Goldman Sachs asked its interns about life: here’s what they said

(Financial News) They want a second referendum on Brexit, are scared of data theft and think artificial intelligence will have a more profound global impact than climate change: meet your typical Goldman Sachs intern.

The US investment bank released the findings of its annual survey of almost 1,800 interns on September 18. Respondents were quizzed on a range of topics, from family life and career development to diversity and the legalisation of cannabis.

Sixty per cent said they expect to start their own business in their lifetime, while more than a third (38%) intend to pursue another degree.

In the geopolitical arena, two-thirds do not expect the US economy to improve over the next five years, while almost three-quarters (72%) want a re-run of the UK’s 2016 referendum on its membership of the European Union.

Looking ahead, 42% said artificial intelligence and machine learning would have the most profound global impacts in a decade’s time – more than climate change and a scarcity of resources combined. And 80% believed their own personal data was not secure.

When asked about their careers, more than 95% of Goldman’s interns prioritised what they do rather than where they work, with more than half (58%) saying they cared about whether their workplace was “cool/fun”. Having managers who foster an inclusive environment was seen as important.

In a worrying sign for anyone looking to make a living in the high-pressure world of investment banking, 36% said they do not feel like themselves without eight hours of sleep a night.

Eighty-five per cent were in favour of legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes, while 48% backed the move for recreational use.

Goldman’s 2019 interns – not just those that responded – represented 456 universities, 61 areas of study and spoke 46 languages between them. More than half were women.

What have the top banking interns been reading? Seventy-one per cent of the interns prefer the printed page to digital alternatives, and some of the last books they read include Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Becoming by Michelle Obama and Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.


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