SFA business student interns with Goldman Sachs
January 2, 2014 - Rachel Clark
Stephen F. Austin State University finance and economics student Lindsey Hall of Pearland recently completed an internship at Goldman Sachs in Manhattan. She is pictured outside the university's Mast Student Investment Roundtable in the Nelson Rusche College of Business. Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Stephens.
"American culture is changing," Hall said. "An internship is the new pre-requisite for any job, especially in the highly competitive industries of business and finance."
According to Hall, an internship was imperative for her education. She applied for numerous positions, and finally, after meeting with SEO, she received an outstanding opportunity. Following four rounds of interviews, Hall was offered a position with Goldman Sachs.
"I would like to obtain a career in investment banking one day, and I knew an internship with Goldman Sachs would definitely help me break into the industry," said Hall, a dual major in finance and economics.
For 10 weeks, Hall lived in the historic all-women's dormitory Webster Apartments, and worked in the finance department in the Manhattan office. Hall said she worked daily assisting with reconciling commodities for the firm.
"This internship was the perfect use of my dual major," she said. "I utilized the finance aspect to understand their financial products, and the economic side of my degree helped me with the commodity market."
According to Hall, she was able to fully grasp the company's day-to-day operations because of her coursework at SFA. She said most other interns only had expertise in finance, but the university has allowed her to expand her knowledge in both economics and finance. Hall said the faculty in the Nelson Rusche College of Business has inspired and challenged her to retain information essential for a career in this industry.
She said she monitored the markets hourly in order to complete mini-reports for her team - the controller department - and also completed balance sheets daily, detailing net profits and losses for the company.
"The hands-on experience I received through this internship provided me with the growth I need," Hall said. "Although some days were hectic, I enjoyed being able to learn and expand my knowledge of the market, especially when I was able to correspond with other countries, such as Australia, London and Singapore."
Hall's days at Goldman Sachs began at 4 a.m. and extended well past the 5 o'clock whistle.
"You can only learn so much in 10 weeks," she said. "I would hang around after 5 p.m. in hopes of gaining more experience from veterans on my floor."
Hall said she appreciated this opportunity with Goldman Sachs because she believes students who do not take the time to complete an internship are in for a rude awakening following graduation. The entire experience was valuable, she said, but the highlight of her week was Wednesday mornings when she discussed the market with the manager of her team.
"Being able to break down the market was quite rewarding," she said. "The knowledge I gained will help open doors for me in the future and allow me to feel more comfortable with sales and trading within the market."
Hall also said that working for the controller's department in Goldman Sachs allowed her to broaden her horizons, gave her a strong foundation and opened up more avenues for her in the corporate finance world.
In order to obtain an internship that will benefit your future career, Hall insists that SFA students reach out to the deans and faculty members within their college. "Students should rely on their professors as resources because, with a little help, nothing is impossible.
"Dean Geralyn Franklin definitely opened doors for me in investment banking. She knows people in high places and appreciates seeing her students succeed," Hall said.
Hall said this internship helped her realize the importance of representing SFA in a professional capacity.
"Students at SFA are more humble and can adapt to any situation better than most. It was my job to represent the university in a way that would ensure students were afforded the same opportunities in the future."
For more information about the Nelson Rusche College of Business and available internships available, contact Dr. Geralyn Franklin, interim dean, at (936) 468-4654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.