11 qualities you need to become a partner at Goldman Sachs

Business Hand Shake

It's going to be tougher than ever to make Partner at Goldman this year. Only one-in-three in the mix every two years typically attains Partnerhood, and this year less than 70 new partner slots are thought likely to be up for grabs.

'We just made ninety people partners', Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said a few years back, 'And caused real distress for three hundred very capable people, which will lead to one-third of these people deciding they just cannot stay and have to leave the firm in a year or so.

'Another third will hope to make partner next time - in two years - and if they don't make it, they'll decide to leave or will be recruited away. The rest will adjust to reality and decide to stay'.

So, what qualities / attributes do you need make the grade and become a Goldman Partner ?

Here's our take:

You must

1. Be highly motivated to achieve

2. Have a strong ethical outlook

3. Have the ability to fit in and be a team player

4. Be prepared to work very hard

5. Be happy to put the firm before anything / anyone else

6. Be smart or streetwise (ideally both)

7. Have a strong entrepreneurial bent

8. Have built up a solid track record of achievement at the firm

9. Enjoy the respect of your peers

10. Be a strong role model for all the firm's stakeholders

11. Be patient - not everyone makes the cut first time around

Failure to become a partner can, however, have quite devastating consequences. One reader wrote in a few years back:

'It's interesting to see all the stuff in the media about the biennial selection process employees go through in an attempt to become a Partner Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.

'I went through that process in 2006 (the first elections under then new CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and the fifth since Goldman introduced the current process after the 1999 float). I'd worked at Goldman for almost seven years, having been hired from a rival firm. And from day one, partnership was the one thing on my mind. In fact, I even took a nominal drop in salary and came with no bonus guarantee as I was desperate to join the firm'.

Goldman Didn't Make Me A Partner & My Career Was Over


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