Wednesday, January 9, 2008

HBS Grad to Associate

From the interview of Rob Kaplan (RK), Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs and Current LEAD Professor at HBS with HBS (Harbus). Kaplan was a grad from HBS.

Harbus: How difficult was it to adjust to being an associate after spending two years "thinking like a CEO" at HBS?

RK: At Goldman Sachs, during the first couple of years, you learn the fundamentals of the business. Having said that, I started dealing with clients very quickly.

As soon as I started interacting with clients, I used a lot of what I learned here: putting myself in the shoes of the CEO, deciding what I would do if I were them and then advising them accordingly. I've kept that mindset for my entire career.

Harbus: What advice would you give to students who are being recruited at this time?
RK: You should consider the following when you are thinking about a job:

First, are you going somewhere were you will be able to work on your strengths and weaknesses, particularly your weaknesses. If you are Eric Peterson, you should make sure you are cognizant of your weaknesses and ask yourself whether your prospective employer will help you get the coaching you need. Eric Peterson might have picked the wrong job and company given his developmental needs.

Second, what is your dream job? The job you take out of here may not be your dream job, but it should be in the neighborhood of your dream job. It should lead you to your dream job. It should be consistent with getting to your dream job.

Finally, what are the three most important priorities for commercial success in that job? You have to think, "Do I enjoy those three things?" After all, that's what you'll be spending your time on.

If you flunk on one of these, you probably should re-think why you are doing what you are doing.

No comments: