This summer, Cambridge student Carmen, will join Goldman Sachs on their investment banking internship, before heading back to complete her degree in Economics. Read below to find out what she had to about the application process and her advice for fellow Bright Network members.
Why did you choose Goldman Sachs and this role in particular?
To be very honest I applied to quite a number of investment banks because from my own understanding, the application processes for summer internships are very competitive. However, I am particularly drawn to Goldman Sachs given their strength in investment banking across various geographical regions and sectors. Furthermore, I have attended their networking events on campus and I was really inspired by their representatives, who were highly motivated and dedicated towards their careers. I wish to immerse myself in an environment with such a steep learning curve and learn from these talented people from diverse backgrounds.
I have chosen the investment banking division (IBD) as I enjoy being challenged constantly and coming up with solutions for complex problems. The transactional nature of the work in corporate finance appeals to me as it involves working on multiple deals over a period of time, from origination and structuring to execution of the transaction. It also allows me to build on industry knowledge and develop a fuller business acumen.
What was the hardest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The application process at Goldman Sachs was relatively less complicated compared to other firms. We were asked to fill in an online application form and after the first round of screening, I was invited to conduct an online video interview. Then followed by the final stage of assessment, which was also conducted online as I was not in Hong Kong at that point in time. My favourite part of the application process was definitely the final interview, it was a very pleasant experience as my interviewers were very friendly and they personalised my interview questions according to my personal experiences. They were also very willing to share their professional experiences in investment banking and Goldman Sachs with me, which I found very insightful.
Do you have three top tips for members looking to follow in your footsteps?
I personally found attending networking events held by firms that I applied to particularly helpful. This gave me the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding about the company compared to what I can learn from the company’s website. It also gives you a taste of the culture of the firm as you get to interact with the representatives and ask any questions that you have about their expertise and experiences.
Another tip would be to apply as early as possible as most firms recruit on a rolling basis so the sooner you send off your application, the higher the chance you will receive interview invitations and thus offers.
Lastly, work hard to prepare for your interview, especially technical questions. Interviewers do not expect you to know everything about finance or accounting or investment banking but they do expect you to have a certain level of knowledge because that is one way to display your interest in the field. It would also be helpful to prepare for competency or situational questions so that you get to showcase your skills and professionalism during your interview.
What kind of questions were you asked during your interviews?
The questions that I have been asked include technical questions, competency-based questions, situational questions and questions based on my CV. I would strongly advise applicants to research about the division that they applied to and keep up with current affairs and the financial markets. It will be beneficial to read up on recent transactions that the firm has carried out. With regards to competency questions, you should familiarise yourself with the experiences that you have included on your CV so that you can demonstrate your relevant skills with concrete examples. Lastly, conduct mock interviews with your friends so you can learn from each other and through constructive opinion.