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From FST Internship Opportunity to Employment at Goldman Sachs | Meet Lateefah Smellie

Since opening its lecture halls in 1949, the Faculty of Science and Technology has positioned itself as a premier teaching and research hub in the Caribbean. The Faculty is known for providing world-class training opportunities that equips its graduates with the desired attitude, knowledge and skillset sought after by local, regional and international employers. So, meet Lateefah Smellie, a finalizing student in the Department of Computing who has exemplified this culture of excellence. She shares her story below from responding to a Faculty internship call to full-time employment at Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm based in London. Congrats Lateefah.

“My journey to Goldman Sachs, really started when I penned my goals at the start of 2021. I wanted to spread my wings and aim for an internship opportunity overseas. Ironically, I had no interest in working in finance. However, Goldman Sachs seemed very people-oriented and committed to service, so I applied. Nine months, later, I’m still surprised that I was favoured with this opportunity. Of course, there were major deterrents along the way, but taking the first leap of faith always makes the greatest difference.
When Goldman Sachs made their call for applications, I was very sceptical of my chances. Having faltered in performance for my two previous semesters, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to pass the first phase of the application process; the Hackerrank challenge. Nonetheless, I completed the application to give myself a fighting chance. With that, I started reviewing algorithms content from my year two courses and attempted practice solutions on Hackerrank. These problems helped to prime me for what I should expect. I was able to solve the problem in a timely manner, passing all but one test case. Initially, I sat thinking about how competitive the process was, but, I was still hopeful for a call-back.
Two weeks later, I received positive feedback and an invitation to complete a technical interview. I was to solve a technical problem while discussing my approach with a recruiter. Like many others, I find it easier to execute when I’m not conscious that I’m being watched and judged, so I was very much intimidated at the thought of a live coding interview. Gratefully, my recruiters were always very accommodating and supportive.  After completing both the practical and non-practical technical interviews, as well as, my character interview, I was awarded a position as an intern at Goldman Sachs’ Singapore office, and later relocated to the London office, where I interned between June and August.
At the end of my internship I was offered a full-time position as an Analyst, Global Markets Division, London.
My internship at Goldman Sachs has created on oasis of enlightening experiences. It had afforded me the opportunity to meet persons of diverse nationalities, ethnicities and cultures. In fact, their work culture of being people-oriented, supportive, and intellectually nurturing must be applauded.  I’ve had and I have come away with no regrets. My experience at Goldman Sachs definitely exceeded my expectations and I anticipate being a member of the team.”

Lateefah has credited her success to her family and friends as well as lectures in the Department of Computing who ensured that she had the necessary training to thrive on a global platform. She also encourages her peers to trust the content of their degrees and aim for mastery as ‘success is where preparation and opportunity meet’.

The Goldman Sachs Internship programme in the Faculty commenced in 2018. Lateefah now joins the cadre of two other students (Michael Calloo - 2019 and Nathan Downer - 2020) from the Department of Computing who have transitioned from being interns to full-time employees at Goldman Sachs.

The Faculty congratulates Lateefah on her success and wishes her all the best!

To learn more about the Goldman Sachs and other annual FST internship opportunities:





Published on 11 Oct, 2021

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