Although many students participate in on-campus recruiting, one investment banking firm's policy change may mean fewer students dressed in business attire this Fall.
Goldman Sachs recently announced a shift in its university recruitment policy, switching from on-campus interviews to video interviews through HireVue. The change stemmed from a desire to attract students from a wider array of disciplines, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Investment bankers or business people need not only be traditional economics majors but could also be liberal arts majors, the bank reasoned. The firm also explained that the new policy will standardize the recruitment process and help prevent interviewers from choosing candidates based on arbitrary characteristics.
However, Goldman Sachs' decision is unlikely to significantly impact Duke students, noted Emma Rasiel, associate professor of economics, in an email.
“Duke students have historically had extremely high conversion rates at Goldman (i.e., getting a full time offer on the basis of performance during the internship)," she wrote in an email. "I don't see any reason why this would change. Our students are very well prepared, and have a great work ethic.”
Russell Horwitz, co-chief operating officer of the bank's securities division, told the The Wall Street Journal that Goldman Sachs has found that students from top tier schools — such as Harvard and Yale — tend to leave the company after two years.
“Having access to a broader funnel of candidates, and thinking differently about experience and background, is just a better investment,” Horwitz said in the article.
Goldman Sachs will not abandon its presence at elite schools, Horwitz said, but rather will use technology to reach more students, particularly those who do not have an Ivy League or business background.
Sophomore Bihan Zhuang expressed openness to interviewing with Goldman Sachs, noting that there are many opportunities for engineering students in investment banking.
“I would interview with the company because it seems like it actually cares about the students and tries to maximize the win-win situation that could benefit both sides," Zhang said. "I believe that helping students save time and travel expense is a really employee-friendly move."
Junior Justin Luo noted that Goldman Sachs’ decision did not change how he evaluated his career prospects.
“I actually did not consider working at Goldman Sachs before reading the article," Luo said. "I think the change is convenient, but will not be a factor that I'll use to decide whether or not to apply to Goldman Sachs."
The decisions comes in the midst of several other changes targeted at younger recruits. In November, the bank announced initiatives to retain junior bankers through facilitated promotions and increased mobility in the firm. Goldman Sachs also announced a new personality questionnaire and has launched social media campaigns on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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“I think it will take time for students to get comfortable with the online interview process—but this will apply to all candidates, not just Duke students," Rasiel wrote. "I think it's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out.”