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Student Snapshot: Gavin Wood ’21

Gavin Wood

Gavin Wood ’21 discovered Dickinson through the college's athletics program and soon realized that he'd found an excellent fit. In the years following, he ran track and field, declared two majors, served a high-impact internship at Goldman Sachs that led to a job offer, helped book entertainment through Dickinson’s student organization, MOB, and more. Below, he describes those experiences and shares why he believes it's important to appreciate the people who bring meaning and joy to your life.

Hometown:

Whitehall, Pennsylvania.

Majors:

International business & management (IB&M) and Italian studies.

Clubs and organizations:

Sigma Lambda Beta, MOB, track and field and Scroll and Key.

Best thing about my majors:

I think both the IB&M and the Italian studies departments have incredible faculty who are caring, intelligent and really want to share their passion with students. I really love the collaborative work environment that the IB&M department encourages, and I really enjoy all the out-of-class experiences and opportunities that the Italian department offers.

Favorite book:

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow.

Favorite movie:

Good Will Hunting.

On choosing Dickinson:

I lucked out in finding Dickinson when I started sending recruiting applications to schools with track and field programs. The first time I toured Dickinson, I was really amazed by all the students and staff I met. Through the tour, I realized that Dickinson offered everything that I wanted, which was a small school with an international business program, fantastic language programs, study-abroad options, a schoolwide focus on sustainability and social involvement, a great track and field program and a pole vault coach. And I lucked out that I was only two hours away from home. In the end, it was really the students I met during my tour and my overnight stay that really sold me on Dickinson. It was the first time in my life when I saw everyone having engaging conversations, and I met numerous people with exciting goals and plans for their futures as well as plans for bettering the world in one way or another.

Favorite place on campus:

The cafeteria.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Carrot cake.

Favorite class:

Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship 201. For me, it was one of the most eye-opening and game-changing classes that I have taken. The class discusses issues in the world and nontraditional business solutions. This class was also the first time I was introduced to the idea of looking at everything in our world as part of an interconnected system. Through this lens of looking at the world, people have been able to create solutions to complex and unique problems around the world. Going into the world of business after I graduate, I will definitely take these ideas and what I have learned in this class into everyday situations at work.

Little-known hobby/talent:

Not so much a talent or hobby—more of a guilty pleasure: taking long drives and singing at the top of my lungs in the car.

As a kid, I wanted to be ….

… a biomechanical engineer. I was always interested in how the human body works and in the amazing improvements in medical technology. It was not until I volunteered at a prosthetic designer and manufacturing company that I realized that I was interested in biomedical engineering, but I was not truly excited by it. After the volunteering experience, I began to think of things that truly interested me, which is what brought me to international business.

Post-Dickinson plans:

This past summer I was able to secure an internship with Goldman Sachs in their Salt Lake City office. Due to the pandemic, the internship was virtual and cut in half to five weeks, but I was able to secure a full-time offer on the private banking operations team due to my work with the team. I am incredibly thankful and excited to start this journey after Dickinson, and I cannot wait to see what the greater future holds for me and all my classmates.

About my internship:

I interned virtually with Goldman Sachs’ private baking operations team. Because it was a virtual internship, I was not able to have security access to private client info, but the team came up with unique and challenging ways to teach me about the team and industry. A large focus was on asking questions, networking and learning the functions of your team and other teams throughout the firm, all while completing your projects on time. The best part about having a remote internship was being able to connect with employees at different levels from all around the world. I had personal conversations with managing directors, vice presidents and partners from New York, Salt Lake City, Mumbai and London, all from the comfort of my home. The virtual platform also allowed me to connect with Dickinson alumni working at Goldman, which was an incredible experience, and it was amazing to hear about their journeys and work experience, and to connect over past Dickinson experiences. Since my internship, I have been trying to help any students interested in working at Goldman, and I have successfully helped one or two people secure internships. For me, being able to give back and help people reach a steppingstone in their future career is one of the best parts about working for Goldman Sachs.

Advice for new students:

I know its cliché, but your time at Dickinson goes incredibly quick, so make the most of it, and do not forget that the people you meet will be one of your greatest resources in life. Never be afraid to reach out for help when needed and when you are at a crossroads in life or trying to decide what to do; always reach out to people who have already achieved your goal. Also, I am always open to helping anyone, especially those who are interested in the world of finance and business, so feel free to message me on LinkedIn.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

With everything that has happened in the world these past four years, and considering we are living during a global pandemic, I can say that the most important thing that I have learned so far is to appreciate every moment you have with good people around you. We get so caught up in trivial things in life like money, consumer items or futures that we have little control over. Due to all this clutter in our minds, we forget to enjoy the amazing people around us, and at the end of the day it is the smiles, laugh, tears and experiences we have with these people that make life amazing.

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Published January 29, 2021