BY MEGA, GRADE 12
Being a part of SAYA for more than three years, I was given yet another opportunity to attend the Goldman Sachs Day. A day filled with not only educating and learning, but also communicating, seeking, inspiring, laughing, genuinely talking and most importantly, building connections. This day which comes around every year in SAYA’s summer program gives youth like myself a chance to broaden ourselves with all of the impactful information provided to us by the men and women from Goldman Sachs.
On the morning of this event, I woke up with a smile, and put on my best interview clothes I could find--and let me tell you, it feels pretty neat to be in an outfit that makes you feel like you work in a very professional place. Though it’s not always about what you’re wearing, dressing up in such attire definitely gives off the sense of accomplishment.
Our morning began with splitting into groups. We had different color wristbands and we split up into different groups; unfortunately, many friends were separated, but we knew it was for the best. The event was divided into 3 parts: “elevator pitch”, mock interviews, and conversations. With my previous experience with this event, I was definitely less nervous than most of my peers; however, being the exceptional peer that I am, I informed my comrades that the interviews aren’t as intimidating since we stay in groups. During this event, I found that staying in groups definitely allowed the youth to become more outspoken, and availed the nerve-wracking feelings.
The Goldman Sachs men and women were more amicable than I thought they would be, and you could see that their true intention to be apart of this event was to be genuine philanthropists. When my group and I were doing elevator pitches, our Goldman Sachs mentor was Michael. He introduced himself very briefly, however, throughout the time he opened up and not only provided us with a considerable amount of information on how to give an elevator pitch, but also worked with our characteristics and personalities and helped us to incorporate that in our pitches. Most of us were stuck because we didn’t have that much to say, but he gave us a boost of confidence and showed us how to take advantage of the things that we did have to say.
After that, my group was forwarded to the mock interviews. Mock interviews were one on one interviews with the Goldman Sachs’ members. This was surprisingly my favorite part because I was able to completely be myself and because the members were experienced with interviews, it was clear to see that they knew what they were doing. My interviewer was very constructive. He told me what I needed to work on and what I should expect. He gave me tips and tricks that were effective and definitely improved my interview skills. After I was done with my interview I got to talk to my friends and I was able to see they were a lot less timid and tense, and it really seemed like they were enjoying this moment. We then moved on to conversations and in this part of the event, we got to know the members personally. We were able to converse with whomever we wanted to get to know more. The members my group and I got to learn about were super friendly and they not only talked about their work ethics, but also talked about their personal life with their children, traveling and what their hobbies are. It was surely a moment to remember because each and every one got to share something personal about each other and it was a serene environment filled with laughter and joy, all along with the sharing of knowledge.
At first, this event seemed as though it was only for those who want to pursue careers in finance, business or accounting. Although most of the men and women are pursuing their careers in those fields, the main message they were trying to deliver was to prepare the youth for whatever career they want to pursue. I realized this because I want to pursue a career in dance, and that’s somewhat completely different from the fields most of the members were in, however that did not stop the Goldman Sachs members from doing their job and helping me to prepare for the job I wanted. I wasn’t the only one who experienced this, my friend, Michael, went through something similar. Michael wants to be a professional baseball player, and in the beginning of the event he was intimidated because he felt he didn’t fit in with the theme and what the event seemed to be about, however, his thoughts changed when he met a Goldman Sachs member who could relate to Michael and gave him tips on how to really seek his career in that field. Michael came to me after with excitement and told me about his experience which boosted his confidence. The event SAYA and Goldman Sachs hosted encouraged my peers and I to do something that was different and that was what I admired most about this event: the message it delivered.