Lloyd Blankfein's Advice to Summer Interns

BreakingRich's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,146

Hi all,

So some of you may have seen this a few days ago, but Goldman Sachs posted an interview that occurred at the end of this summer's internship program. Edith Cooper, Global Head of Human Capital Management, interviewed Mr. Blankfein as all of the summer interns watched patiently... praying to one day be the CEO of Goldman Sachs like the man in front of their eyes.

The two leaders discussed a wide variety of subjects ranging from what Goldman Sachs can offer to those looking to start their careers, down to Mr. Blankfein's personal advice on what will make someone successful.

Personally, one thing that I found sweet to the ears was when he explained how one of the most important aspects to a career is being interesting and unique. This is something that is posted all over WSO, but I think the way that Blankfein explained it really deserved a silver banana!

Although the video is quite long (41 minutes), I highly recommend that you watch it - especially if you are looking at starting your career like I am!

Comments (33)

Oct 11, 2013

i was just about to search for this shit on youtube but decided to make a pitstop at WSO. good shit brah

"The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter"

Oct 11, 2013

Lloyd just jabbed the DCF!

Oct 11, 2013

Great video. Really like how he ends by saying everyone should just chill, it'll all be fine in the end.

Oct 11, 2013

Be careful to take that with a grain of salt. Only successful people say that...

Oct 12, 2013
BTbanker:

Be careful to take that with a grain of salt. Only successful people say that...

LOL. I remember an exec from JPM telling that to some of our graduate students.

More pragmatic advice is that there are bills you have to pay, and obligations that you have to take care of, but beyond that, money doesn't make you as happy as you'd think.

Oct 12, 2013
BTbanker:

Be careful to take that with a grain of salt. Only successful people say that...

Ok. I watched Blankfein's comment and in context he's not saying that.

He's making a few points:

1.) It's important to try and get things right.
2.) Life is not a straight line from college to "victory".
3.) Don't be too hard on yourself and it is ok to relax ever so slightly.

After watching the video with Blankfein talking about his job and what his daily/weekly routine is, I DO NOT want to be a bank CEO. Frankly, if my choices were bank CEO or mid-level quant for the rest of my life, I'd take mid-level quant. If they were bank CEO or mid-level quant for any period longer than two or three years, I'd take mid-level quant.

It's good to be ambitious. It's not good to be too ambitious.

Oct 12, 2013

define successful

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Oct 12, 2013
BTbanker:

Be careful to take that with a grain of salt. Only successful people say that...

Oh definitely. I was saying it more in terms of how it's hilarious that the CEO of one of the most elite firms in the world is telling a bunch of hyper-ambitious, driven, type-A striving kids who just busted balls to get into great schools and then get a super competitive internship...to relax. The irony was funny as hell.

Also, I think he does mean what he says, in the sense that if you are hardworking, smart, and make the right choices, life will (usually) unfold itself for you in a way you like - you may not become exactly what you wanted to be at 22, but its okay and there a lot of other awesome thing can happen in your career. Since the crowd he's addressing already has the basics down, he's telling them to try and be a little less neurotic - advice will regardless likely go unheeded, but good advice nonetheless.

Oct 12, 2013
Oct 12, 2013

Someone crosspost this to the WS fashion forum so people can talk **** about how Lloyd really dresses.

Oct 12, 2013

You think the guy would know to have his tie tied to the right length. Although I will say that I do quite like the tie itself.

...

Oct 12, 2013

I understand that he's being genuine about not taking life too serious, but you don't see a manager of a 5mm company in Kansas City saying that.

But he's not saying that. He's saying that you have to work hard. He's saying that success doesn't go in a straight line and there are a lot of detours along the way and life is difficult and you can't make it more difficult by being too hard on yourself.

They're usually wishing they went to a better school or were more ambitious.

That's what an east coast banker thinks a Midwesterner thinks.

I think there's a lot of value and grounding in frankly being ordinary. I'm not sure the guy in Kansas is worried about what he could have done had he gone to the East Coast. He has a house, a car, wife, two kids, a dog, and he's got God, too. He's happy, but he sees a lot of unhappy finance people in the news. He'd have to move to New York, away from his extended family, his friends, and his reasonably nice life. And then he'd become one of the unhappy bankers. What's the value in that?

As much as you disparage these folks, a lot of them are a lot happier than we are. At least the ones earning >$80K/year. So who are the smart sophisticated "winners" in this situation?

My ideal job would be a GP at a MM PE firm. Owning companies is infinitely more appealing to me than running them. The truth is, something better will come up in 10-20 years that I will jump on. Private Equity and Hedge Funds will be the "stockbroker" of our generation, and we'll be talking to kids in 20 years saying how they didn't even think of doing XYZ at their age.

I think I have my ideal job. 50 hours/week. Decent pay. I don't plan on becoming a BSD- I don't need to be one to be happy, and the liberals are probably eventually going to hike tax rates back up to 70% anyways (and this will probably be a global phenomenon as it was from the 1930s-1970s), so what's the use in earning 7 figures? I do plan on retiring in 20 years.

Oct 12, 2013

Illini, I got to say I agree with you 100%. I think if your priority in life is happiness, then you shouldn't be focused on making 7 figures a year. I'm not too convinced an increase in salary >80k-100k per year is positively correlated with an increase in happiness.

Oct 13, 2013

Retiring in 20 years? Explain to me why that seems like an attractive outcome? And I'm not trying to be rude, I'm asking because I honestly want to hear a clear-minded reason for wanting that.

I understand that people have different preferences and want different things out of life, but I always wondered what it is that I would actually do if I retired. It's not that I don't have hobbies I enjoy, it's just that I value becoming excellent in a certain craft or skill more than having some extra time to pursue other stuff.

Oct 13, 2013
Chillguy:

Retiring in 20 years? Explain to me why that seems like an attractive outcome? And I'm not trying to be rude, I'm asking because I honestly want to hear a clear-minded reason for wanting that.

Because I enjoy flying a hang glider more than I enjoy work.

I understand that people have different preferences and want different things out of life, but I always wondered what it is that I would actually do if I retired. It's not that I don't have hobbies I enjoy, it's just that I value becoming excellent in a certain craft or skill more than having some extra time to pursue other stuff.

You need to develop some extracurricular activities.

Oct 13, 2013

Retiring in 20 years? Explain to me why that seems like an attractive outcome? And I'm not trying to be rude, I'm asking because I honestly want to hear a clear-minded reason for wanting that.

I understand that people have different preferences and want different things out of life, but I always wondered what it is that I would actually do if I retired. It's not that I don't have hobbies I enjoy, it's just that I value becoming excellent in a certain craft or skill more than having some extra time to pursue other stuff.

Oct 12, 2013

skip to 38:25 so you don't have to waste 40mins, great stuff nonetheless

There are only 2 paths to happiness in life. Stupidity or exceptional wealth.

Oct 12, 2013

I really enjoyed Blankfein's message and have heard other bank CEOs echo the same message. It seems like none of these guys had any idea what they wanted to do in the long run, were naturally talented, kept their heads down, worked hard, took risks, kept their minds open to new opportunities, and things worked out.

Oct 12, 2013

lighten the fuck up brahs

Oct 12, 2013
packmate:

lighten the fuck up brahs

Your avatar makes a lot of sense now.

Oct 13, 2013

what watch is that?
i really dont like it

Oct 13, 2013

I hate to be that "guy", but what kind of watch is Mr. Blankfein sporting? It's damn stylish.

Oct 13, 2013
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