Getting into Goldman Sachs

IBDaspirations's picture
Rank: Baboon | 155

Currently a freshman but I'll be obtaining a BBA from Ross School of Business as well as a BSc in Industrial and Operations Engineering. If my GPA maintains (4.0 now) + doing a 3-4 week banking internship this summer (Barclays, ABN AMRO Bank or HDFC) what kind of chances would I have for Goldman Sachs SA during either soph or jr summer assuming I don't add any more clubs to my extra-currics?

(I'm currently in a selective investments club. Outside the club it is very well known but, unfortunately the people inside know that you don't actually learn anything from it.) I'm asking because I know these stats are very important, but the reputed investment clubs (other than the one I'm in) have an acceptance rate of about 6-8% - so I'm preparing for the worst case scenario.

Also, considering my status, what else can I do now to help improve my chances? And, is it true that GS is "biased against gunners who do nothing but try to break into IBD"?

Comments (107)

Jan 25, 2012

THE goldman sachs??!!?!?!?!??!?!!?!?

Jan 25, 2012

enjoy life a little more and remember that goldman isn't the only investment bank out there.

Jan 25, 2012
esbanker:

enjoy life a little more and remember that goldman isn't the only investment bank out there.

Jan 25, 2012

Yes, the Goldman Sachs.

I know that there are other great banks out there and I'll be very glad to get the other banks but I always aim for the very top so even if I don't make it, I improve my chances at the BBs that aren't as prestigious as Goldman Sachs.

Jan 25, 2012
IBDaspirations:

Yes, the Goldman Sachs.

I know that there are other great banks out there and I'll be very glad to get the other banks but I always aim for the very top so even if I don't make it, I improve my chances at the BBs that aren't as prestigious as Goldman Sachs.

You didn't feel like a complete tool writing this, huh?

Jan 25, 2012

GS, slightly more than most banks, are biased against gunners who do nothing but try to break into IBD. But all banks don't really enjoy seeing kids with nothing on their resumes but finance, finance, banking, finance. Esp from a non-target (ruh roh).

Source: By the time you are applying to SA spots, it could be me flipping through the resume books. I will be a second year analyst at GS IBD.

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Jan 25, 2012

I'm looking into doing joining some consulting clubs as well as a professional business fraternity among other things.

As someone who has made it into GS, what extra-curriculars would you recommend that I try and pursue other than finance/investment related ones?

Also, how would working at ABN Amro/RBS or a government run Indian financial bank during freshman summer look?

Jan 25, 2012
IBDaspirations:

As someone who has made it into GS, what extra-curriculars would you recommend that I try and pursue other than finance/investment related ones?

What do you like to do?

Jan 25, 2012

ITs good to have a goal, but there are a lot of good IBs out there. Apply everywhere

Jan 25, 2012

Dude, you're a freshman and you have three of the best years of your life ahead of you. Like others have said, try to enjoy college - work hard, get your shit done but have some fun. I've reviewed dozens of resumes for both IB and PE positions and, with few exceptions, the well-rounded candidates are much more attractive recruits than the die hard finance kids. I'm fast approaching my 5 year college reunion and certainly don't wish I'd spent more time in college "positioning" myself for IB recruiting.

Jan 25, 2012

"How long is a piece of string?"

No one can tell how good your chances. Just enjoy college and see where you end up. Balance your CV and your life out so you don't come across as a drone.

Jan 25, 2012

First thing, I would not just pick GS because of its perception. Now, to some degree, that is important as one considers exit options, etc. However, better to join BofA, MS, Barclays, JPM, etc if you have a better fit then to join GS and not fit...

Furthermore, I think its counter intuitive. If you want to get into GS, I wouldn't be a tool about it and bend one's life to get into GS. I would be a bad ass for the sake of being a bad ass and then if you get into GS, great. So, other than those clubs at UM specific to banking, I would do clubs and be a leader in those things that you like.

My junior internship was at GS in I-banking. I decided to go full-time elsewhere in M&A. Probably the road less traveled as most people stumble over GS, but my road nontheless.

I found getting into GS was easier if you were a leader. I went to a similar school as UM. When I was applying I was in our banking club, was President of my fraternity, President of another organization on campus, I had networked, and had a 3.7+ g.p.a. I feel like I had my offer b/c of the leadership stuff.

That being said, the other guy in my class who went to GS was a hard core banker. Like, did banking models in his spare time in college. He was by far the smartest kid I knew in my class for banking b/c he worked at it like crazy...probably why he is at TPG right now.

So, to summarize, don't pick GS just because. When you go to interview it will come off as though you are not genuine and they might think you are a tool...at the end of the day people choose people they like. However, to have the best chance at that firm (and any other firm) either be one of the top 1-2% of leaders at your University or be one of the top 1-2% of intelligence (finance and banking) at your University. From there, all the normal networking and interview prep rules would apply.

side note, UM grads will be reviewing your resume, likely interviewing on campus, etc. I would network with them. Ask them what they look for. You really want to help yourself go out to NYC your sophomore summer and ask one or two from each bank out for a cup of coffee and keep them in your loop...this helps big time.

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Jan 25, 2012

Goldman Sachs is the best. No question about it. It is similar to the pedigree of Harvard, sure there might be some years where UPenn or Stanford seem more desirable but everyone knows Harvard is better. (based on my biased prestige whore mentality)

Start networking. Your other stats are great, so the only aspect you seem to need is your network.

Good Luck.

Jan 25, 2012

I hope for the sake of my sanity that the majority of kids like this never make it into the industry.

Jan 25, 2012

Goldman won't be a going concern by the time you graduate, sorry bud.

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Jan 25, 2012
Jan 25, 2012
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Jan 25, 2012

you are a fucking little tool

Jan 25, 2012

I once had that same mentality going into college, but when I research GS more I found that it was not a right fit for me. I thought why would I work for a company that I would naturally not fit in. I actually found that BOFA, MS, JPM all of whom are great banks would be more suited for me.

Also, don't forget about the boutiques. I recently read on here that BB banks don't offer you the same exposure as boutiques.

Think of it this way. If you helped a client on a deal do you want them to remember your name. If yes than apply to some boutiques, and if no apply to the BB.

Although, that may not be true for every BB, but for the majority I hear it tends to be that way.

You have a lot of years ahead go have fun and enjoy your time in college. You don't want to look back at your college years and regret not doing some of the things that normal college kids do.

Jan 25, 2012

Can you please elaborate how you want to get a 3-4 week internship at ABN Amro? To my knowledge, it doesn't exists (minimum of 3 months I believe).

Jan 25, 2012
Walkerr:

Can you please elaborate how you want to get a 3-4 week internship at ABN Amro? To my knowledge, it doesn't exists (minimum of 3 months I believe).

I actually was about to ask that, and what is this internship with Barclays just wondering

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed,

Go Bucks!!

Jan 25, 2012

you are the kind of guy no one would want to work with. this will keep you out of IBD.

Jan 25, 2012

Not the answers you wanted right? Haha my fellow freshman, I actually thought the way you did (and to some extent still do a little now) but this is not what wall street is about, sure it's a shark fest when you are ON wall street but in college just chill because you never know what may happen (and recruiters want to hire someone chill). Just let things fall into place congratz on the offer that is fucking sick BTW. Just lurk more on this website and learn about the psyche of the people who visit here otherwise you will get shit stormed (I was a couple times and I deserved it). GL man

Oh BTW FUCK U (I actually rejected my Umich acceptance)

go bucks

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed,

Go Bucks!!

Jan 25, 2012

I had an interview with GS today--you should probably starting preparing right now, it was difficult. That being said, the people are very impressive and personable. Make an effort to reach out to alumni who work there and tell them about your interest. I had a 3.1 in a finance/accounting major and still got an interview.

Jan 25, 2012

A lot of what is said in this thread is true if a little over the top. What it boils down to is that people can spot a resume padder from a mile away. There are tons of kids my school that do business frats, student investment clubs, attend modeling courses on a couple weekends, and just generally try to pad/tailor their resume with everything they can. Almost all of them end up failing when it comes to banking recruiting because frankly they are just extremely annoying people to spend time around because they are the kind of kids who text you an hour after an exam to ask what you got in the hopes they beat you by a point. The guys who are consistently successful in breaking in are the ones who have the top grades and the top internships, but outside of that are generally personable people with social lives and interests outside of finance.

Nothing wrong with making banking your goal but don't turn yourself into a drone thinking that will help. If you are really interested in investing join the student investment club, but don't join all of them just to pad your resume. These things provide the most benefit to people with non-finance backgrounds trying to show an interest. If you are majoring in finance already and doing internships you'd be better off doing something you actually enjoy and can show a passion for.

One of the best things I think you can do for freshman summer is study abroad and have fun. If you can work an internship while abroad then great, but if not you will have plenty of time to do that sophomore and junior year. Honestly going through SA recruiting this year I probably spent more time talking about my experiences abroad then either of my internships combined. I'm in a student club as well (non-finance) and it was never even brought up once.

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Jan 25, 2012

You want real experience that will help you or just shit to do to put down on your resume?

God you sound like a dweeb. It's people like you that make me hate GS.

Jan 25, 2012

Prestige? GS doesn't touch me for prestige.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jan 25, 2012

If I get you into GS, will you get me in?

Jan 26, 2012

op what soap do you use?

heard gs does a smell test to make sure you are wearing dove and not Irish springs (they sell it at non target schools (princeton)).

Jan 26, 2012

First and foremost, thou shalt not be a tool.

Jan 26, 2012

OP - don't worry about all the negativity. Setting your IB bar at GS is just like telling your high school counselor "I want to go to Harvard or Stanford." (I don't see any problem in that) I'd say you just have to work on being a little bit more political.

However, you have the right mentality (kind of). Don't reverse engineer your resume so that you can "fit" with GS, bc, as someone said, GS interviews are hard and are designed to get expose "why do you do the things you do." Not to say that every bank doesn't try to do this, GS just does it a little better (same goes with their advisory).

Be yourself and pursue things that are impressive. At the end of the day, you want to be the kid that a) has a good GPA b) did a summer in finance / doing real work, and c) has amazing leadership experiences. If that is what you are genuinely interested in, then pursue it and GS will realize the candidate you are. Just know that if you are sitting in the library cranking on HW 24/7 then consider yourself dinged. You absolutely need to be a leader on and off campus for you to have a shot. Good luck man.

Source: Applied to GS every year as an undergrad and didn't get my shot until junior year bc thats when I pulled my shit together and had leadership experiences I could talk about (not just list on my resume). Got the nod from GS and haven't looked back.

Jan 26, 2012

Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate the flaming too as it is a reality check.

I guess I should have been more clear as to why I posted GS. My father always told me that if you want to get a 4.0, aim for a 4.3 (even if it isn't possible) because then you are more likely to get a 4.0. I'm following the same mentality here. I'm aiming for Goldman Sachs so that even if I don't make it there, I'll get some other great internship at a top BB or boutique.

As for the summer internships this summer at ABN Amro/Barclays, there is no proper summer internship program that I'll be doing. I'm using connections, hence why I'm getting the internship in the first place and why it will be 3-4 weeks.

Jan 26, 2012

GS or bust, that's the spirit.

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Jan 26, 2012

your mentality mirrors a quote by confucious: "If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it's ok. But you've got to shoot for something. A lot of people don't even shoot."

if you genuinely want to do IB, and you are not obnoxious about it, then there's nothing wrong with aiming for goldman. good luck man.

Jan 26, 2012

The title of this totally reminds me of eager high school kids on college confidential... "Getting into HARVARD?"

Feb 4, 2012

Which would look better?

  1. BBA + Financial Math Minor; GPA around 4.0 (it is out of 4.4 since that is what you are awarded for A+)
  2. BBA + Financial Math Major; GPA around 3.8 for BBA and around 3.6-3.7 in Financial Math
Feb 4, 2012
IBDaspirations:

Which would look better?

  1. BBA + Financial Math Minor; GPA around 4.0 (it is out of 4.4 since that is what you are awarded for A+)
  2. BBA + Financial Math Major; GPA around 3.8 for BBA and around 3.6-3.7 in Financial Math

Doesn't matter. Both are good enough to be competitive.

Feb 4, 2012

Everything you have and more.

I'm just kidding....you'll be fine. You have an excellent GPA at an excellent and very difficult school. "Only the smartest people in the world go to this school, the Wharton School of Finance." -Donald Trump- You're fine. Just make sure you don't bomb the interviews.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Feb 4, 2012

they pay the least, you work the most and every one is arrogant. why not margan stanley? what specifically do you want to do? what about Blackstone?

by the way, what's your major?

Feb 4, 2012

i kind of just wanted to use goldman as a catch all for the hardest banks to get into. i'm majoring in finance, acct, and opim btw. Morgan Stanley m&a and Blackstone are of course pretty much equivalent places. although i am not quite sure what Blackstone analysts do, i've heard it is extremely prestigious.

Feb 4, 2012

Blackstone....assuredly you mean BlackRock?

Feb 4, 2012

does Goldman Sachs really pay the least? or do they simply pay the least among BB firms because they know that people are willing to work for less there because of the prestige of the firm.

Feb 4, 2012

GS doesn't pay the least among the BBs, they release bonus #'s later so they can pay in-line with the street. they are cheap, their philosophy is to pay you just enough so you won't leave... this, of course, is less relevant at the analyst level since we usually leave after 2 years

to address your question, what does it take, a 3.78 GPA is great, but that's only one part of your story. as a fellow whartonite, it's easy to get caught up with just that part of it... you need to find out waht it is that will distinguish yourself from all the other 3.7/3.8ers at Wharton, whether it is strong sophomore internship, position in UG leadership, etc.

make sure every aspect of your game is straight (leadership in ECs, strong GPA, strong technical knowledge, strong previous experience... reading the Vault guide is not sufficient, take FNCE 203 upcoming semester or spring semester, this needs to be fresh in your head for interviews). assuredly he is referring to Blackstone and not BlackRock. Blackstone recruits at Wharton for every division (M&A, Restructuring, even Private Equity--the most prestigious of all). The two strongest groups are PE and Restructuring, but BStone is known to work their analysts hard, especially for a buyout shop.

oh, and btw, a lot of Wharton kids have everything down, except they're kind of socially awkward and a little too A-type (if possible)... try to come across as smart, aggressive, but also relaxed and assured of yourself...

Feb 4, 2012

are you sure about finance 203? i was going to take that but most of my older friends say that it is a pretty useless class which rehashes most of the same topics studied in finance 100. i was thinking about taking finance 207 (corp val) this upcoming semester, what do you think?

Feb 4, 2012

I want to work for the Goldman Sachs

Best Response
Feb 4, 2012
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Feb 4, 2012

Hey whattya know, the kids looking to work for the Goldman Sachs ...nice kid, nice

Feb 4, 2012

basically GS doesn't want robots, that's what I gathered from it.

critical thinking is very important. there's not an algorithm for everything which is why I think engineers do well in the workforce. (trial & error).

Feb 4, 2012

My follow up question would be would companies sacrifice having more sociable employees and less "robots". Or does every firm need a good balance between the two? @"thebrofessor"fessor

Feb 4, 2012

My follow up question would be would companies sacrifice having more sociable employees and less "robots". Or does every firm need a good balance between the two? @"thebrofessor"fessor

Feb 4, 2012

Critical thinking is just another BS buzzword that everyone says they want in a candidate.
In reality, do you really thing GS or any other company want some monkey analyst to be critical of all the assignments they are given and of the thought process of their supervisor? No way.
For more experienced hires, maybe VP and up, this starts to become more important.

Feb 4, 2012
LCandB:

Critical thinking is just another BS buzzword that everyone says they want in a candidate.

In reality, do you really thing GS or any other company want some monkey analyst to be critical of all the assignments they are given and of the thought process of their supervisor? No way.

For more experienced hires, maybe VP and up, this starts to become more important.

I don't think you know what critical thinking is.

Hint - not thinking so as to be critical.

Feb 4, 2012

There's a real piece of work in my school's investment fund. This guy is a total dolt (he has no original ideas and doesn't even understand the ideas he regurgitates). For example, his idea of "pitching" a stock is pointing at a 5-year chart and saying "look it was here and then it went up to here, we should invest" (his exact words). I really don't know how this guy hasn't flunked out.

Upon seeing this post, I told him I had a good job opportunity for him. I informed him that he can leverage his way into IB at Goldman by taking up a position as a food commodities merchant with their Aramark group on the first floor of their New York office. He would be primarily advising investors on whether or not they would like to increase the size of their order for pennies on the dollar and also advise them on the location of the sugar and dairy commodities in the market.

He legit believed me and said he'd "heard good things" about Aramark and that he'd look into internships there (here I realize that he has no idea what Aramark is, even though they run the dining halls at our school). Everyone in the room was either rolling their eyes or trying not to laugh at this point. He still didn't get a clue.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
    • 4
Feb 4, 2012

The middle paragraph is golden.

Feb 4, 2012

Lmao pretty funny stuff
+1

Feb 4, 2012

ok, whats your point

Feb 4, 2012

Guess it's time to start following Goldman on Twitter.

Feb 4, 2012

Waste of space

Feb 4, 2012

congrats!

Feb 4, 2012

good luck breaking out of operations.

Feb 4, 2012

Best. Troll. Ever.

Feb 4, 2012

haha nice.

Feb 4, 2012

lol

Feb 4, 2012

can you elaborate how you broke into Ops so we can follow in your foot steps

Feb 4, 2012

Is Goldman Sachs PWM as laughable or not?

Feb 4, 2012

I did that before moving to a boutique. Lots of smart people there from Harvard and Yale and whatnot. Basically people that aren't hardcore finance and don't know exactly what they want to do yet but are still high pedigree.

Feb 4, 2012

You're talking about PWM? I have heard different things, some good some bad. Some say you don't learn anything, but I doubt that.

Feb 4, 2012

That's not nearly as prestigious as JPMorgan's GDE group. JPMorgan Global Data Entry is the premier group in Rochester.

Feb 4, 2012

^That's pretty much true you don't really learn anything but you get to talk to clients and suck ideas off your advisor. I think I learned more in IBD training than I did in my time in PWM at GS.

Feb 4, 2012

hahaha

Feb 4, 2012

I couldn't agree more

Feb 4, 2012

It's sad but I lolled when I read it.

Feb 4, 2012

Thanks for showing the other trollers on here how it's done. There have been some absolutely worthless and aggravating troll posts on here lately that didn't seem like they were even trying to be funny...

"Ride your bike. Drink good beer."
- Fat Tire Amber Ale

Feb 4, 2012

hahaha this is actually funny.

Feb 4, 2012

Many people go into PWM because they couldn't get into IBD or they just haven't done their homework about the financial world. You do develop good communication, teamwork, and general analyst skills in PWM.

Feb 4, 2012

I think you can get pretty rich from PWM. I don't know why everyone puts it down especially at a firm like GS. I'm sure there are senior people in PWM making more than seniors in IB.

Feb 4, 2012

I don't think you get how the structure works. Sure some ADVISORS (notice capital letters) can make it big by building up a huge client base. Even this takes luck, networking, and a LOT of years (40-50 years old).

However, Goldman ANALYSTS (notice capital letters) such as you and me and other ugrad hires are merely support staff to the ADVISORS who usually have 10+ work experience and flashy MBA degrees from Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford.

A team is an advisor and a few analysts. The analysts do everything that the advisor doesn't need to waste time doing, such as checking up on client positions, answering stupid questions by clients, sucking up to them, telling them they are fine, etc. You also enter in trades and do other transactional work, but you never decide anything important. That is up for the ADVISOR to do.

Until recently there has been almost 0% chance of moving from ANALYST to ADVISOR, though 10% or so have been trickling in and doing it. Even so, it is not smart to do this because NO one is going to give you their money to manage when you are some 25 year old ugrad kid with 2-3 years experience doing transactional work and data entrying trades in. This is why even some people who get the chance to be an advisor turn it DOWN to go to MBA or something else altogether.

Feb 4, 2012

go to www.vault.com, dealbook, and http://leverageacademy.com/blog and get into banking

Feb 4, 2012

[x]

Feb 4, 2012

Your post sounds like an admission of guilt to an egregious crime.

Feb 4, 2012

Thank you Dr. Obvious that is what makes it funny. Classic thread.

Feb 4, 2012

Lol nice one

Feb 4, 2012
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