Internship at Goldman Sachs, Bangalore – Ashay Tejwani

By Ashay Tejwani, 3rd year MEMS Student

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Being one of the 210 shortlisted candidates that qualified for the Goldman Sachs Technology division internship after the first round of CPI / Resume shortlisting, I was pretty excited. Perhaps even more than most of the other candidates; It was the first time I saw my name ever come up on the department intern group. What followed was a bi-sectional written test with math and coding sections, each having a minimum cutoff for qualification. This was followed by about an hour of waiting while the company’s representatives explained the internships’ structure, the various departments and what Goldman Sachs does. Finally they held a round of group discussions, and a night long wait for 3-5 rounds of personal and technical interviews. A long and exhaustive procedure, but the lunch treat at Renaissance and a confirmed internship at Goldman Sachs more than made up for it.

Goldman Sachs’ generally tests your analytic abilities and communication skills apart from a little knowledge in coding and your own branch.

As a student of Metallurgical Engineering and Material Science primarily involved in the Institute’s Tech scene, I received a lot of “This is neither core, nor tech – what are you doing in a Financial firm?” questions from my friends. Back then, I did not have any answer to that question, but trust me, once you get into Goldman Sachs, you can feel the tech vibes – from booking cabs to getting meal coupons, generating financial reports or making new applications, the place is brimming with technology. In the short span of 8 weeks spent at the firm, I had the opportunity of working with more than 12 new technologies, definitely an awesome place to be in.

The good part is, Goldman Sachs really pampers its interns. The first week featured a stay at Halcyon – royalty at its best: rooms twice as big as the one’s at hostel, excellent service, a breakfast buffet lavish enough to keep you going throughout the day without any food and an equally grand dinner. The highlight of the first week was playing poker using coffee and sugar sachets, tea bags and milk powder as currency. Once all the intern batches had joined, there was a day long networking event – code break contest, bowling, performing at the talent show and dinner. Some of the training sessions were in the form of skits.

GS follows the policy of inclusion, which shows in the number of communities they have to cater to different groups and reduce inter-personal barriers at the work place.

They also have a Community Team works system in place, where you go to various old age homes, schools, lakes, forests for organizing sports days, cultural events, clean-up drives or reforestation drives, although they get full very quickly, so I missed it. The buildings also had facilities for table tennis and a gym, and many communities for various sports and activities like puzzling, chess and foosball.

Projects at the internship are pretty much a demo of the kind of work you would get if you were a part of the company. I worked on a couple of software enhancements from users abroad, went on conference calls with them to get feedback on mock designs before actual implementation (which was a boon since you don’t end up spending double time and effort in undoing the changes and rectifying them) apart from a data loading process enhancement. The entire development process was test driven, which was a very powerful strategy indeed – it ensured that the smallest units of your code worked fine, along with making sure everything you do has backward compatibility with their existing code base and everything that could go wrong went wrong before going live, so that it could be rectified.

Being located in Bangalore there are lots of tourist spots within 60-300km of the city, lots of choices depending on the number of days available. Initially my trips were with groups from college itself – Comic Con, Nandi Hills, Bharachukki falls, Talakad, etc. though towards the end of the intern, most of the team at office had become good friends, so my later trips to Bannerghatta national park, local eateries and bowling were with them.

You could reach out to anyone, whether it was your VP, or someone heading a subdivision of technology sitting in London.

The main take away, as opposed to my previous internships, was the Goldman Sachs culture. The team grows into a caring, fun loving yet work oriented group of friends, who help you out in every way possible – from getting accommodation, to cheering you up after losing your wallet (and all that was within) and general fundae.

In a nut-shell, these were two unforgettable months full of fun and learning, with first-hand experience of applying coding in real life scenarios.