Virgil Parker, Howard University News Service
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc virtually visited the Howard University School of Business on March 24, where they emphasized their commitment to diversity in finance.
The financial services company decided that it would not take other companies public unless they have at least one diverse board member. The announcement was released during early 2020, and Howard alum Temilayo Butlter serves on the team that ensures that this standard is met.
Butler was part of a panel of Howard students and alumni to speak about their experiences with the firm. The event was co-hosted by the HU Finance & Investment Club and the Iota Rho Chapter of the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi. The latter organization is a professional business fraternity.
The event’s panelists were senior Micah George, senior Courtney Sanders, Derek Oliver HU’16, HU’17 and Jordan Mason HU’18.
Butler says that she repeatedly asked herself, “How many black women can you put on a board?” Butler also discussed how she initially had trouble coping with the firm’s workload. However, she was eventually able to adjust to it.
“It’s important for companies like Goldman Sachs to come so that students at Howard can see that banking is an industry that might suit them,” said Devaughn Blackburn. Devaughn is a senior marketing major from Chicago. “There is a lack of representation with people of color in the banking industry and Goldman Sachs can help make a difference by recruiting at Howard and other HBCUs,” he said.
Butler discussed her work on a new team that has been developed at Goldman Sachs. “I think it’s important for Howard students to connect with banks like Goldman Sachs because blacks are severely underrepresented in the financial services industry and this industry has major influence on the state of the U.S. economy,” said Quentin Byrd.
The panelists also answered a series of questions from the event moderator and other students. The discussion covered topics such as what a workday could look like at Goldman, work-life balance and company expectations.
Blackburn would like to see other companies, such as consulting companies, to visit Howard. He believes that people in any major are eligible to get jobs in management consulting. Blackburn also stated that management consulting would be a great way for people to learn more about industries that they are interested in.
The event concluded with comments from one of Goldman’s Human Resource representatives, Mia Moore. Moore said that the firm is “looking for people who are driven to learn.” She went on to say, “if you thrive within the role, then Goldman thrives as a whole.”
Oona Nelson, an international business major at Howard, said “Goldman Sachs visiting Howard supports the narrative that Black people have the skills and intelligence to work in highly competitive and difficult industries.”