Goldman Sachs is offering a New Analyst Program aimed at improving the work environment and job prospects for final year undergraduate and graduate-level students from any field of study. The program is ideally suited to those with little or no work experience, but who have good grades and energy to burn. This new iteration of the old Junior Analyst Program aims to increase job satisfaction and employee retention among hopeful investment bankers. In particular, the firm promises to reduce the amount of pure grunt work and to speed up the availability of promotions for top performers.
Goldman has also created their own "university" for developing new analysts within the program. The classes provided are meant to hone the professional and cultural expectations of a predetermined department or division of the company. The format is a rebranding of the intensive grunt-work program that Junior Analysts of the past were expected to endure, supplemented with presentation and management training meant to encourage employee retention and the potential for growth within Goldman.
Pay for a new analyst is a salary of about $85,000 not including participation in bonus pools. Those who are promoted to associate will earn significantly more.
How the Program Has Evolved
The Goldman Sachs Junior Analyst Program, instituted in the 1970s to develop talent for its investment banking division, was officially eliminated by Goldman in 2013. As with similar programs offered by its key rivals on Wall Street, many participants would use the Goldman program as a stepping stone to even more lucrative (and often much less stressful) positions elsewhere.
Many of Goldman Sachs' competitors have found it cheaper to poach their talent than to cultivate it themselves. In fact, as the years rolled along, increasing numbers of junior analysts at Goldman Sachs sought positions at other firms while still enrolled in the program, an activity that violated the terms of their employment contracts. In particular, private equity firms have been aggressive in hiring top financial talent that was developed in the Goldman Sachs program.
Hallmarks of the old Goldman Sachs program were a preponderance of grunt work and extremely long hours, including working overnight, sleeping in the office, and essentially being on call 24/7. Those who survived and thrived in this environment inevitably tended to be those who live to work rather than work to live.
Among the so-called millennial generation, those born roughly between 1981 and 1997, the appetite for such a grueling pace is much lower than among older cohorts of workers. Employees who sign up for heavy workloads in order to build a resume and establish a high level of pay are increasingly doing so with an eye toward leaving for firms that offer a better work-life balance.
The Expectations of New Analysts
New investment banking analysts typically work under the direction of senior investment bankers or analysts. The work done by the new analysts covers:
- Proposed and pending deals
- Pitches made by investment bankers to existing and prospective clients
- Studies commissioned by clients
Examples of the specific tasks assigned to new analysts include:
- Researching companies
- Analyzing financial statements
- Closely reading financial documents and contracts
- Assembling presentations (such as pitch books)
Other Analyst Programs at Goldman
Goldman Sachs indicates that it will retain two-year contracts for aspiring analysts in its sales, trading, and investment research divisions. The primary reason is that participants in these programs have shown much greater loyalty to the firm, with many fewer defections to rival firms or MBA programs.