What does it take to get a job at Goldman Sachs in mainland China or Hong Kong? Excellence, for sure. Goldman receives 43,000 applications for around 2,000 analyst positions. That's around 20 applications to every job.
Getting into Goldman in Greater China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong) is no easier than elsewhere. We've combed through the LinkedIn profiles of 26 of Goldman's junior Chinese bankers. They're all excellent and there are some important similarities.
If you want to get an analyst (entry-level) position at GS, go to a top-tier university. It doesn't matter where the university is: it has to be a top brand. And if you want to work for Goldman in China, it seemingly helps to study at a university in Europe or the US.
In the sample we looked at, Goldman's juniors had studied at Cambridge, Oxford or the London School of Economics (LSE). For example, Vivien Lee, an associate at GS Hong Kong, attended Cambridge University in UK and obtained a BA in Economics. David Zhang, who is also an associate at GS HK, spent the last two years of his undergraduate life at LSE and achieved a BSc Economics there.
Goldman also hires from US Ivy League schools - think Princeton, Columbia and Berkeley. For example, Mengjie Wang, an associate at GS HK, has a masters degree in finance from Princeton University. Yichen Wang, an analyst at GS HK, obtained a BA in Economics and Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Some of Goldman's juniors who work at its Beijing or Shanghai offices have studied in China. - But they've been to the nation's top schools. Most studied in the mainland and went to elite universities such as Peking, Tsinghua, Fudan or Shanghai Jiaotong. Some studied in Hong Kong: many of this group went to the University of Hong Kong.
Which degree will get you a junior job at Goldman in China? Finance, mathematics, or engineering will help. But we also found students who'd studied management information systems, international business and material science.
Goldman seems to echo the notion that all degrees are equally acceptable. James, a recruiter for GS Investment Banking Division based in Hong Kong, addressed a few popular questions about graduate recruitment in Nov. 2013 on GS's website. "We’re very open-minded," he said. "We take students from all degree disciplines, not just finance..."
Contrary to accepted wisdom, an MBA is actually not a must. Only three people have obtained an MBA degree in our sample. All of them are associates --- the usual starting level for someone who's just got an MBA.
If you want to work for Goldman Sachs' Chinese business, you'll need an internship before you join full time. Almost all of the juniors in our sample completed one or two internships before joining. Amazingly, Sabrina Chan, an analyst at GS HK, completed seven internships before joining. Chan studied economics as an undergraduate at Cambridge University from 2011 to 2014, but she started interning from as early as 2009, spending two months at AXA in the summer.
Feiran Wang and Chris Chik, two analyst at GS HK, have also completed six and five internships respectively. As we've previously reported that internships are a prerequisite for banking jobs. Goldman Sachs China is no different.