26.06.2023 Today’s Insights, and Inspiration, from David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, in Fast Company
You might expect David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, to preach to new grads like you about the need to work hard, pay attention to detail and stay constantly focused on learning.
And he likely wouldn’t disagree with any of that advice.
Yet, as reported in Fast Company earlier this month, Solomon’s words to incoming Summer Interns (like you or your friends, perhaps) were a bit different. They didn’t center on “the tough love” that an ambitious candidate like you might imagine would lead to a return offer in arguably the world’s most prestigious investment bank. Instead, Solomon advised these aspiring young professionals, who hail from 500 colleges and universities and speak a collective 83 languages, to “enjoy the ride,” and “not worry about where the journey will take you.”
No question, it’s been a challenging year for the tech sector and banks, even Goldman, which nonetheless selected an incoming class of 2,970 summer interns. But what’s more remarkable is what Solomon did advise, which lines up nicely with the guidance we at MC share with our candidates (yes, you!). These messages include: “be present,” “stay curious”about the world, “speak up,” and “make connections.” This wise counsel probably sounds familiar to you if you are in our program, as our coaches seek to raise awareness of and build aspiring professionals’ skills in competencies including listening, curiosity, written and verbal communication, taking initiative, networking and being commercially aware, on a weekly basis.
Solomon likely integrated such guidance from his own early experiences, while working at a Baskin Robbins, and by acting as a summer camp counselor, according to Wikipedia. Ironically, perhaps, following college graduation, Solomon applied to a 2-year analyst position at Goldman, but was rejected!
As ambitious international students like you likely know, or will soon learn, “success” often comes down to executing such basics, consistently and resiliently, even during times when layoffs and decreased hiring expectations may incur anxiety. As Aesop put it, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Or, in modern-day terms, via Tony Robbins, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin!”