Over the next few weeks thousands of students will be applying for 2017 analyst jobs at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong and Singapore. And the vast majority of them won’t make it through the bank’s rigorous recruitment regime.
What does it get on Goldman's graduate programme in Asia?
To help find out we’ve looked at the academic, internship and extracurricular backgrounds of 2016 analysts who’ve recently joined Goldman in Hong Kong or Singapore and who’ve put their profiles online.
1. Be a Goldman intern and leave it late
Perhaps unsurprisingly, all the analysts whose profiles we looked at spent their final (2015) university summer holidays interning at...Goldman Sachs.
2. It doesn’t matter which department you interned in
If you don’t like the GS unit you’re interning in, make sure you still impress your managers as a strong performance could see you land a role elsewhere when you graduate. A year ago Hong Kong-based Kate Tsoi was interning in Goldman’s human capital management division working on “benefits, vendor management and global mobility” projects, according to her public profile. Now she’s got a full-time job...in prime brokerage sales.
Goldman likes it when you give back – so spend some of your spare time working in the community. Tsoi, for example, lists three volunteering stints on her profile. Most impressively, she founded the ‘GLOVER Community Service Project Team’, a series of workshops for primary school children living near the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
4 Scholarships count
Good grades are one thing, but to be awarded a scholarship on the back of them will help set you apart from other graduates going for Goldman jobs in Asia. Sarang Gupta, who joined the firm in Hong Kong last month, has a remarkable four of them: HKSAR Talent Development Scholarship; Louis Industrial Scholarship; Lee Hysan Foundation Exchange Scholarship; Joseph Lau Luen Charitable Trust Scholarship.
5. Clock up other qualifications on the side
Most people sit the CFA when already established in their careers, and even then a lot fail. Not Xiudan Wang – she started the qualification while still at college. Now a securities lending analyst at Goldman in Hong Kong, Wang has already passed the first two levels of the CFA. She’s also got through the first level of the FRM risk management qualification, according to her public profile.
6. Goldman in Asia still targets the top Western universities
Xuyang Dang has been an Asia macro trading analyst at Goldman in Hong Kong since July. He got there after attending two elite schools. Dang left the University of Oxford in 2014 with a BA in Mathematics and Statistics – he then went Ivy League, attending Princeton University and graduating with a Master’s in Finance.
7. Do an exchange programme
If you didn’t attend a top university in the US or Europe, your next best bet is to do a semester or year-long exchange programme with one as part of your local degree. Goldman’s ranks in Asia are full of people who’ve done just that. Newly hired Singapore equity research analyst Yap Hsien Liang provides a classic example. His degree (in Accountancy and Business Management) is from Singapore Management University, but it included stints at the University of Cambridge and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
8. Your other internships need not be at big banks
Almost all Goldman Sachs’ new analysts have done more than one internship – but many of these weren’t at other large banks. A summer stint at a consultancy is a common occurrence on Goldman CVs. Take Sherman Yong, who started at Goldman in Singapore in July as a technology analyst. His 2014 internship was at Accenture, where he “worked on a business transformation project”.
9. Appear international
Like most banks in the city state, Goldman Sachs likes to hire overseas-based Singaporeans. Investment banking analyst Joanne Low has true global pedigree. Not only did she graduate from Harvard this year, she’s also been an intern in three government organisations with an overseas focus: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore; National Security Coordination Secretariat; Singapore National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation.
10. Do very well in a lot of pitch competitions
Getting into Goldman is competitive and so is working there as a junior – doing well in case and pitch competitions can help to prove that you have what it takes. Low has an impressive three high places on her profile: Harvard WIB-Putnam Stock Pitch Competition (first place); HFAC Stock Pitch Competition (second); Seeking Alpha Pitch Competition (finalist).