Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Charles Elson

BSc (Hons) Politics with Economics (placement with Goldman Sachs)

Charles Elson

During my placement year I worked for Goldman Sachs in the syndicated loans team. I experienced constant progression in the exposure I was given to the more complex aspects of the product, which although driven by my managers, was dependent on their perception of my skills and the quality of the work I was producing. I soon assumed several significant responsibilities, no different from those around me and became a valued part of the team. The placement programme also provided a series of networking events which not only expanded my understanding of different areas of the firm and various career paths but also led to a number of new professional contacts and social friends.

My placement allowed me to develop a range of valuable, transferable skills on top of the specific knowledge of involved with the product. Chief amongst these was the ability to effectively manage my time and prioritise tasks, which were essential to handle a demanding workload. These skills proved extremely useful in my final year of university and will undoubtedly continue be important throughout my future career.

It was particularly useful to see how a business environment operated over an extended period of time. Predominantly this helped me realise what to expect when I finally venture into the jobs market as a post-graduate and the career path I would like to pursue. The connections one makes whilst at the firm mean that there is a good chance of obtaining future employment and upon completing my placement I was subsequently offered the chance to return to Goldman Sachs as a graduate.

Taking a placement was hugely beneficial to my time at university and dramatically enhanced my career prospects through adding invaluable business experience to academic study. Coupled with the opportunity to meet new people and being able to enjoy living in London for a year, I could not recommend it more highly.