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She discusses her experiences during an externship at Goldman Sachs with alumna Dara Brown ’97

Jill Carey ’09 (Sparta, N.J.) is a double major in English and economics & business. She recently received a real-world taste of some of the career possibilities that exist for her during an externship hosted by Dara Brown ’97, vice president for product management at Goldman Sachs. The following is a first-person account of Carey’s experience.

For two days, I was able to experience the world of portfolio management, investment research, product sales, derivatives trading, and marketing– all through an externship with Mrs. Dara Brown at Goldman Sachs. Mrs. Brown, who works in the asset management division of the firm, allowed fellow student Mike Feniger and me to learn more about what it would be like to have a career at a large financial firm.

Unlike a typical “job shadow,” Mrs. Brown set up a schedule for us to meet with other analysts and executives at the firm (including several Lafayette graduates) so that we could gain insight into the many opportunities available at Goldman Sachs. As a double major in economics & business and English, it was interesting to learn about the ways I could combine my interests in finance and writing/communication at a place like Goldman Sachs.

During our first day, Mrs. Brown introduced us to a Lafayette alumnus from human capital management. She explained the structure of the investment management division to us, and it was impressive to see the broad spectrum of asset management and private wealth services offered by a firm that is more widely known for its other financial services like investment banking.

Next we met with a portfolio analyst/researcher in the technology sector, who spoke with us about his career and his days at Lafayette. It was interesting to learn about his research methods, such as going to video game conferences to learn more about what tech companies are doing well.

Lastly, we met with another member of the asset management division, who dealt with transactions on a global scale and talked with us about her decision to attend business school.

We began our second day in equities, where we met with another alumnus who works in transition services maintaining portfolios of fired managers until new managers are hired. He then let us sit on the trading floor with a derivatives trader, which was an exciting opportunity that not many students are given. The trading floor was so hectic—every time the trader began to explain his job to us, his phone would ring again. The experience definitely gave us an idea of what a career would be like in such a fast-paced environment.

We then returned to our host, who allowed us to listen in on one of her conference calls as well as a training session with other employees. After lunch, we met with a recently-hired analyst who discussed her experience with externships, internships, and finding the right job. We finished the day with a meeting with two employees in marketing, who gave us samples of their work and discussed all of the materials they publish for the firm and its clients.

I really enjoyed my experience during this externship, and was truly impressed by how helpful everyone was. All of the employees were extremely proud of working at Goldman, and were happy to answer any of my questions or offer me any advice on my internship search and career exploration process.

It was great to work with Mrs. Brown, and I’m so glad she was able to take time from her extremely busy schedule to provide Mike and me with this opportunity. The environment and culture of the firm really made me want to pursue a career in this field, and I’m definitely thankful that Lafayette and its alumni offer us so many possibilities.

Carey is president of the College’s club gymnastics team and secretary and performer for the Marquis Players. She is a member of the College’s Leadership Education Planning Committee, Arts Society and Investment Club as well as a Gateway Ambassador, writing associate and tour guide for the admissions department.

  • Internships/Externships
  • English
  • Economics & Business
  • Career Services
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