Goldman or Bust?

Over the past week I have been getting a flood of pm's/emails asking for advice, and I have chatted with some of you over Skype as well in prep for interviews, and one theme keeps coming up that really boggles my mind and in a way really annoys me. This idea of Goldman or bust.

I am not going to mention anyone's username on here, but one kid for example wanted to know what the best way to get a job at GS S&T was. Now this seems perfectly fine, GS is a strong name, but then this person goes on to mention that they are willing to take a job in an EM country if it means working for GS, and would even consider going for IBD. Another case is one of a guy who was actually thinking of GS PWM over another BB S&T while his interest was in S&T.

Honestly, what is this huge focus on working for Goldman? It is just another bank, and especially for Sales and Trading, success depends on a lot more than the brand name of where you work. The idea of choosing brand name over division really just boggles my mind. Are you not interested in finance at all? Is it just a matter of telling your parents/friends/gf/yourself that you are a BSD? Can anyone of the college kids explain to me the rationale behind this way of thinking?

I have also thought of an experiment, what is the discount you would take to get a job at Goldman as compared to let's say CS/UBS/DB/BOAML/Citi?

Comments (98)

Apr 24, 2013

[x]

Jan 26, 2011

100% agree. I think much more important than the firm is the opportunity to learn and make money. A smart manager who's easy to work for at a boutique is a much better choice than an idiot at prestigious firm Z.

Yes, it's true that there are probably more opportunities to learn and make money at GS than many other firms. But I really recommend making your decision based on the interviews. If you're at another BB and get a really positive vibe and an enthusiasm among the managers for sharing knowledge, there's a very good chance you'll be working for or with one of the five or so guys who interviewed you. In that kind of a situation, you want to take that firm if the managers have roughly the same level of intellect as the most prestigious (but less friendly) firm. And within the top five, maybe ten banks, there's only going to be relatively small differences in terms of how much managers can teach you and pay you- especially as an analyst.

Jan 26, 2011

On the other hand, the prestige whoring phase for colleges almost never ends for a lot of people.

Jan 26, 2011

TEXAS BOWL WINNERS FTW! :)

Jan 26, 2011

From my experience at my uni all the Goldman Sachs prestige whores either have no shot in high finance, do not understand what banking is and the respective divisions, or have 2inch dick syndrome..

Getting a job at any of the BBs in no easier or harder. its all about timing and relative competition.

It always makes me think of this from leveraged sellout

Which would you rather be?
(A) An M&A MD at Jeffries
(B) A PWM VP at Bear
(C) A trade settlement analyst at Lehman
(D) A HR intern at GS
(E) A janitor at Citadel

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Jan 26, 2011

Obviously choice D..

ITS FUCKING GOLDMAN SACHS BRAH

    • 1
Jan 26, 2011

Rose Bowl Winners!!

Jan 26, 2011

Haha, turns out it was probably best to be in M&A at Jefferies. See guys, this is why it's best to find a good fit. Stuff changes so quickly in this industry.

Jan 26, 2011

I decided that I fit better on the consulting side, where there tends to be a little bit more perspective, but I have a bunch of friends who have this defect. I agree with GOB; most of the people who would kill themselves to work at GS either have no chance or are hideously insecure. But then again, Stan O'Neal suffered from it too, so maybe we can't blame them.

I think part of it is the nauseating profiles that DealBook and the WSJ keep running about being a Goldman PMD. One of the more recent ones quoted some pathetic guy who apparently made it to MD but got passed over for the partnership; he said some bullshit like "everything else seems second-rate now." One of my neighbors growing up was a GS PMD, and yeah, his life was pretty sick. But I also lived near a group head at UBS and a Citi MD, and they lived just as comfortably, liked their jobs just as much, and might have actually been happier. I guess my point is that GS-or-busters do overvalue Goldman, but they also dramatically undervalue the rest of the BBs.

    • 1
Jan 26, 2011

The new book "Spent" talks about how we're inclined to show off to others. To the general public, Goldman simply has the most name recognition as a "prestigious" bank. Some of the "public" may have assets at UBS, (had) Merill Lynch, etc., but very few will ever even hope of having them at Goldman. So, it's the allure of being part of the "in" club. Much like in high school, being part of the popular crowd might be worse given the flakiness of friends than being in the close-knight drama nerd crowd, but that doesn't mean that everyone doesn't want to be them.

Generalizations, of course, but you get the idea. I've always been inclined towards wearing/working for high quality but relatively unknown names, so I don't fully understand the phenomenon. Also maybe not understanding jokes on WSO and on other blogs like Dealbreak that do say Goldman is the only thing ever in jest.

Jan 26, 2011

who has more internet fanboys: GS or Apple ??

Jan 26, 2011
adapt or die:

who has more internet fanboys: GS or Apple ??

Apply, no contest. The majority of the public hates Goldman.

Jan 26, 2011
2x2Matrix:
adapt or die:

who has more internet fanboys: GS or Apple ??

Apply, no contest. The majority of the public hates Goldman.

Agreed, until someone starts an online dating site where GS fanboys can meet, it's gonna be Apple

(see Cupiditino)

Jan 26, 2011

It's just the different lengths people will go to accomplish their 'dream'. This could apply not only to GS, but other banks as well. Everyone has different motivations to do the things they do, and as long as they're happy with where they are at the end of the day, who's to say fixation with a certain bank is so wrong?

Jan 26, 2011

We find the "Goldman Syndrome" across industries and time (i too fell pray) it is definitely not unique to finance...Elway wouldn't play for Baltimore, Kobe wouldn't play for Charlotte, Eli wouldn't play for San Diego they all forced trades that landed them in other more prestigious cities for their respective sports. These players viewed their initial teams as ones that they could never win with, among other things. Similar to many monkeys thinking that the only way to win is to become part of The Goldman .

These people simply have a different personality than say a Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning who didn't care where they were drafted because they were going to do whatever it took to win. Everyone mentioned won championships they just went about it in different ways. I am not saying there is anything wrong with striving for, or getting GS - congrats to anyone that does. Just saying to keep things in perspective once you have your foot in the door the $ is up to you. A great analyst at MM bank XYZ could go on to do more than a terrible analyst at GS (Think Joe Montana vs Ryan Leaf).

My thought on the "Goldman Syndrome" is that some people have this idea that the name on their jersey/paychecks defines them and there are other who don't. It would be foolish to say one group is better than the other they are just different people. Different strokes for different folks.

Full disclosure - I had a phone interview with GS and did not get a position and that didn't kill me I wanted to do S&T and at least publicly they projected the image of shaping the firm to be IB > ST going forward. Fortunately I found a bank that is growing one of their trading businesses and landed there. The benefit of "Goldman Syndrome" is that it raises everyone's game just a little bit.

Jan 26, 2011

Goldman or bust comes from.....this, not saying this thread is bad but we talk about GS so much that people want to be a part of something that is talked about so much remember a lot of these GS or bust kids are people who were always outsiders so they are extremely insecure. So being part of the "cool" is so appealing and ultimately leads to there demise

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 26, 2011

Posted before, I'm sure, but relevant nonetheless:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx4poQw1mZo

Jan 26, 2011

Thank you for posting this and getting it onto the front page of WSO.

Jan 26, 2011

Feel free to correct me...

But I just read "Liar's Poker" and it seems to me that Goldman Sachs, while always having a reputable name, wasn't always the BSD giant it is now (rather was prior to 08'). And now-a-days, it seems like GS is in the growing stage of trying to get back to the top. Sure it's a great opportunity, but I think JPM is much more sustainable in terms of equity and exit opportunities. Do the executives of the same level in JPM get compensated the same as GS?

Jan 26, 2011

Yup. Back in the '80s, it was Drexel-Burnham and maybe Salomon Brothers. Salomon is now Citigroup and Drexel-Burnham got taken down in the S&L scandal and went bankrupt back in 1991.

If you work for a bank, discussing bonus/total comp is generally forbidden. People who comment on it online are either a whole lot braver or a whole lot dumber than I am. That said, Dealbreaker is generally a not entirely unreliable source on comp info.

Jan 26, 2011

I know a few people who work at S&T and IBD at Goldman and they are all miserable. They are the kings of face time and so much of the culture is conditioning people to believe staying the extra few hours or so (largely for no reason) is due to the fact that Goldman is the best. When my mate started out in Equities S&T they made them stay late to 11 pm or so (in cash equities) to brainstorm and plan trade ideas.

Is that useful...maybe. Is it worth it...ummm no.

Jan 26, 2011

Kids who aim blindly for the prestige factor will go nowhere in our business.
...something tells me GS won't be around forever. Too conflicted/unethical. Like a goddamn octopus with it's tentacles wrapped around the face of America ;)
(Or maybe I'm just secretly wishing it blows up.)

Jan 27, 2011

I think its a phase, most of these kids are just going through it. Majority have no idea about the industry and it is just the name recognition, sooner or later everyone finds their own niche.

Jan 27, 2011

Wow this is actually a question that I've been trying to ask. I've been told by certain professors that GS Hong Kong would be a discount I should take over CS New York, while my personal feel is that NYC experience at a top BB should more relevant if I want to end up in the city.

However I've been struggling with my own personal decision. I didn't take the their HK offer on the spot b/c like everyone said here, it is just a name. I'm leaning toward it now, though, but it's really because I feel a great fit with the GS HK team after speaking to a lot of people. I'm happy and comfortable when I talk to them. On top of that, my interest is in FICC and Credit Suisse apparently doesn't do so well in this area (I talked to someone in fx and right now they're 8th?).

So i guess now my problem is a "New York complex" really... Advice anyone? If I'm not going to GS HK for the name, is it still a good decision?

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Jan 26, 2011
ah:

Wow this is actually a question that I've been trying to ask. I've been told by certain professors that GS Hong Kong would be a discount I should take over CS New York, while my personal feel is that NYC experience at a top BB should more relevant if I want to end up in the city.

No, no, no. Both are bulge bracket firms. GS is a top five firm though and CS is a top ten firm, so if you were in New York, there'd be a small but noticeable difference in how smart your mentors, coworkers, and managers were.

There's a lot of smart people in Hong Kong and a lot of smart people in New York. So the real question is which country do you want to work in?

If I had to be 21 again coming from Chicago and having only family and friends in the US, I would have chosen New York unless there were a compelling reason beyond prestige to choose Hong Kong. It would have taken a group doing something interesting and a lot of friendly people who were passionate about what they did to change my mind.

However I've been struggling with my own personal decision. I didn't take the their HK offer on the spot b/c like everyone said here, it is just a name. I'm leaning toward it now, though, but it's really because I feel a great fit with the GS HK team after speaking to a lot of people. I'm happy and comfortable when I talk to them. On top of that, my interest is in FICC and Credit Suisse apparently doesn't do so well in this area (I talked to someone in fx and right now they're 8th?).

If there's a better fit there, then go for it. But sometimes, our subconscious shifts our thinking and preferences in favor of what everyone else wants rather than what we want. That's not really a concern when someone is choosing Scottrade over Citadel and everyone is calling them crazy, but it's something to at least be aware of and guard against when you think Google is a better fit than AskJeeves or a CBR 600 is a better first bike than a Ninja 250.

Have you talked to your parents about this? If they know the details of both interviews and they're saying take Hong Kong, I think that settles it. Your subconscious has ruled in favor of GS, and if someone else who thinks like you and has your best interests at heart is saying you're being objective, there's no reason to doubt Goldman as a good decision.

So i guess now my problem is a "New York complex" really... Advice anyone? If I'm not going to GS HK for the name, is it still a good decision?

Yes, assuming you want to work in Asia rather than the US and you like the people more at GS than at CS.

But US vs. Asia is a major life choice that's got a legitimate place in this decision. If Hong Kong is something you're hesitant about- and you'd still work at CS if it were a BB based in Boston, Philly, or Stamford, then it's not a New York complex. And if you'd still work in HK if the group were Morgan Stanley or Citigroup, you don't have a Goldman Complex either.

Jan 26, 2011

Kids trying to break into the industry are obsessed with money and bonuses, and Goldman gets by far the most press with regards to their payouts so naturally people are going to be attracted to them. The reality of the situation is that there is a certain amount of brain washing that goes on within the firm that is pretty effective in getting people to put in everything they have to do the job well. The problem is the rewards don't really materialize until you get high up in the firm. Juniors at Goldman gat paid largely the same as at the other BB's, and most of the ones I know are miserable.

Jan 27, 2011

GS? More like Silvergirl-Saks
BCG is now number 2 in Fortune's list "Best Companies to Work for"
Now, that's what I call music (or prestige)

Vine a Comala porque me dijeron que aca vivia mi padre, un tal Pedro Paramo.

Jan 26, 2011

BCG? What does that stand for? In any case, Edward Jones is #2 on the list I see; RW Baird is #11.

Interestingly, the average pay at Milwaukee-based MM Baird is $5K less than the average pay at GS. Maybe some GS folks should consider saving $1000/month on rent and moving to Milwaukee. :D :D :D (Think Fortune actually underestimated).

Jan 26, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

BCG? What does that stand for? In any case, Edward Jones is #2 on the list I see; RW Baird is #11.

i think your joking but i can't tell...haha if your not BCG as someone said is Boston Consulting Group, and is one of the B's in MBB...now that I think about it i am sure your joking.ha

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

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Jan 27, 2011

Eh, I have worked at GS, in a shitty role, and at lesser firms in better roles. Being in a good role is more important IMHO than the firm you work at. I got no respect at GS, and was shafted.

Focus on the job. Its a much tougher call for two FO jobs between firms, but if it comes down to an MO job at GS, or an FO job at a "lesser" bank, take the FO job any day.

Then again, you are probably going to hate what you do anyway after a few years, so maybe choosing by firm isn't the worst thing... :)

Jan 27, 2011
Jan 26, 2011

No I'm not. Heard of Boston Consulting Group- they're a consulting firm kinda like Deloitte or IBM. Why are we using consulting abbreviations on a banking forum? Also, MBB in the context of banking typically is used for Major Bulge Bracket (Top 5 firm), not Moelis/Boston/ Big 4 Accenture.

Jan 27, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

No I'm not. Heard of Boston Consulting Group- they're a consulting firm kinda like Deloitte or IBM. Why are we using consulting abbreviations on a banking forum? Also, MBB in the context of banking typically is used for Major Bulge Bracket (Top 5 firm), not Moelis/Boston/ Big 4 Accenture.

LMAO your sarcasm is great.

Jan 30, 2011
HarvardOrBust:
IlliniProgrammer:

No I'm not. Heard of Boston Consulting Group- they're a consulting firm kinda like Deloitte or IBM. Why are we using consulting abbreviations on a banking forum? Also, MBB in the context of banking typically is used for Major Bulge Bracket (Top 5 firm), not Moelis/Boston/ Big 4 Accenture.

LMAO your sarcasm is great.

Funny part is that some newbie is going to take it literally

Jan 26, 2011

Not being sarcastic- I grew up in the midwest and have never been to Boston since I moved to New York. And again, what does consulting have to do with trading or banking?

I've heard of Boston Consulting Group, but I would figure BCG would stand for Barclays Capital in the context of banking/trading before a consulting firm.

Jan 26, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Not being sarcastic- I grew up in the midwest and have never been to Boston since I moved to New York. And again, what does consulting have to do with trading or banking?

I've heard of Boston Consulting Group, but I would figure BCG would stand for Barclays Capital in the context of banking/trading before a consulting firm.

Because it was in relation to best companies to work for not anything that has to do with this forum.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 27, 2011

Yeah I never thought about NOT going to NYC much until nterviewing with GS HK. But I have no family in the US, just some friends in the financial services industry in NYC.

My major reason for wanting to be there is really just because I thought I'd get more experience there, but I think if people in the HK really like me (which seems to be the case), wouldn't I get MORE experience learning from people willing to teach me?And yes, I really love the people there, we've been on the phone for hours since this past Sunday when I was extended an offer.

I liked the people at CS, but not the trading floor as much, plus aren't they not that great in FICC? That's my main interest in S&T. I wouldn't work there if it wasn't NYC, but I would consider HK if it was another top BB. Do I guess I'm making a right decision?

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Jan 26, 2011

@ah choose the place where you will lay the most pipe

i.e. best all around experience inside and outside of work.

Jan 26, 2011

Then you know what, it sounds like you're leaning in the right direction with GS.

Talk to Mom and Dad and get some advice. They've got 20-30 years experience on you when it comes to working. If they agree with you and YOU personally like the idea of working at GS HK, my advice is to take it.

Jan 26, 2011
HFFBALLfan123:

20-30 years if he's white....13-15 if hispanic, 10-12 if black....oops this isn't the offensive jokes thread.

sooooo good. SB

Jan 27, 2011
HFFBALLfan123:

20-30 years if he's white....13-15 if hispanic, 10-12 if black....oops this isn't the offensive jokes thread.

HAHAHAHAHHA SB sir

Jan 27, 2011
derivstrading:

Honestly, what is this huge focus on working for Goldman? It is just another bank, and especially for Sales and Trading, success depends on a lot more than the brand name of where you work. The idea of choosing brand name over division really just boggles my mind. Are you not interested in finance at all? Is it just a matter of telling your parents/friends/gf/yourself that you are a BSD? Can anyone of the college kids explain to me the rationale behind this way of thinking?

The general vibe I get on WSO is that money and status are the main reasons for working in finance.

Anyway I work for a rival bank and one of my career goals is to destroy GS.

Jan 27, 2011

It's "she". And I'm Asian.

Oops!

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Jan 26, 2011
ah:

It's "she". And I'm Asian.

Oops!

I apologize. You know how this forum can be...

Jan 27, 2011
GOB:

I apologize. You know how this forum can be...

Ha no worries, i wouldn't like a crowd that's pc all the time

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Jan 27, 2011

I honestly I do not get the Goldman Sachs thing. I've interviewed there 3 times (not IBD but roles kids beat off for) and I always got this creepy/culty vibe; I may too add I didn't get any of them. At GS training, they teach you the "GS way". How to dress, to talk, even cut your hair. They quite literally indoctrinate their jr people, this is fact.

I feel like kids from any other BB have and can do just as well w/ buyside placement. If you really want to be work with the best bankers go to Lazard or BX restructuring. GS is WAY to fucking touchy feely. When Lloyd said GS is doing God's work, I don't think he was joking/using hyperbole. That mother fucker was serious as a heart attack.

Jan 26, 2011
Stringer Bell:

I When Lloyd said GS is doing God's work, I don't think he was joking/using hyperbole. That mother fucker was serious as a heart attack.

hahahahhahaha so funny

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 28, 2011

I win here, I win there...

Jan 27, 2011

i watch this video once a day for a good laugh.... hahaha

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

Jan 29, 2011

Why You Wish You Worked At Goldman Sachs (And No It's Not The Money)

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-famil...
Not sure about the GS hype but I think the key sentence here is "Also, the firm scored nine points higher than the average score on whether, "Management hires people who fit in well here."

At some point you get tired of the middle-management idiots and brown-nosing free-riders and just want to work for someone who knows what they are doing and inspires respect whether it is GS or a smaller fund.
I think the frustration is trying to break into trading without knowing an insider...still trying to figure that one out

Let's make better mistakes tomorrow

Feb 1, 2011

Great thread, really enjoyed this one!

Jul 4, 2013

Bit childish....this GS obsession....but fact is, its the way of the (wall street) world.....random finance jerkoffs who you may meet will be more impressed if you say you work at Goldman (wowww so whats it like being such a hotshot) than if you say barclays (so youre a bank teller??)

Jul 4, 2013

CS/UBS/DB/BOAML/Citi = Trash

Seriously, I can think of some very funny acronyms for these can you?

In the Post Volcker Rule era Goldman is no longer the place to be. 90% of the reason to work there was the prop trading, which drastically overtook IBD in terms of profits. Now their prop shop has moved to KKR, which is the new GS, at least among those who have graduated from college.

Jul 4, 2013
Bateman Begins:

CS/UBS/DB/BOAML/Citi = Trash

Seriously, I can think of some very funny acronyms for these can you?

In the Post Volcker Rule era Goldman is no longer the place to be. 90% of the reason to work there was the prop trading, which drastically overtook IBD in terms of profits. Now their prop shop has moved to KKR, which is the new GS, at least among those who have graduated from college.

some of GS prop is at KKR, some is still at GS fwiw, other than GSIP/SSG I don't get the GS hype, its still just a sellside institution

Jul 4, 2013

Reminds me of my friend in college who had a back office offer from GS and an IBD offer from MS. He took the GS gig and I remember it so clearly the way he walked around campus like he owned the place. He would just constantly mention how he is going to work for Goldman Sachs in conversations that had nothing to do with banking or careers. Anyways I haven't kept in touch since graduation, but I am sure he is enjoying his data analyst job at GS making a solid $45k in NYC.

Jul 4, 2013

The fact that somebody interviewed and got an offer for MS IBD and then turned it down for BO at GS...

Jul 4, 2013
TeddyTheBear:

Reminds me of my friend in college who had a back office offer from GS and an IBD offer from MS. He took the GS gig and I remember it so clearly the way he walked around campus like he owned the place. He would just constantly mention how he is going to work for Goldman Sachs in conversations that had nothing to do with banking or careers. Anyways I haven't kept in touch since graduation, but I am sure he is enjoying his data analyst job at GS making a solid $45k in NYC.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore

Jul 4, 2013

I hope this isn't regarding our conversation about applying for an MBA.

If so, it is true that the BB name is better than the unknown prop shop even if the latter may be harder to get in.

Jul 4, 2013

im surprised JPM isnt on the list. gS is overrated, really.

Jul 4, 2013

social prestige is a fucked up thing

id love to see some research on the subject; i myself was long a brand-name hunter even though i knew that it was bullshit... there is some fire still left in me to get HSW MBA in the future, only for the brand lol...

Jul 4, 2013
ciwd:

im surprised JPM isnt on the list. gS is overrated, really.

Nah, JPM dropped off the prestige list when it acquired Chase. Can't have some damn comm bank arm sullying the honorable name.

Jul 4, 2013

The only real reason I would like to work at GS is because I have had much better rapport with school alumni that work there compared to other firms, so I figure that I would like the firm culture more.

Jul 4, 2013

I think the only reason GS is known to be more prestigious is because it doesnt have a retail or commercial bank. So if you work with GS its implied that your in IBD, even if your in back office, but for BofA, Citi, and JPM, its generally implied you are not in IBD.

Jul 4, 2013

I'd honestly love to work at GS just to prove to myself that my hard work really did pay off. Yeah it would be pretty sick to work there and have that prestige factor on my resume and what not, but from what I've read it makes it seem like GS shapes you into some kind of drone. All else equal, I'd rather work at a place where I fit in and like the people I work with. At the end of the day people outside the banking world really don't give a fuck what you do 5min after you've told them.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves. - Abraham Lincoln

Jul 6, 2013

You do have to admit though, that 200w is a much better building and office space which has very nice facilities than the others I have been in throughout NY. Correct me if I am wrong, as I obviously have not been to ALL of the offices around.

Jul 5, 2013

From a college student's perspective, Goldman has fallen behind - Blackstone is all the rage now.

Jul 5, 2013

Whether you like it or not, guys, Goldman is the top dog. That's it. Haters gonna hate, point at the culture, brainwash or whatnot. But Goldman is the fucking top dog.

Jul 6, 2013

^ yet if you are, say, trading spot FX, it is far from top place to be. Yes it has an aura about it, but the majority who hold it in such high regard are students who have no idea about the business or what factors are important in deciding where the best place to work is. Always amazes me how many people on this forum claim to have offers when they clearly have no clue about the job they've applied for. It's the one major downside to working in finance that you meet so many people who seem to have all these preconceptions about rankings and prestige yet seemingly no clue about the roles themselves.

Jul 6, 2013

This "Goldman" phenomenon is getting really bad in high schools to. All these kids want to do finance and be an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, yet they don't even know what IB is and they couldn't tell me the name of another BB. They just want to impress their family and friends.

Jul 6, 2013

Its funny, the last place I want to work for in ibd is Goldman. Why the hell would i slave those extra 20 hours or even more a week in a sweatshop group for the name brand? not a fan, unless the people I meet are awesome and super nice... which idk, depends on every group

I'll take the "CS/UBS/DB/BOAML/Citi = Trash". except UBS..

Jul 6, 2013

All that energy and time to make money for somene else

why not just learn to trade your own accounts? lolz

alpha currency trader wanna-be

Jul 7, 2013
Fill or Kill:

^ yet if you are, say, trading spot FX, it is far from top place to be. Yes it has an aura about it, but the majority who hold it in such high regard are students who have no idea about the business or what factors are important in deciding where the best place to work is.

Sure, perhaps DB is better for FX. But how do you know? Unless you actually work in FX yourself, I don't see how anyone would actually be able to rank banks with such granularity. OTC markets are very opaque.

GS is the best overall, there's just no question about that. To the kid who mentioned Blackstone, it's a different line of work. Of course I would take Jane Street over GS, but that's a dilemma that perhaps 2 people on this planet face every year.

Jul 6, 2013

Puax,

Just because FX is OTC doesn't mean you can't see who gets all the flow and therefore sits in the centre of the market so to speak. There are several banks way ahead of GS in FX (DB being one), it is not an area they have really gone for. But you make my exact point. That is, what makes everyone so sure that GS is the place to be without knowing relative strengths/weaknesses and having no experience themselves? I actually sit on an FX desk so I feel qualified to comment here.

Jul 7, 2013

I cherised my anonymity but I'm also qualified to opine. I think that GS offers a better formation as a trader for many reasons, which are not linked to this or that business being the flavour of the month. I'm thinking high permeability of ideas, global marks fostering transparency, cross-learning and a unique culture, etc. The result is that GS-bred traders have a good reputation (in a business where signalling is key) and have a leg up in the competition for buy-side gigs.

Jul 9, 2013

I would like to point out that there's also the opposite effect and some people think that everyone who works at GS is a prestige whore and a douchebag and it's not true either. There are some very nice people and great mentors at GS, just as good as pretty much any other BB. Like many people have said, choose by fit. I did, and I'm very happy.

Jul 9, 2013

Some of the most inspiring guys I have met in this industry were all GS. They do have a 'mentor' approach which I rather liked. That said, the majority of PM's think there research is crap. I've read alot of GS research, both ER and some of there ECS work and it is not particularly good.

But truthfully, the people *I* have come across there have defiantly been some of the best in the biz.

Jan 26, 2011
watersign:

All that energy and time to make money for somene else

why not just learn to trade your own accounts? lolz

Seriously, alot of super prestigious poor dads

Jul 5, 2013
puax:



Fill or Kill:

^ yet if you are, say, trading spot FX, it is far from top place to be. Yes it has an aura about it, but the majority who hold it in such high regard are students who have no idea about the business or what factors are important in deciding where the best place to work is.


Sure, perhaps DB is better for FX. But how do you know? Unless you actually work in FX yourself, I don't see how anyone would actually be able to rank banks with such granularity. OTC markets are very opaque.


GS is the best overall, there's just no question about that. To the kid who mentioned Blackstone, it's a different line of work. Of course I would take Jane Street over GS, but that's a dilemma that perhaps 2 people on this planet face every year.

It's not an entirely different line of work. Personally had friends who took BX M&A/Restructuring over GS because the exit opportunities (aka preftige) were by and large the same, yet the hours and in the case of RX, the skillset, they acquired were better. I was not referring to private equity.

And in my opinion the kids who go to work for Jane Street would be very unlikely to go work for GS IBD. Those guys are CIS majors who live and breathe OCaml, they really dig the functional programming aspect. In some cases the code people write at JS can be more technically complex than what people would develop for products at Google and the like. On the other hand, BX M&A/RX and GS are very similar in terms of educational background and personality of entry level individuals.

Jul 9, 2013

Maybe I'm a contrarian, but I find it much more "prestigious" to work at a firm that is elite in finance that nobody outside of the field would really know about (such as: Rothschild, BX, Greenhill, Evercore, Lazard, etc.)

Jan 26, 2011
streetwannabe:

Maybe I'm a contrarian, but I find it much more "prestigious" to work at a firm that is elite in finance that nobody outside of the field would really know about (such as: Rothschild, BX, Greenhill, Evercore, Lazard, etc.)

I agree... I think firms that are strictly advisory are more prestigious than full serivce

Jul 5, 2013
adapt or die:



streetwannabe:

Maybe I'm a contrarian, but I find it much more "prestigious" to work at a firm that is elite in finance that nobody outside of the field would really know about (such as: Rothschild, BX, Greenhill, Evercore, Lazard, etc.)


I agree... I think firms that are strictly advisory are more prestigious than full serivce

Rothschild is strictly advisory? I understand they are well respected in Europe but do they play in the same leagues in the US as other firms you listed?

Jul 9, 2013
Dhanam:
adapt or die:


streetwannabe:

Maybe I'm a contrarian, but I find it much more "prestigious" to work at a firm that is elite in finance that nobody outside of the field would really know about (such as: Rothschild, BX, Greenhill, Evercore, Lazard, etc.)

I agree... I think firms that are strictly advisory are more prestigious than full serivce

Rothschild is strictly advisory? I understand they are well respected in Europe but do they play in the same leagues in the US as other firms you listed?

I don't think that all those I mentioned are strictly advisory, and I'm honestly not positive but think that they do well enough in Rx even in the US. But honestly I am speaking out my ass and am just going off what I've read from others.

Jul 10, 2013

This used to be my train of thought as well. I thought GS was the only real option, although I don't believe I would have compromised on division to work for them. It's honestly like what someone said above: "..insecure..." I thought that GS would be my way to prove to everyone I made it, but that changed when I started putting my happiness in front of my desire for title.

    • 1
Jul 11, 2013

"You do have to admit though, that 200w is a much better building and office space which has very nice facilities than the others I have been in throughout NY. Correct me if I am wrong, as I obviously have not been to ALL of the offices around."

until you realize your commute sucks.

Jan 26, 2011
Jimbo:

"You do have to admit though, that 200w is a much better building and office space which has very nice facilities than the others I have been in throughout NY. Correct me if I am wrong, as I obviously have not been to ALL of the offices around."

until you realize your commute sucks.

Exactly, plus after about 2 weeks that "love of your beautiful office space/facilities" fades because you're spending all your time in your hole. You think the analysts are taking great advantage of the NYSC on the 1st floor... not swole at all

Best Response
Jul 12, 2013

Wow, just wow...

Unlike IB, no one gives a shit WHERE you work, the role matters 1st, then the product.

SnT is one big melting pot where Citi guys are at DB now, and DB guys are at Goldman, Goldman guys are at CS, etc etc etc.

Anyone wanting SnT and a hard on for Goldman is someone who won't last or won't even make it in.

    • 2
Jul 12, 2013
trailmix8:

You do have to admit though, that 200w is a much better building and office space which has very nice facilities than the others I have been in throughout NY. Correct me if I am wrong, as I obviously have not been to ALL of the offices around.

You've obviously never visited Bloomberg's building. BAML's is pretty nice too. However, who cares about your building?! You don't get to use ANY of the resources there because you're chained to your desk and when you aren't, you should have 1 foot out the door.

Lastly, 200w has the WORST commute (subway or car) in the city. Ask how many GSers love their building when they are walking 15 mins in the rain or show or sitting in rush hour traffic on 9A.

Jul 13, 2013

I chose to move firms solely because of the building. I negotiated a half degree lower floor temperature at my new employer instead of additional comp. Never have I looked back.

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Jul 13, 2013
IvyLeagueVet:

Wow, just wow...

Unlike IB, no one gives a shit WHERE you work, the role matters 1st, then the product.

SnT is one big melting pot where Citi guys are at DB now, and DB guys are at Goldman, Goldman guys are at CS, etc etc etc.

Anyone wanting SnT and a hard on for Goldman is someone who won't last or won't even make it in.

This. Only college kids on WSO cares about where I work and judge me by the name of my firm.

Jul 17, 2013
mmmAlpha:

Why You Wish You Worked At Goldman Sachs (And No It's Not The Money)

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-famil...

Not sure about the GS hype but I think the key sentence here is "Also, the firm scored nine points higher than the average score on whether, "Management hires people who fit in well here."

At some point you get tired of the middle-management idiots and brown-nosing free-riders and just want to work for someone who knows what they are doing and inspires respect whether it is GS or a smaller fund.

I think the frustration is trying to break into trading without knowing an insider...still trying to figure that one out

Really? I always thought that trading was the easiest to break into with no connections and from a non-target. Prop trading, at least. Market makers are fucking intense.

Edit: That article's author scored nine points higher on the Downie Scale.

"Mr. Perkins poses an extreme risk to the market when drunk."

Jul 21, 2013

No one cares about the name of the firm you work for. 99% of the population doesn't even care you work in banking. Does $1 paid to you by Goldman buy you more than $1 paid by any other firm?

Anyone who has an unrelenting desire to work at Goldman and poo poos any other firm has a real mental sickness. All who have ears to hear had better hear!

Jul 21, 2013

Yeah it's really common. That's why we have dumb posts on this forum like "should I take GS back-office or MM IB/S&T?"