How did you get started in your career at Goldman Sachs?
I came into Goldman Sachs on a work placement scheme for people with Asperger Syndrome. It was originally a six month work placement in the Investment Banking Division, which soon turned into a temporary role, followed by a full-time position.
How do you manage your disability at work?
Having all the necessary adjustments put in place from the very start has gone a long way in enabling me to manage my disability. This has included training the team I work with on Asperger Syndrome, ensuring my work station is set up to avoid any sensory issues, and that instructions are always made clear to me, and that I’ always allowed to develop at my own pace. But the main way I’ve been able to manage my disability is down to the great increase in confidence, and knowledge I have picked up during my time here. Over time, this has allowed me to manage my disability a lot more effectively, and also enabled me to utilise the many positive aspects it brings to my work.
How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?
Before my work placement, Goldman Sachs had invested a lot in training the relevant people I would be working with on my condition so that it was fully understood, and they knew exactly what to expect. It was also ensured that all the right reasonable adjustments as mentioned above were put in place. Many years since the start of the work placement programme this framework still exists, with my condition always taken into account at every step of my career, though the level of actual support I now need on the job has gone down significantly.
I’ve also always had regular access to a wealth of training sessions, and the opportunity to work with as many other teams and individuals across the firm as possible, to further develop my career. In addition to this, having many great mentors to guide me throughout my time here has also been of great help.
How would you describe the culture at Goldman Sachs?
Diversity is very much at the forefront of Goldman Sachs’s culture. Many diversity initiatives play a key role at the firm, and there are a wealth of diversity events which are always well attended. All strands of diversity are represented through their own Groups and Committees, all of which have a strong imprint.
I, myself, am part of the Disability Interest Forum where one of my main roles is helping to organise and run our hugely successful work placement programme providing six month paid placements to candidates with Asperger Syndrome. Here, I assist with the smooth running of the process and also act as a mentor to participants. It is the same scheme through which I came into the firm, so is something I’m very passionate about.
What advice or top tips would you offer?
Disclosure of Your Disability – Always be confident and open about disclosing your disability, and any accommodations that you think may be needed. It is highly important to your organisation that you can do your job to the best of your ability, in as comfortable an environment as possible, and many organisations are very well equipped to support this.
Trust in Your Skill Set – Good employers will always take your disability into account but will look beyond this to how well you can do your job. In many cases, your disability may be seen as something which can bring a lot of strengths to your role, so always trust in your strengths and abilities.
Challenge Yourself – Taking on New Tasks, learning new things, working with and meeting more people all pays off in the end, and will truly make people see your disability as something that doesn’t hold you back.
Be Inspirational – Your success will inspire others, don’t miss this chance to do something hugely influential and rewarding.