If there is any company, which is associated with top of the line salary, work life, social prestige, then a job in Goldman Sachs India is probably it.
Since there are only few companies in the world which can match Goldman Sachs India for what it offers, hence the company also is very selective in taking people whom it deems fit to bestow with a reward of being a Goldman Sachs employee.
In India Goldman Sachs offers the following lines of services:
- Investment Banking
- Investment Research
- Information Technology
- Knowledge Process Outsourcing
Goldman Sachs operates out of two locations in India; with the Front office work i.e. Investment Banking, Broking and Investment Research related work being done from the Mumbai Office and the Back office work in the fields of Information Technology and Knowledge Process Outsourcing being done primarily from Bangalore location.
In India, there are two primary modes of entry into Goldman Sachs for fresh pass outs from college. They being
- Summer Analysts
Summer Analyst Internship
A Goldman Sachs summer analyst internship program gives you the opportunity to learn about the financial services industry by working alongside some of the best names in the field. The advantage of interning with Goldman Sachs is that the interns are involved in practical projects that have a real impact on the firm in their own small way.
Goldman Sachs summer analyst role is intended for candidates currently pursuing a university degree. The internship is usually taken during the penultimate year of study.
For you to be eligible for a Goldman Sachs India internship, you as a candidate need to possess excellent academic records and more than just “interest” in the financial markets. Please note that although technically all are eligible, but the bottom line is that unless you are from the top of the line colleges like IITs, Select NITs, and IIMs, your chances are slim. It is not easy for these top of the line Indian institutes too as they have to take, head on competition from Ivy league college graduates like Harvard and Stanford.
An emerging market experience is as relevant to their CV as a developed market experience is relevant to Indian candidates.
The recruitment dates are decided basis the placement season at particular schools. With Goldman being Goldman, it is either day zero or day one.
The on campus recruitment process can be broadly segregated into two parts:
At the initial screening level, candidates are shortlisted on primary selection criterion like academic score and depending on which department of Goldman is hiring additional requirements of written test or group discussion may also be there.
The selected candidates go through further rounds (a minimum of two) of personal interviews.
What does one do in the eight weeks?
As mentioned earlier, the summer internship is an eight week program designed to give you a very good idea of the day-today activities of one of the company’s divisions. The program is initiated with a firm wide orientation where you will learn about the culture, benefits and responsibilities of being an employee of Goldman Sachs.
You will also receive the necessary department-specific training designed to help you do your assigned task in your department.
After completion of training, you will receive real duties that will allow you to have a perspective of what is expected out of you in terms of results and under what circumstances you are required to perform. Thus, for eight weeks you will have the same workload and expectations that a full-time Goldman Sachs employee may have. Also, this is an opportunity to impress your guide and people above the guide with your capabilities. In all probability if your summer internship has gone well, then chances are that you may be invited back to join a full time position as part of the new analyst program.
If you get a call to join Goldman Sachs India as part of their “New Analyst Program” then you can give yourself a celebratory pat on the back, after all not many get through it. Once in, you will learn about the business line in which you could be working at least for some years if not make a career out of it.
Who can apply
This program is technically open to final year graduate and post graduate level students. This program takes in people from both the summer internship program as well as from those campuses where candidates were not part of the summer internship program. The rigor would be even more than what a summer intern may have to face.
Similar to the summer internship process the recruitment dates are in line with placement season at particular schools. The broad criteria for selection are also similar to the one made in summer internships.
What may get asked at the interview?
The interview process can be broadly divided into Technical and Behavioral:
Technical skills are tested to evaluate your understanding of the basics of finance. Most of the questions asked should be easy to answer if your understanding of basics of finance is good. For example, how would a given transaction impact the statement of accounts i.e. the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement.
You may have to answer harder questions so that the interviewer can assess your understanding of financial concepts, but also to evaluate your reaction to pressure cooker situations.
It would be wise to admit ignorance and then try to show an approach about how you are going to solve the issue at hand. This approach is likely to create a positive influence in the minds of the interviewers.
A possible way to prepare well would be to form small groups and conduct mock interviews with focus on technical. This activity would help you save time and be prepared when an actual interview comes.
If being interviewed for the investment banking division then spend some time on the “pitch book” which investment bankers prepare. Try and understand what goes into a pitch book and why are they placed in a set manner.
Once satisfied with your technical abilities the next round would be behavioral. Because this additional line of an interview is that in general investment banks are tough places to be in and in Goldman Sachs, it is even tougher. Thus in addition to technical there will be situation-based questions to test your cultural fitment.
A simple point to remember when answering any behavioral question is that there is no right or wrong answer. The interviewer is asking these questions with a view to gain insight into your thought process. Also, remember that demonstration of clear logical thinking would be your biggest asset not only at the interviews but also in your career there.
Additionally, be very strong on ethics as that’s another area where investment bankers have had a tough time lately.
The analyst experience
Goldman Sachs India prides itself on providing the analysts with the necessary tools for professional growth and career advancement. Once inducted, you will gain the skills and knowledge needed to execute the duties assigned. This is done through an effectively unlimited access to training programs.
Once inducted the analyst goes into training at what is called the Goldman Sachs University to help you do the best at each stage of your career.
Goldman Sachs University is assigned to train you on division-specific or department-specific training.
The training would be on an ongoing basis, based on specific skill needs and interests, to enhance your professional development at the workplace.
The analyst experience also includes creating opportunities to connect with people who can help in your career progression. At Goldman, you are encouraged to create your network and interact with partners across divisions and regions.
Ongoing career growth
Throughout the analyst years, you would be expected to take on ongoing developmental assignments and exposure to multiple disciplines that would be in addition to your day-to-day responsibilities. Since Goldman Sachs has a relatively flatter structure, hence the career path is more multidimensional
Analysts are formally evaluated at the firm's annual appraisal process called "Performance Review Process", which in essence is a one hundred and eighty degree appraisal including peers, managers and internal business partners’ with whom you have interacted. You will also be participating in a "Personal Development Planning" process, in line with the kind of feedback and your individual interests, the feedback would help you in establishing career goals and identify developmental opportunities within Goldman Sachs India.
To conclude, I can say that if you tick the right boxes i.e. academic excellence, sound knowledge of business concepts, the ability to deliver under high pressure and have a logical thought process, you can look forward to one of the most rewarding careers in financial services industry, which may not have many equals in today’s day and age.
I hope that this piece helps all aspirants to one of the best jobs that financial services can offer.
Goldman Sachs India Salary Survey from Glassdoor India: