Internship with Goldman Sachs
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Jennifer Volz

Paterno Fellow
Major: International Politics
Minor: Entrepreneurship, Italian, Energy, Business, & Finance (EBF)
Hometown: West Islip, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about internship opportunities with Goldman Sachs through Penn State students who previously interned with the firm. A friend was aware of my interest in finance, and directed me to information about Goldman Sachs’ upcoming recruitment events. I attended several of on-campus events which gave me the opportunity to meet more former interns as well as professionals from across the firm’s 15 divisions. The recruitment experience was extremely informative and helped me determine where I best fit within the firm. I ultimately chose to apply to the Finance division where I was ecstatic to accept an offer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Finance is broken up into a range of specialized groups and I joined the Merchant Banking Division (MBD) Controllers. Controllers recognize, measure, and mitigate risk for the desk or business they support. During my time at Goldman Sachs, I ran my team's daily reports which included reconciling the ledgers our business uses and calculating our desk's profit and loss for the day. I also worked with a member of my team in Salt Lake City to develop a new report tracking private equity flows. Before completing my summer, I trained an incoming analyst on how to run this report. This allowed me to have a measurable impact on my team even after I returned to school. I also had the opportunity to work on an intra-divisional group project with my peers.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a liberal arts student, I am very comfortable writing papers and analyzing journal articles, but I was less confident in my technical skills. However, after my summer at Goldman Sachs, I no longer shy away from complex data. My proficiency in Excel and other data processing systems has increased exponentially which has been extremely helpful in my classes dealing with complex economics.

"I was able to stand out from my peers with exclusively quantitative backgrounds by bringing a different perspective and unique strengths to my team."

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

When I first came to Penn State, I was unsure what career path I would take after graduation. I assumed I would go to law school or another type of graduate school. However, as I progressed through my college career, I realized that I enjoy business and working in a fast paced environment. Having chosen a liberal arts major, I was a little worried that I came to this realization too late to obtain a job in finance. I was happy to find out that diverse academic backgrounds and worldviews are extraordinarily valued and appreciated at Goldman Sachs. I was able to stand out from my peers with exclusively quantitative backgrounds by bringing a different perspective and unique strengths to my team. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience and it made me confident that a job in finance is the right fit for me. I am happy to report that I have accepted a full-time offer to return to my team after graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students! For anyone interested in business, finance, or a fast-paced, team-oriented environment, Goldman Sachs is an amazing place to develop yourself as a professional even if you're not sure what you'd like to do after you graduate. The culture of the firm is great because everyone who works there supports one another. You're constantly surrounded by those you can learn from and you'll absolutely never be bored.

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