
  • Be an entrepreneur. Be on the lookout for any way you can contribute—no matter how small. Asking your team regularly how you can pitch in is often the quickest way to learn more about the firm and our business.
  • Embrace evolution. As individuals and as a firm, we know that we can’t stay still. But, as important as it is to change, it is also critical to stay true to what makes you, you. For Goldman Sachs, that means embodying our core values of client service, excellence, partnership and integrity, as we expand to new cities, stand up new businesses and find new and unique ways to serve our clients and customers.
  • Remember to listen. This is how I define a successful meeting: the client talks, and I listen and ask questions. Try to get the main takeaways from the conversation. And always end with gratitude for people’s time. Ultimately, your goal is to let that person know you really heard them.
  • Carve out time for your passions. It is no secret that I have a hobby outside of work – music requires different mental muscles than I use during the work day. Make time to do things that you want to do because they stimulate and excite you. Your passions give you the fuel you need to stay motivated.

You’ll also quickly learn that our people are eager to hear your insights because you are the future of our firm – so get involved in as much as you can over the next few weeks and actively share your perspectives with your teams. I’ve always said the best thing about our firm is our people, and that includes the talented group of interns who join us each summer – all of you. Have a great summer.

David



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