Last summer, volunteer staff from Goldman Sachs led a week-long STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) bootcamp for our Participants. In continuation with AFJ’s priority to provide our Participants with exposure and access to different career paths, we partnered once again with Goldman Sachs last week. Three professionals from Goldman Sachs facilitated a workshop for our Participants highlighting the importance of STEM learning in their own careers. They shared traditional and non-traditional employment paths with lucrative possibilities with our Participants.
The panelists from Goldman Sachs work in Cyber Security, Global Markets and Software Engineering, and create technology for stock traders, including products that their clients can use for trading. Like many of our Participants, they had diverse backgrounds and educational experiences, growing up in New York City, Puerto Rico and Costa Rico.
Three of our Participants drew on their communications training at AFJ to moderate the panelists who shared their personal backgrounds, career experiences, and challenges:
Education: One panelist attended public school and was a CUNY graduate. Another had coincidently taken a computer science class after a professor suggested it and discovered it to be a career path. Another panelist had a background in robotics and computer engineering before joining Goldman Sachs.
Challenges: One panelist initially struggled with math but started to enjoy it after understanding the theoretical nature of the work. The panelist who was a CUNY graduate was worried about competing in field dominated by Ivy League graduates, but soon discovered that what counts is how much one is willing to learn.
How they reached Goldman Sachs careers: Two of the panelists were initially interns at Goldman Sachs, using the experience to build on their skills and expand their networks. Another panelist had actively pursued robotics and computer science careers prior to applying to Goldman Sachs.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: The panelists were the first in their families to enter STEM-related careers and as they continue to succeed have dealt with “imposter syndrome,” and feeling like they have the right to belong and succeed in a major corporate career. However, they found that their successes ultimately came from self-motivation and the willingness to work hard, rather than the prestige of one's education or background.
Ways to relax! With high-charged careers, the panelists discussed their hobbies, which included cooking, painting, and watching the Mets (finally paying off!).
Avenues for Justice appreciates Goldman Sachs continued partnership and we are grateful to our panelists for sharing the importance of how STEM-related education and backgrounds can lead to various paths of career success.