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Interning at Goldman Sachs: “A Real Apprenticeship Culture”


James Argo ’22 is working as a summer intern in the healthcare sector within the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. When starting at Hamilton a few years ago, however, economics was not even on his radar.

“I fell into the trap of thinking whatever you were good at in high school should be your career,” Argo recalled. For him, that was biology, but after a few semesters taking courses at Hamilton, among them Intro. to Economics, he was drawn to the excitement of the field’s “time-sensitive” transactions.

About James Argo ’22 

Major: Economics

Hometown: New Milford, N.J.

High School: Paramus Catholic High School

 

read about other student internships 

At Goldman Sachs, Argo is part of the healthcare team, which handles investment banking services for “a broad array of clients, from biotech to medtech to really anything that would fall under the healthcare category,” he said. As an intern, Argo works on “live-deal teams,” working alongside analysts and more senior bankers. 

Argo emphasized the active role that interns at Goldman Sachs are encouraged to play in the office. “They try to throw you right in, to whatever extent possible, and show you what it would be like to be a fulltime employee,” he said. “If a client has a question, they might ask you to take a first pass at researching something … they try to get you as involved as possible.”

The position is in-person, at Goldman’s office in downtown New York. In terms of the experience of working at the office, Argo noted that “they delivered on what they talked about in networking calls — there’s a real apprenticeship culture.” This culture, he explained, manifests itself in an organic way, whereby he can, for example, bring a question over to somebody’s desk and talk about it.

With his prior experience in biology, Argo believes that the healthcare sector is a perfect combination of his two main academic interests: science and economics. Another appeal of the healthcare team, he added, was the significance of their clients’ work. “It’s important that these companies are getting really good advice,” he said, “because they’re performing valuable services for people, and we want them to advance these therapies and be successful.”

Argo decided to fully commit to the recruiting process for investment banking internships his sophomore year. He began with the Hamilton alumni directory, finding LinkedIn profiles of former students who now work at Goldman Sachs and other investment banks. “I would just send them cold emails,” he said. “I can’t stress how valuable the Hamilton network was, because the hit rate in terms of responses I would get was probably around 90% … I would say I had like 60 conversations with Hamilton alumni in different places.” 

At Hamilton, Argo highlighted the interest that his advisor, Professor of Economics Elizabeth Jensen, and other economics professors have taken in his professional journey. “That was one thing that attracted me to Hamilton in the first place,” he said. “And the mentorship I’ve gotten from professors more than delivered on my high expectations.”

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