Goldman Sachs’ Campus Takeover: Bridging Opportunities for HBCU Students

2024 Founders Day Issue
Students attending the Fireside Chat.

Spelman College LinkedIn
Students attending the Fireside Chat. Spelman College LinkedIn

On March 19th, 2024, Spelman College opened its gates to Goldman Sachs, one of the top banking firms in the nation. During the first half of the day, Goldman  Sachs hosted a networking brunch that allowed AUC students to foster connections with some of the firm’s leaders, and later that afternoon, the firm held a sit-down conversation in which AUC students attended and even posed questions to the firm. I attended the  “Goldman Sachs, Campus Takeover: Fireside Chat” on behalf of the Spelman Blueprint  Newspaper. The fireside chat featured Asahi Pompey, the Global Head of Corporate Engagement, and Goldman Sachs Foundation President and CEO David Solomon.  

Solomon delivered great advice for students interested in the finance field and provided tools he had equipped early in life that still hold value today as the firm’s CEO. He even urged prioritizing mental health, regardless of professional status and responsibility. I was pleasantly surprised with the range of employment that Goldman Sachs offers, and we are in an era of redefinition, reclamation, and rebuilding of the workforce.  

After the fireside chat, I  had the chance to conduct an exclusive interview with Megan Hogan, the Global Head of Talent and Chief of Diversity Officer at Goldman Sachs.  

Ava Cager: How does Goldman Sachs deem their partnership with HBCUS beneficial to the advancement, growth, and representation of Black leaders in corporate spaces like Goldman Sachs? 

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Megan Hogan: For over 25 years, Goldman has been hyper-focused on building connectivity and community with HBCUs. Understand that we are very focused on the fact that all great talent comes from all great corners of the globe. We didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to find leading black talent at such illustrious universities as HBCUs. From the history of these colleges and universities, we know that they play a substantial role in how we think about economic growth and social mobility for students. Those are core to the principles of  Goldman Sachs as we think about finding talent, growing our talent pool, diversifying opportunities, and getting innovative and creative talent through the door.  

Is Spelman’s recent win in the HBCU Market Madness Competition just the beginning of what the firm has in store for future partnerships with HBCUs?

It’s been so exciting to have amazing teams from Spelman participate in the Market Madness competition over the last couple of years. What’s exciting is that they won the competition twice out of the three years we’ve had the program. Both in 2021 and 2023. For this year in particular, I  heard that many students were excited to go for a “3-peat”, as they say. I’m probably a little biased here, just given the power of Black women in this space, it’s exciting to see an all-women team participate, have a great presentation, and ultimately be so focused on providing an opportunity for future leaders to get access to scholarships through the money that they win, through the grand prize. I would say that it’s not just the beginning. Its directly related to our commitment over the next five years to create opportunities for students from many different HBCUs. To be involved in the program and develop relationships with people from Goldman Sachs.

How does Goldman Sachs see HBCU students changing the landscape of investing and banking? 

 Many studies, whether Deloitte or McKinsey, have proven that diversity leads to out-performance and unlocking better outcomes for the firm and our clients. HBCU students are incredibly entrepreneurial, amazingly innovative, and creative as they think about the opportunity to change everything from the consumer industry to financial services to technology. So, when I think about HBCU students and how they will change the landscape of investing and banking, it’s bringing much more diverse, innovative perspectives. This ultimately will lead to better shareholder returns at our organization. 

David Solomon and Asahi Pompey spoke at the fireside chat about the firm’s initiative to enforce women’s presence at the Campus Takeover. Do you see this shift in the workplace daily? What are some ways you see this change being implemented? 

As a women’s executive at the firm, I can proudly say that since I joined the firm about ten years ago, the firm has amazingly poured into me as I think about the development opportunities I’ve had. Training, visibility, opportunity to travel, speak on campuses, speak at conferences, and interview clients across the globe. I can state that my experience as a woman and woman of color at the firm has been exceptional in terms of the opportunities I’ve been given. As David said, advancing women is a priority for leadership. Part of that includes our goals to hire and retain more diverse talent, including women talent across the firm. It’s thinking about where we can recruit talent in women from different schools and universities.  More importantly, it’s giving people the benefit of the development of training and opportunities like  I have had, which have led to me being promoted at the firm and expanding my role in manager oversight.  I  am proud that the firm has given access to women for time off, childcare, and opportunities.  While we have a lot more to do in terms of advancing women’s representation at the firm, I can’t think of a better place for women to work.  

The culmination of my time spent sitting in on the fireside chat with two of the leading figures of Goldman Sachs firm, along with the one-on-one interview with Megan Hogan, truly shifted my perspective of what it means to work in Corporate America as a Black woman.  Goldman Sachs’s commitment to employing HBCU students and providing them with a workplace that acknowledges their identity and cultivates professional development will impact how all companies interact with HBCU students. The future of finance holds amazing things, and you can rest assured that Goldman Sachs is committed to ensuring that HBCU students are a vital part of this future.

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    Tamika Olivier c/2017Apr 24, 2024 at 6:41 pm

    Excellent work, Ava! What an exciting article! Thank you for being a bright, beacon of light to our sisters and for all to see. You are shedding powerful light on opportunities in finance and global business, never lose your fire!

    Tamika Olivier c/2017