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Alumni Connection Leads Student to Position With Goldman Sachs

Gavin Wood

For Gavin Wood '21, an internship and a fraternity brother alum bridge the gap to a postgraduate opportunity

by Tony Moore

People say it’s not what you know but who you know. And while that statement might be a little broad, there’s definitely a large nugget of truth to it. And Gavin Wood ’21 (international business & management, Italian studies) found out firsthand recently, when a Dickinson connection led him to a job with Goldman Sachs, the storied New York-based global investment banking firm. With the job waiting for Wood after graduation, he looks back at how he got there.

How did you connect with Goldman Sachs for the internship?

I was encouraged by a Dickinson alum, Luis Cardenas ’17 (Securities Operations Division in Salt Lake City), who is also an alumnus of my fraternity (Sigma Lambda Beta), to apply for a variety of positions and locations at Goldman. It was really his positive encouragement and critiques that gave me enough courage to even apply, so I thank him for that.

How did your internship experience lead to a job offer?

I was offered my job at Goldman after completing a five-week virtual internship with the firm in Salt Lake City. Throughout my internship, I was given various projects around different subjects that made me think in a very dynamic way and made me learn new skills in a very short period of time. Every week I was given a review by my manager, which allowed me to build up my skills and reinforced the good work I was doing. After completing my internship I realized that I really enjoyed the busy schedule and the dynamic work environment. This led me to apply for a return offer after my internship was finished. 

What would you tell other students about the value of getting an internship?

Internships are really important because you get the ability to try out new fields of work and learn new skills without any long-term commitment. I would encourage younger students to reach out to alumni, family and friends who are in fields of work they are interested in and ask for 15 minutes to talk about the field and the day-to-day work. I've found that these experiences, and volunteering, were a much bigger part of the internship/job journey than anything else. It's equally as important to know what you don't like as it is to know what you do like.

In what ways did Dickinson help you along the way?

Throughout my final interview at Goldman, I interviewed with seven people. Over these interviews, I found myself recollecting and talking about all sorts of different experiences that I have had at Dickinson that shaped me into the person I am. Everything from working late-night shifts at the Quarry every Monday freshman year, handling my ex-Marine pole vault coach, being president of my fraternity my sophomore year and the relationships and experiences I had while abroad in Italy. I really want to thank Dickinson for creating such an accessible and diverse student experience, because without all these things and my experience at Dickinson I don't know if I would be in the position that I am today.


Published September 29, 2020