From Intern to Managing Director at Goldman Sachs: The Inspiring Story of Shekhinah Bas

Shekhinah Bas, a Goldman Sachs professional and mother of five, rose from intern to managing director. She began working at Goldman Sachs at the age of 22 and quickly ascended through the ranks to become a senior executive.

Bas, now 39, is the head of talent strategy at Goldman Sachs’ human capital management (HCM) business. She credited her success to improving her time management skills, which she said helped her be more productive and avoid burnout as she moved through the ranks at the firm.

“I used to be jealous of all the senior executives running off to meetings and now I’m jealous of my younger self and how few meetings I had on my calendar,” she told CNBC Make It.

Bas stated that she never saw herself as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs since she intended to attend law school after graduation and also because she had no idea what the firm was about until her boyfriend-turned-husband interned there.

Bas claims that when her husband encouraged her to apply, she was unsure how her academic experience in industrial and labor relations would fit into an investment banking organization. However, she discovered the diversity page on GS.com and soon became a summer intern in Human Capital Management (HCM).

“I loved my experience, my team, and our projects, but my plan was to go to law school, so I turned down the offer to return,” she said in an interview with Goldman Sachs. “My recruiter at the time gave me a call, and suggested I talk to my mentors to think through the opportunity. Through those conversations, I came to realize that becoming a lawyer wasn’t the only way to pursue my passion of standing up for people, including diverse professionals, and having an impact on society at large– I could do that ‘in-house.’”

Bas explained that once she realized she could do what she wanted at Goldman Sachs, she opted to establish her ‘HR portfolio,’ and she has now been in HCM for 17 years. Bas mentioned that her first job as an analyst gave her the opportunity to delve deeply into the diversity and inclusion field.

“Then, wanting to see how the firm embeds diversity in other aspects of HCM’s work, I moved into Talent Assessment. After that, I served as chief of staff to the global head of HCM. Bringing that expertise to my next role, I became head of Performance Management – a team I had grown up on.”

Now leading talent strategy, Bas said she is focused on bringing together areas across HCM and the firm to enhance and develop solutions to positively impact the experience of people. “Those experiences have been possible because of the firm’s support of mobility – and thanks to countless people who encouraged me to always pursue the next challenge,” she added.

Bas is now not only a senior executive at Goldman Sachs, but also a mother of five children. She claims that she has successfully integrated her work and personal lives.

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