Offer decision: GS or GOOG SA

MF7791's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 109

Wondering if I can get some opinions on this decision.

I go to a state school on the east coast, I've grown up on the east coast and never been to California. I am pretty comfortable with NYC and my family is relatively close.

I have 2 offers I am considering, but don't have much time to decide.

GS New York in a middle office Risk Management role supporting IBD. This would be at 200 West, their very nice headquarters.

Google BOLD program in Mountainview at the Googleplex. Role is as a Financial Analytics Analyst. Diversity program.

Thoughts? More info below

These are for summer analyst between Junior and Senior year
Two great names and great companies, I know lots of people at both companies.
I have a strong network at GS, and many of my friends would be living in the city as well.
I am a finance major, and ideally I'd like to continue in financial services.

GS pays more, but has worse quality of life
Google has a 1 hour commute via bus every day from San Fran to Mountain View
I think the work at GS would be more interesting, but life at Google is hard to beat. Both firms offer good mobility within the firm if I chose to move to a different division.

I have been having a lot of trouble with this decision, so any input would be helpful.
Thanks

Comments (91)

Jan 30, 2012

I'd go to Google.

The BOLD program sets you up to be a product manager after graduation, which is an awesome job at a company that looks incredible for grad school. Plus Google has pretty great perks, the Bay Area is really nice, etc etc. And diversity program = networking opportunities. They're gonna make it easy for you. Honestly, I'd consider Google over some SA i-banking positions.

GS Risk is middle office. You're at GS, but...you're in risk.

If you're determined to stay in finance, I guess you could make a case for GS. But if we're just comparing summer jobs, I think this is a no-brainer.

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

Google...all the way. GS may get mad love, but risk management is not even comparable to a role at Google. It would be questionable if it was IBD, but you could always go to GS IBD after the BOLD program, but the reverse or even going from RM --->IBD would be hard.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

Agree with the guy above. The only thing shitty is the one hour commute, cant you find a place closer?

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

GOOG then recruit FT for investment banking. MO won't look as good on your resume, especially if you're a junior.

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012
Whiskey5:

GOOG then recruit FT for investment banking. MO won't look as good on your resume, especially if you're a junior.

This...and to comment on the idiot who said that Google FO is better---> there is no such thing as google fo

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Jan 30, 2012

Google for sure. Echo the above statement, get a place closer to their offices rather than live in SF.

Jan 30, 2012

GOOG

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

Live in SF, the google bus stops on Van Ness I think I takes you down for free, they even have wifi and food I heard ... Nobody young who works at google lives in Mountainview or near it, they all move to SF as soon as they figure it out.

Jan 30, 2012

If I could get a job at GOOG I wouldn't be trying to do banking.

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

GOOG, no question. I had a similar scenario back in the day (late 90's, I'm old). I grew up in the midwest, went to school in the midwest, had internship offers in Chicago more in line with what I thought I wanted to do, but landed offers at Intel and Microsoft (Santa Clara and Mountain View, respectively). I was the same - had never been to California, had no idea what to expect. I rolled the dice, on the advice of some people in my life that I respect very much, and chose the Intel gig. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I linked up with a few other interns from other uni's, we shared an apartment in San Jose (in retrospect, we maybe should have stayed in SF because we were up there every weekend anyway). Let's put it this way - you might never want to go back home.

Jan 30, 2012

Wow, I didn't expect this kind of response, I expected WSO to say I was foolish to consider rejecting GS. I do like Google's people better honestly. The only thing I'm worried about is the work at google. I want to emphasize I am not an engineer, I do not code, and the position will be non cs, it will be financial analyst, so the first comment about becoming a project manager is less likely.

Does this change any of the above opinions?

Jan 30, 2012

Nope, go to Google every time in this situation. If it were IBD that'd be a different story, but for risk management...head west!

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

Nope. Doesn't change a thing. Always keep in mind that what you study in school is like the first 1% of what you eventually learn over the years of being on the job. Just because you haven't been exposed to something at school yet doesn't mean you won't eventually encounter it, and later go on to apply it in your work life.

Jan 30, 2012

Google, ainec

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

Still Google. Honestly, I wouldn't give a shit if it was GS IB either. Google is a really good opportunity to work in a cool environment and will open more doors for you post graduation. It will look better for b school down the road and gives you a different perspective than the cookie cutter i-bank.

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

googs

Jan 30, 2012

google is sick as hell, and you'll have an awesome summer. if you're worried about the commute, you can live in Mountain View or Palo Alto, but I guarantee that you won't regret spending the summer living in SF.

i had a roommate here in Palo Alto who did the bold program last summer, and he had a blast. he probably would have enjoyed living in SF more, that is if he wasn't so preoccupied with the motorcycle he bought to keep him company during his free time (that you'll have considerably less of at GS)

Jan 30, 2012

GS. If you want to be in finance, take the shortest route. Risk Management? I think understanding risk is the most important aspect in Finance. Making money is about measuring and taking appropriate risk.
On the other hand, I am not knowledge about the risk group you are with, supporting Investment Banking Division.

    • 3
Jan 30, 2012
GekkotheGreat:

GS. If you want to be in finance, take the shortest route. Risk Management? I think understanding risk is the most important aspect in Finance. Making money is about measuring and taking appropriate risk.
On the other hand, I am not knowledge about the risk group you are with, supporting Investment Banking Division.

wtf

Jan 30, 2012
go.with.the.flow:
GekkotheGreat:

GS. If you want to be in finance, take the shortest route. Risk Management? I think understanding risk is the most important aspect in Finance. Making money is about measuring and taking appropriate risk.
On the other hand, I am not knowledge about the risk group you are with, supporting Investment Banking Division.

wtf

GOOGLE!!!!
you still mad? :)

Jan 30, 2012

GOOGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 30, 2012

go to Google and then try your hardest to get me an internship there ha...

but seriously...

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Jan 30, 2012

Google. Here's the reason why: you are going to be working with Analytics. Analytics and Big Data are the next great frontier in computing and the next big thing(s). Analytics is still developing and is on the cusp of something big. If you can learn how to work with analytics software, your resume will be gold.

Run with Google and don't look back.

Jan 30, 2012

Wow so surprised how everyone here says Google. If you want to do finance, I say GS. If you just want a good job and nice lifestyle, then Google.

Jan 30, 2012
Banker88:

Wow so surprised how everyone here says Google. If you want to do finance, I say GS. If you just want a good job and nice lifestyle, then Google.

I'd wager that ~70% of people in finance just want a good job/lifestyle somewhere down the road. Finance is just the safest path to that goal.

Jan 30, 2012
SECfinance:
Banker88:

Wow so surprised how everyone here says Google. If you want to do finance, I say GS. If you just want a good job and nice lifestyle, then Google.

I'd wager that ~70% of people in finance just want a good job/lifestyle somewhere down the road. Finance is just the safest path to that goal.

Safest path to that goal? Have you read the news lately bro? I think most people in finance are in it for the potential big bucks down the road, and the ability to make more money faster without having to go to law school or med school, etc.

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Jan 30, 2012

I would go with Google. If it was an IBD SA gig, it would be a tough call, but I'd jump on the Google gig for sure.

Jan 30, 2012

I think Google would yield a far better quality of life...I mean, Google is the dream company of our generation.

BUT - I've heard that the Google FA program is for those who weren't able to land BB internships... obviously this is a generalization, but the notion is out there for sure. I think you'd find yourself of much higher caliber than those around you at Google, but this probably wouldn't be the case at GS.

What an excellent predicament to be in - the two most respected company names in the world.

But yeah - if you want to do finance...why wouldn't you work for GS? Let's be honest with ourselves?

Jan 30, 2012

Wouldn't exposure to Google give you more of an edge to get into Goldman Sach's TMT Group after you go to Grad school?

Jan 30, 2012

Google. No question. You'd be an idiot to pass that up for a MO position.

    • 1
Jan 30, 2012

GOOGLE of course. They are ranked the best company to work for.

Jan 30, 2012

You can always get into finance later on. Google is a rare opportunity. It will also be more interesting to talk about during interviews should you decide to go down another path.

Jan 30, 2012
Jan 30, 2012

I think that this would be an even debate if it was IBD. MO is a no-brainer. GOOG ftw.

Jan 30, 2012

what do you guys think about BO/MO positions at GOOG? do you get a boost for future jobs/top bschools because its GOOG or are you still just another guy with a BO/MO position?

Jan 30, 2012

Beating a dead horse here but GOOG is the answer.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jan 30, 2012

Google, for sure. MBA options from there will be really good!

Jan 30, 2012

Ah wow I had no idea this would get so much attention. Yeah the thing about gs, and why I was initially leaning towards gs was because my network within the firm is pretty strong that I think I could move to IBD if I performed well in risk, I was interviewed for GS IBD, went to accelerated superday in December and it just didn't work out. GS would be closer to my family, and my friends would be over here so I could visit/hang with them.

Google just feels like I'd be leaving so much behind over here, and I'm really unsure if I'd like the west coast honestly. And I initially thought that Google Finance was not at all comparable to a role in Google strategy or product management. But I realize that it is an amazing opportunity that I likely will never again have....

Jan 30, 2012

And would MBA's really view Financial Analyst as being that impressive? Google does offer a ton of mobility, so I could experience a year of marketing or a year abroad or sales for a year and get a ton of breadth to craft a killer mba app, but I feel like i might learn more at gs in terms of technical skills and honestly professional development.

Jan 30, 2012

I hope you take Google. There will be tons of time to get your ass kicked by a bank.

Jan 30, 2012

OP: What should I take?
Almost everyone: GOOG
OP: But I'm leaning to GS

haha Anyway, good luck on whatever you choose.

Jan 31, 2012

This is a tough situation that I'd love to be in.

I say Google. I think the people you meet there will help you thrive and grow.

Jan 31, 2012

Google - look backing, I'd take a Google offer over GS IBD

Jan 30, 2012

Google opens more doors. GS is a sinking ship, fuck that place, take the GOOG offer and don't look back.

Jan 31, 2012

google

Jan 31, 2012

I'd say GOOG as well, and it's not even close over a middle office position.

One thing to consider is that this is only for 3 months of your life. Part of the point of internships is to try something new and figure out what you want to do post graduation. Take a risk and do something that is out of your comfort zone. You can always get a full time position back in NYC, if you don't like the West coast experience, but maybe you like it so much that you end up out there long term. An internship with GOOG will open up plenty of full time recruiting opportunities in IB or really anywhere else that you'd want to go.

I could actually see a convincing argument that you would have a better shot at GS IB full time coming from GOOG versus GS MO.

Jan 31, 2012

Google, no-brainer since the GS position is in MO.
I think it will be much easier to explain why you choose google than to explain why you were not able to get a FO job in your junior year.
Then, as other people already said, it is just a 3 months internship and if you don't like the West Coast you can still move back and find a good job in NYC. Btw, this is probably the best chance you can get to try new things and live in new places and recruiters like this kind of experiences.
Finally, If I had to interview you for an IBD position I would prefer to talk about your summer job at Google in California than to talk about what you did at GS Risk.
PS: I'm pretty sure you can make tons of friend in San Francisco...

Jan 31, 2012

Not sure if anyone has told you this or not, but Google is definitely a better option. Perks at Google + doors open down the road = no brainer.

Jan 31, 2012

Google for sure. Even if it was GS IB, unless you've really got your heart set on IB or PE, I think the GOOG gig will definitely set you up for MBA or a very favorable long-term gig there. Or possibly a gig in VC - like Google Ventures.

Jan 31, 2012

go with google.

dude why would you live in San Francisco? screw commuting 2 hours a day. live in San Jose... plenty of nightlife and a much easier commute to Mountain View.

EDIT: i'm boring and lazy and like going to the gym before work so i might be biased.

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Jan 31, 2012

is doing finance at Google really that comparable to FO at investment banks? Maybe I don't understand the role properly but I'm assuming it's FP&A, which doesn't sound so hot.

Jan 31, 2012

Google. This is barely a contest.

Jan 31, 2012

Google

Jan 31, 2012

GOOOOOOGLLEEEEEEE. I think like 3 people said GS... (I see a trend, follow it)

"If you survive to my age and you rack up a CV like mine, you can look at HR and say, "Fuck you. I don't try out."- Eddie

Jan 31, 2012

Both of these roles are "MO" roles. The "FO" roles at Google are the coders, not the people doing data analysis in excel.

Both of these companies are not what they used to be, though fine names for junior summer. Good luck OP. If you want to do finance, I'd pick GS.

Jan 31, 2012

Yeah I'm confused as to why everyone's hyping up doing finance at Google.

Best Response
Jan 31, 2012

People aren't necessarily hyping it; it's just clearly the better of the two roles. Your goals for an internship should be to maximize your potential options for full time positions and to explore and learn as much as possible.

As someone who personally started their career in middle office, it is a perfectly respectable job and a decent way to break into finance. That said, MO will teach you absolutely no skills that are relevant to investment banking. Having GS on your resume is a positive and might help you get a few interviews, but people realize that it has little relevance, other than demonstrating some level of interest in finance. It will also raise questions as to why you couldn't land a front office role.

Google, on the other hand, is just as good of a name for your resume as GS, and you might actually learn something that is applicable to banking...financial statement analysis, forecasting, corporate strategy, etc. Plus, it might open your eyes to paths outside of banking that are even more interesting to you. If you decide that you do want to work in banking, you have a great name on your resume in a finance role, a pretty easy sell as to why you would be a fit in a tech group, and almost no one will question why you took a summer job at Google.

If the OP really wanted to start his career in MO, the responses to this thread would be different, but he didn't say that. For banking, Google is simply a better opportunity.

Jan 31, 2012

^ spot on TechBanking, sb'd

Feb 1, 2012

you should not live in SF, you should just live in mountain view

Feb 1, 2012

Definitely go with google, as mentioned by other people on this forum it is clearly the best choice for you. There are two great reasons for this:

1) Your summer experience is going to be ridiculously fun. One of my best friends interned there over the summer, and he had the time of his life. After hearing his stories, and visiting him after my banking internship was over, I honestly would say they do not believe in cost cutting. You will get a free lunch buffet everyday (made by a pretty good chef), they will host numerous crazy social events (I think they even had a party on a yacht/party boat one night), and you will have excellent hours. Also, it will not matter that your social network there is small. The other employees/interns there are very nice and you bond pretty quickly (and the girls are pretty attractive - you will not find that at gs).

2) If you want to go into IB, I still think this would be the better experience for you. They have a very robust internship program for their interns, so you will gain a broader and more interesting skill set. I know my friend got to work on a number of different projects with different groups and also had to do several presentations to senior people at the firm over the summer. Most importantly, however, is that this will be far easier to explain in an interview for IB the following school year. If someone came up to me in an interview with a google experience, it would stand out and be fairly interesting. Further, I would understand/respect someones decision to intern or work there. If you worked in MO and were trying to get into IB I would just think you failed to get an internship in IB the previous summer.

Feb 1, 2012

Comparable names on the resume, yet better bullet points w/ GOOG...so go west.

Feb 2, 2012

Don't be an idiot. Move to California and don't look back.

Feb 2, 2012

GS.

You can't code; you are second class citizen at Google. Exit opportunities will be other MO data crunching jobs. You might get lucky with another IPO but the pipeline after Facebook is very very weak.

Big data is good for coders/hackers and absolutely sucks for mindless data crunchers.

Also, your network at San Francisco Bay Area will be weaker. And here we speak a different language than WSO.

Plus, San Francisco is shit for parties or girls. And Palo Alto/Monutain View is even worse. Full of 3s and 4s that think they are 9s and 10s.

p.s., if you are female and does not look like an ogre, Google; you will be queen here.

Jan 30, 2012
vitaminc:

GS.

You can't code; you are second class citizen at Google.

OP isn't IB, what will he be at GS?

Feb 2, 2012

Also second class citizen, but with a chance to become first class with smooth talking and some modeling training.

You can't network your way into being a coder.

Jan 30, 2012

I do think that vitaminc has a point. I am confident I could lateral into IBD at GS either after the summer or after one or two years of working in NYC there. As I mentioned, I have a pretty strong network at GS already think a Partner, MD, VPs. They were the reason I interviewed for accelerated IBD SA earlier this year, I got to the superday, but it didn't work out. My financial modeling skills are fine.
So I might be a second class citizen at GS.

I disagree at Goog, their culture is amazingly inviting. They don't treat other non coders differently than coders, they might not have as technical discussions though. I've met a BOLD intern who had lunch next to Sergei once, so the culture is very open, and you can meet all kinds of people.

It has occurred to me that Google would probably be a much more secure job.

Thanks for all of the replies, very helpful stuff.

Feb 2, 2012

GOOGLE in a heartbeat. Better quality of life, similar prestige, and you will be treated better.

Banking is overated tbh. And plus risk mgmt is like middle office.

Feb 2, 2012

Go with Google. It took me 10 years to move from risk to trading and although I love finance, the future is pretty bleak.I'm from NYC as well and think the quality of life is amazing on the West Coast compared to NYC.

Feb 3, 2012

If you had had a Front office Trading or IBD internship at Goldman it could have been a hard choice.

But seriously... MO risk is supbar compared to Google...

Feb 3, 2012

btw, MF7791 What were some of the questions you got in your GOOG interview?

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman

Oct 25, 2013
OhYeah:

btw, MF7791 What were some of the questions you got in your GOOG interview?

*Bump to OP or anyone else who interviewed for this as well

Jan 30, 2012

how many ping pong balls does it take to fill up a school bus?

Jan 30, 2012

How much would you bid to be the supplier for a contract to clean the windows of every high rise in the city of San Francisco, each quarterly?

Jan 30, 2012

How do you come up with an answer to that last question when you don't know shit about SF?

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Jan 30, 2012
scottj19x89:

How do you come up with an answer to that last question when you don't know shit about SF?

the only wrong answer is the one you gave (asking that question) :)

the whole point of a question like that is to see how you think, how you deal with the unknown, how you apply creativity to solving a problem when faced with the unknown, and how you do it under pressure and time constraints. typically you'll have to make some assumptions, and then do some elementary calculations very quickly in your head. so, for the SF question, you might make state:

1) let's assume there are 200 high rises in SF, defined as any building greater than or equal to 40 stories
2) let's assume across the 200, the average height is 60 stories
3) let's assume that we can measure our cost of service in terms of $$/story

Then it's as simple as saying "based on these assumptions, my cost to provide the service would be 200 bldgs x 60 stories x avg $$/story", and then maybe you add 30%-40% to cover overhead, profit margin, etc.

You'd probably want to elaborate on assumption #3 and talk about how you came up with a specific number (i.e. there are 5 work days, 12 work hours per day, so I need X number of employees @ $10/hr each in order to cover that many stories quarterly).

The interviewer is going to be interested in what kinds of assumptions you make, why you make them, whether they are reasonable (i.e. if you said there were 80,000 high rises in SF, you'd probably get dinged). They are going to be interested in seeing if your calculations are accurate, and how quickly you can do them in your head.

Jan 30, 2012
djfiii:
scottj19x89:

How do you come up with an answer to that last question when you don't know shit about SF?

the only wrong answer is the one you gave (asking that question) :)

the whole point of a question like that is to see how you think, how you deal with the unknown, how you apply creativity to solving a problem when faced with the unknown, and how you do it under pressure and time constraints. typically you'll have to make some assumptions, and then do some elementary calculations very quickly in your head. so, for the SF question, you might make state:

1) let's assume there are 200 high rises in SF, defined as any building greater than or equal to 40 stories
2) let's assume across the 200, the average height is 60 stories
3) let's assume that we can measure our cost of service in terms of $$/story

Then it's as simple as saying "based on these assumptions, my cost to provide the service would be 200 bldgs x 60 stories x avg $$/story", and then maybe you add 30%-40% to cover overhead, profit margin, etc.

You'd probably want to elaborate on assumption #3 and talk about how you came up with a specific number (i.e. there are 5 work days, 12 work hours per day, so I need X number of employees @ $10/hr each in order to cover that many stories quarterly).

The interviewer is going to be interested in what kinds of assumptions you make, why you make them, whether they are reasonable (i.e. if you said there were 80,000 high rises in SF, you'd probably get dinged). They are going to be interested in seeing if your calculations are accurate, and how quickly you can do them in your head.

So don't really worry about your estimates being too accurate? Just say "Let's assume..." so they know what you're working with?

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Feb 4, 2012

hold out for UBS operations.

Jan 31, 2012

If you had had a Front office Trading or IBD internship at Goldman it could have been a hard choice.

I understand a Google middle/back office finance role possibly being better than a Goldman middle office role. But this makes absolutely no sense to me.

Jan 30, 2012

Let me just say that there is really no such thing as a MO or BO role at Google. Their "client facing" roles are in adwords and client services getting the businesses who want to advertise at google. Also there is no difference in pay really at the bottom level, and a finance analyst would have the same access to perks and everything that a product manager, a developer, an analyst in adwords would have, so I really wouldn't view it as back office, it's very different from banking.

Google doesn't care about prestige as much as banking, and that is one of the things i like most about the company.
Banking is different, I know some MO people who can't wait to get out of their positions because they feel like second class. So I am def leaning towards Goog right now.

Thanks for all of the input.

Feb 5, 2012

Google. You can always go to Risk Management later on.

Feb 5, 2012

Google is the winner and you will benefit a lot in future from its name in your resume. Once you work here for 2-3 years, you will be able to get job interviews easily from many companies. Go for Google!

Jan 30, 2012
ivedtara:

Google is the winner and you will benefit a lot in future from its name in your resume. Once you work here for 2-3 years, you will be able to get job interviews easily from many companies. Go for Google!

So I take it you work at google?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Feb 5, 2012

GS or bust.

Jan 30, 2012

Interesting... thanks for the info

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Mar 11, 2012

I'd like to jump in and correct a few misperceptions I've seen so far here:

-not all jobs at a large technology company are created equal, and in the non-engineering functions, there are definitely "front office" vs. "middle office" roles, particularly at the entry-level stage. Financial analysis is more "middle office" as you're far from the products & are more of a bookkeeper vs. direct contributor. Example of a more "front office", non-technical role at the same company: the Google RAMP / APMM program.

-The BOLD program does not feed into the product management role (front office), which is usually reserved for top-level CS majors generally (read up on the Google Jobs sites). The Associate Product Management program is an entry-level, product management track, and it's a very different role than this with a much different skill set (likely compensated differently as well).

-Salary varies per function, but -- across the industry -- entry-level financial analysts will not be paid as much engineers. Engineering is a core competency for technology companies, and they will obviously pay what they need to in order to get top talent & maintain competitive advantage (engineers are "resources", so view this more as an investment and not just "recruiting"). This will obviously get more flexible the higher you go & how well you can shape your career.

Recommendation: GS for summer internship, and then do some research on F500 finance / non-technical roles for full-time in the fall.

    • 1
Jan 31, 2012

This. ^

SB to you, sir.

Jan 30, 2012
Comment
Jan 31, 2012

"If you survive to my age and you rack up a CV like mine, you can look at HR and say, "Fuck you. I don't try out."- Eddie

Jan 12, 2013