How to get a job at Goldman Sachs with no degree and a background in face-painting
Goldman Sachs is making a major push into retail banking with the planned expansion of Marcus, its digital consumer lending and finance business launched in 2016. David Solomon, the assumed successor of Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, suggested last week that Marcus may move beyond personal loans and deposits and into mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and even insurance. Goldman also recently acquired personal-finance app Clarity Money and is said to be planning an expansion into Europe with operations in the U.K. and Germany.
The expected growth of Marcus will be accompanied by many job vacancies that people typically don’t associate with Goldman Sachs, mostly due to its lack of a retail presence over the years. Marcus isn’t a brick-and-mortar bank, so its current customer-facing employees are loan and savings specialists who don’t actually face customers. They work in a call center environment. As such, Marcus has opened the door to people who may have wanted to work at Goldman Sachs but who don’t have the typical resume of most analysts.
Getting a job as a loan and savings specialist doesn’t require a college degree, according to current job postings on Goldman’s career site. You’ll need at least a GED or a high school diploma along with two years of experience working in customer service and a background in financial services. However, a thorough search of LinkedIn profiles of current specialists show that most do have their bachelor’s degree, yet specific experience working in banking doesn’t appear to be a must.
One recent hire has worked for several years in various customer services roles as well as in cosmetology and as a professional face painter, but never worked at a financial services company. Another worked at big box store and in beverage sales before joining Marcus, while a third was previously a dog groomer before working for less than a year in a customer service role, also outside of financial services. Some do have experience in retail banking, mostly as bank tellers.
Goldman Sachs didn’t respond to inquiries about the qualifications needed to become a loan and savings specialist or the expected pay range. These roles are currently based out of Goldman’s office locations in Utah and Texas, where hiring is rampant.
On the surface, the bank appears to be very inclusive with its retail brand. The official name is “Marcus: By Goldman Sachs,” a moniker that it uses in all marketing materials. The job postings are hosted on Goldman’s career website, rather than the Marcus site, and are included under the firm’s consumer and commercial banking division. Current loan and savings specialists list their employer as Goldman Sachs or Marcus: By Goldman Sachs, rather than just using the retail name.
If you’re looking to get into Goldman via a non-traditional route, Marcus may provide a landing spot, though the division is too new to see the potential for growth opportunities.
Of course, Marcus is made up of more than just call center employees. Goldman employs of host of higher-levels staff as analysts, product managers, engineers and managing directors that help oversee Marcus from New York. Employees in these roles have backgrounds that are more typical to banking, both in terms of education and experience.
However, Goldman has filled many of these seats by poaching from financial services companies better known for their credit cards than their traditional retail and investment banking services.
Colin Kennedy, chief operating and revenue officer at Marcus, joined during the Clarity Money acquisition but previously worked for more than a decade at American Express, along with several other senior hires, according to LinkedIn profiles. American Express appears to be a breeding ground for senior Marcus hires.
Meanwhile, Darin Cline, a managing director in charge of operations at Marcus, worked at Capital One and then the Lending Club before joining. Harit Talwar, the company’s head of digital finance under which Marcus operates, came on as a partner in 2015 after a stint at Discover.
Similar positions will likely open up in the U.K. and Germany when and if Goldman expands into Europe. Candidates with digital retail experience – people who may not have been a great fit for Goldman just a few years ago – appear to have a leg up.
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