How to Get an Internship at Goldman Sachs and Turn It Into a Full-Time Offer

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Saw on twitter this morning (via @GoldmanSachs) that Sandra Hurse, head of campus recruting at GS, talked to efinancialcareers.com about how to turn one of the most sought-after internships in the world into a full-time offer.

While some of it is common sense, and some of it is amusing in an ironic sense, it's still solid advice for anyone at any internship to use.

Getting an internship at Goldman Sachs is no easy task. This year, roughly 17,000 people applied for its investment banking summer internship program, according to Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn. Just 350 interns were hired.

So what's the key to finding the golden ticket? You've got to be really smart, that much is obvious. But there are plenty of people out there with sterling grade point averages, said Sandra Hurse, global co-head of campus recruiting at Goldman Sachs. The key differentiators are extracurriculars, community involvement and, perhaps most importantly, strong people skills.

"If we look at someone with a 4.0 GPA but with no extracurricular activities and compare that person to someone with a 3.6 GPA but who has other skills and commitments, to me, that is a more well-rounded candidate," Hurse said.

A targeted resume can also help get your foot in the door. One of the biggest mistakes Hurse sees on resumes is when candidates simply list their activities, rather than documenting their achievements.

"People undersell themselves by not putting all their accomplishments and telling the full story," she said. "A one page resume is fine, but make sure you are listing all your accomplishments in that one page."

Goldman Sachs's 10-week summer internship is serious business for the firm. Goldman uses the program as the major feeder for its full-time analyst and associate programs. "If we can fill 100% of our hiring needs from our summer internship program, we will."

As such, Goldman puts their interns right to work and evaluates daily. "Though interns have a week of training, most of their experience is not done in a classroom, but on the desk," Hurse said. "Interns work with full-time analysts and senior people in their divisions so they get a sense of how the team operates."

The end goal for most interns is to parlay the experience into a full-time offer. To succeed, interns need to show their bosses more than just their intellect - they also need to prove their people skills.

One of the bigger mistakes an intern can make is by keeping their head down and just doing their work, Hurse said. "As an intern, you need to pick your head up and build a network," she said. "It's a relationship-driven business, and we need people who can prove that they are capable of building relationships."

Harvey Schwartz, Goldman's CFO, recently said the firm has experienced some "recruiting tailwinds," with more people wanting to work there. The competition is only getting tougher. You have to walk-the-walk, obviously, but it appears you also have to talk-the-talk. Polish up those relationship-building skills.

Other intern tips from Goldman Sachs:

1. Speak and act with confidence

2. Have your elevator speech prepared - be able to talk about your experience and your contributions in 2 minutes or less

3. Build a network - meet with peers and professionals outside of your immediate area

4. Be proactive

5. Communicate - be clear and impactful, know the message you are trying to deliver

6. Understand the business and how it contributes to the firm's success

7. Don't be afraid to take a risk

8. Under promise and over deliver

9. Be yourself

10. Have fun

Comments (13)

Aug 1, 2013

"Have Fun"

You know the guy at GS was laughing to himself as he put that one down

"I am not sure who this 'Anonymous' person is - one thing is for certain, they have been one hell of a prolific writer" - Anonymous

Aug 1, 2013

You know Legal/Compliance was cringing when he said "don't be afraid to take a risk."

    • 1
Aug 1, 2013

Those last two points remind me of the WSJ article by that girl who didn't get in to her colleges of choice. "'Be yourself and have fun,' they said."

Best Response
Aug 1, 2013

Allow me to translate:

1. Speak and act with confidence
SMILE WHILE YOU BROWN NOSE

2. Have your elevator speech prepared - be able to talk about your experience and your contributions in 2 minutes or less
DON'T BORE PEOPLE

3. Build a network - meet with peers and professionals outside of your immediate area
LOOK FOR NEW PLACES TO BE A SERF

4. Be proactive
ASK FOR MORE WORK

5. Communicate - be clear and impactful, know the message you are trying to deliver
YOUR BOSS IS TOO BUSY TO LISTEN FOR MORE THAN ABOUT 5 SECONDS

6. Understand the business and how it contributes to the firm's success
KNOW YOUR ROLE

7. Don't be afraid to take a risk
THIS IS A HIGHLY PROCESS DRIVE, CYA ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR NECK ON THE LINE TO GET BETTER RESULTS

8. Under promise and over deliver
SHUT UP AND WORK HARDER

9. Be yourself
DO NOT BE YOURSELF

10. Have fun
....I don't even know

    • 9
Aug 1, 2013

You forgot the "derrrrr" sound at the end of every comment :)

Aug 1, 2013
UFOinsider:

Allow me to translate:

1. Speak and act with confidence

SMILE WHILE YOU BROWN NOSE

2. Have your elevator speech prepared - be able to talk about your experience and your contributions in 2 minutes or less

DON'T BORE PEOPLE

3. Build a network - meet with peers and professionals outside of your immediate area

LOOK FOR NEW PLACES TO BE A SERF

4. Be proactive

ASK FOR MORE WORK

5. Communicate - be clear and impactful, know the message you are trying to deliver

YOUR BOSS IS TOO BUSY TO LISTEN FOR MORE THAN ABOUT 5 SECONDS

6. Understand the business and how it contributes to the firm's success

KNOW YOUR ROLE

7. Don't be afraid to take a risk

THIS IS A HIGHLY PROCESS DRIVE, CYA ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR NECK ON THE LINE TO GET BETTER RESULTS

8. Under promise and over deliver

SHUT UP AND WORK HARDER

9. Be yourself

DO NOT BE YOURSELF

10. Have fun

....I don't even know

lolollllll

** RIP ZYZZ **
We're all gonna make it brahs

Aug 1, 2013

Well I mean part of the IBD career requirements include Bullshiting. If you can't even BS your way through the HR, how the hack are you gonna handle your clients when they don't want your product?

Aug 1, 2013
ywu86:

Well I mean part of the IBD career requirements include Bullshiting. If you can't even BS your way through the HR, how the hack are you gonna handle your clients when they don't want your product?

Finance itself is a legit business, surviving the political process of finance is a different story. All a bank is made of is people, a pile of money, and some technology...and everyone is trying to get to the money. Some people make being totally straightforward work for them, and I make it a point to be so as much as possible, but much more often people are speaking out of both sides of their mouth and you need to resist the urge to choke them out when you realize they're full of it.

It's a sale job, you have to think in those terms...

Aug 1, 2013

"A one page resume is fine, but make sure you are listing all your accomplishments in that one page."

Is this indicating that a two page resume would be better? Because then I've been doing things wrong...

Aug 2, 2013

No always one page. What they meant was pack the most punch in one page, they just didn't articulate it in the best way

Fuck Stringer

Aug 2, 2013
UFOinsider:

Allow me to translate:

1. Speak and act with confidence

SMILE WHILE YOU BROWN NOSE

2. Have your elevator speech prepared - be able to talk about your experience and your contributions in 2 minutes or less

DON'T BORE PEOPLE

3. Build a network - meet with peers and professionals outside of your immediate area

LOOK FOR NEW PLACES TO BE A SERF

4. Be proactive

ASK FOR MORE WORK

5. Communicate - be clear and impactful, know the message you are trying to deliver

YOUR BOSS IS TOO BUSY TO LISTEN FOR MORE THAN ABOUT 5 SECONDS

6. Understand the business and how it contributes to the firm's success

KNOW YOUR ROLE

7. Don't be afraid to take a risk

THIS IS A HIGHLY PROCESS DRIVE, CYA ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR NECK ON THE LINE TO GET BETTER RESULTS

8. Under promise and over deliver

SHUT UP AND WORK HARDER

9. Be yourself

DO NOT BE YOURSELF

10. Have fun

....I don't even know

Hit the nail on the head I'd say...

Oct 14, 2013
Matrick:
UFOinsider:

Allow me to translate:

1. Speak and act with confidence

SMILE WHILE YOU BROWN NOSE

2. Have your elevator speech prepared - be able to talk about your experience and your contributions in 2 minutes or less

DON'T BORE PEOPLE

3. Build a network - meet with peers and professionals outside of your immediate area

LOOK FOR NEW PLACES TO BE A SERF

4. Be proactive

ASK FOR MORE WORK

5. Communicate - be clear and impactful, know the message you are trying to deliver

YOUR BOSS IS TOO BUSY TO LISTEN FOR MORE THAN ABOUT 5 SECONDS

6. Understand the business and how it contributes to the firm's success

KNOW YOUR ROLE

7. Don't be afraid to take a risk

THIS IS A HIGHLY PROCESS DRIVE, CYA ENVIRONMENT. YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR NECK ON THE LINE TO GET BETTER RESULTS

8. Under promise and over deliver

SHUT UP AND WORK HARDER

9. Be yourself

DO NOT BE YOURSELF

10. Have fun

....I don't even know

Hit the nail on the head I'd say...

Yeah no. Don't be yourself. This is by far the stupidest advice people give to other people (see also: dating advice).

Aug 2, 2013
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