Goldman Sachs Reviews

Updated May 1, 2015
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3.0
484 Reviews
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Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein
Lloyd C. Blankfein
249 Ratings

484 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Company ... but not for everyone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President - Technology in Irving, TX
    Former Employee - Vice President - Technology in Irving, TX

    I worked at Goldman Sachs

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I worked in the Technology division for 5 years.

    1. I worked in the technology division of Goldman Sachs and i admire the smart people and technical courage of the company. The company truly believes in technology and is not afraid to build (and invest) in home grown products where all financial companies just live on the mercy of vendors and system integrator. You will be surprised at the scale and complexity of technical projects executed by Goldman on their own without the involvement of any vendor or service integrator.

    2. They take great pride and ownership in their work. The company outsources very little and products receive great attention from everyone. Managers pay great attention to detail. Goldman definitely seeks perfection in what they do.

    Cons

    1. Get used to executive worship culture. Goldman have MDs and Partners and they are living Gods in the corridors. This create a culture of sycophancy and executive pleasing. I have seen people spend their days and nights not on working but pleasing.

    2. Very New York Centered. New York is the absolute power center and the managers there will share nothing with anyone else (even with other US cities). In other cities you don't have an authority to do anything without triple New York approval.

    All important projects are completely controlled out of NY and if you are in other locations you will find that its hard to grow. (or even breathe).

    3. Its a company which encourages a culture where people work 20 hours a day. It's common to see colleagues work nonstop from 6:30 AM to Midnight.

    4. Organizational Arrogance: Management has very firm views on what needs to be done and you have little or no voice. It takes many years of service for anyone to have a voice in the company. Questioning or disagreement almost always is a career limiting (or ending) move.

    This arrogance leads to a culture where people spend their entire culture building mega personas, and hyper images of themselves. Its a culture where snobbery thrive.

    5. Very rigid organizational rules: Goldman follows lots of processes and governance models around IT. These models are so rigid that even small tasks can take many months of back and forth wrangling between IT and governance teams. This is why executing even small projects takes 10 times the effort it would take in a easy going organization.

  2. Helpful (2)

    Resume booster

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst/Developer in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Analyst/Developer in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    * Big name

    and this is filler text because I have to type 20 words and I really don't have anything else to type as there isn't any.

    Cons

    * Firing people and layoff is natural
    * Unless you are in upper level, compensation is not competitive
    * Terrible hours, which is expected
    * Culture is about equivalent to funeral reception, you are here for a business and that is all you will do

  3. Executive Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Money, Association with the brand

    Cons

    You will feel like your soul has left your body from the moment you enter the office to the second before you depart..

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. It was a rewarding experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Freelancer - Custodian in Menlo, GA
    Former Freelancer - Custodian in Menlo, GA

    I worked at Goldman Sachs

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    It was my way of living

    Cons

    Pay rate $7.25 to clean entire school grade pre-k-8th grade alone. And had approx. 4-4.5 hrs to finish.

    Advice to Management

    Im a hard worker I learn fast, that which i dont know.

  6. Helpful (1)

    A Good Learning Experience

    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Incredibly smart, articulate people. You'll genuinely be exposed to individuals that will go far in life.

    Cons

    The firm is too cheap. Charge $6 each way for the NY-NJ ferry during commuting hours but free during the work day? Check. Goldman Sachs owns these boats by the way but has to let the port authority drive. An extra dollar for "speciality" (wheat) bread? You bet. Essentially raise prices 25% during lunch for "efficiency"? Yep.The list goes on...

    Advice to Management

    You're losing talent to technology companies now more than other banks, so stop trying to throw money at millennials and consider some perks. Nickle and diming employees can be frustrating.

  7. Typical

    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at Goldman Sachs

    Pros

    People drive you to compete to be the best

    Cons

    work, work, work, oh and some more work

    Advice to Management

    Hard to change something as storied as this.

  8. Helpful (5)

    A good starter job. A technologists view of GS.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Above average pay. Training that you won't get anywhere else on a variety of technical and nontechnical topics. Benefits are very good. People are smart.

    Cons

    In the technology division of Goldman, they have racked up tremendous technical debt. That debt needs to be repayed and the current work reflects that. Plan on spending a lot of time doing technical support and learning a lot of code that is not well-documented. Plan on fixing bugs and doing a lot of "uplift" work. If you are lucky, you may get to do some new development - but probably not for a few years.

    Goldman technology has had a lot of attrition the past 2 or 3 years - people getting fed up with the status quo. Management doesn't appear to be doing much about it. Their new strategy seems to be to drive their senior engineers out of the organization and replace them with younger, low-cost engineers that they can work to death and hold a work visa over their heads.

    Goldman hasn't had a really good year income-wise, since 2009. When you are interviewing, they will sell the "bonus" as a significant part of your total compensation. But, the bonus is directly related to the firms earnings for the year and less related to the great work you did that year. You could be a super hero engineer one year, but if the firm did badly that year, plan on a small bonus. On the other hand, you could have a less than stellar year with the firm performing well, and get a good bonus. My experience was that I got a good bonus a couple of years and a less-than-inspiring bonus on the other years.

    They talk a good talk about work-life balance, making you believe that is part of the corporate culture. Don't believe it. Once you get to the VP level and above, you will need to sell your soul to GS to continue to move up the corporate ladder. If you don't care about having a life outside of work and your family is a low priority, you will do very well at GS. Also be sure that you have very good skills playing "corporate games" and politics as you move up the ladder. Those skills become very important. If you are a good smoozer, you will do well. If not, plan on being treated badly enough that you will choose to leave on your own.

    Goldman rarely fires people. Their strategy is to level off your salary and stop paying you bonuses, until you leave on your own. It's a lot cleaner that way. No lawsuits to worry about for wrongful firing. GS is always looking to "manage risk", even when it comes to their people.

    Finally, the most important thing. Make sure you have a great relationshsip with your direct manager. GS does a "360 degree review", but 350 of those degrees are the opinion of your direct manager. Even if 15 of your peers think you are a superstar, you will not got a good ranking, if your direct manager thinks you are lacking. By the way, a poor ranking against your peers translates into getting passed over for a bonus.

    Summary - Join GS right out of college, work 4 or 5 years, get trained, get some experience, get GS on your resume and get out. A smart strategy for the smart engineer.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting the bonus as a significant portion of total compensation to the young engineers. Make it clear up front that being good at office politics is essential for vertical mobility and success. Make it clear up front that as you move up in the organization, plan on not having a work life balance or, that the work life balance will be 90% GS and 10% the rest of your life.

  9. Operations Division

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Goldman does a great job of finding smart, talented, driven people. The open culture makes it so that you can speak to people at all different levels--vice presidents, managing directors, etc--and your opinion is given considerable weight, no matter your title.

    Cons

    Very long working hours and zero career development in the operations division. Great people leave the firm because they become frustrated by the lack of professional development.

    Advice to Management

    Managers need to focus on keeping the good people around by offering them opportunities for professional development and growth. They need to make sure that the managers over various teams advocate for their team members and have each person's career in mind.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Good Company/Bad management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Vise President in Jersey City, NJ
    Former Employee - IT Vise President in Jersey City, NJ

    I worked at Goldman Sachs

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    One can make a very good career at GS
    The policies and educational benefits are very beneficial

    Cons

    Some of the lower management staff are micro managers
    If you know how things are done, you are hindered by micro management

    Advice to Management

    Senior management should promote managers that can properly interact with sunbonnets to help them make the proper choices to further their careers and to better serve their current position in a meaningful and efficient manner.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Goldman used to be a great place to work, but it's on the down turn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    perks
    flexible working arrangement
    benefits
    brand name
    vacation policy
    paternity/maternity leave

    Cons

    limited personal growth
    few promotion opportunities
    work-life balance

    Advice to Management

    GS used to be a great place to work, but the culture has changed over the past few years. lots of smart folks have left and only those bureaucratic managers left with the firm.

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