From Oberlin College to Goldman Sachs

Global Market Senior Analyst Anna Silverman ’22 Shares How Oberlin Helped Shape Her Career Path

May 16, 2024

Communications Staff

Young girl standing near a shrub
Anna Silverman
Photo credit: Courtesy of Silverman

Anna Silverman ’22 has made a remarkable leap, from Oberlin to the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. A political science major with an integrative concentration in education studies, Silverman applies the critical thinking and problem-solving skills she honed at Oberlin to her work as a global markets senior analyst. She recently shared how her background in political theory shaped her career path in finance and contributed to her early success in a competitive field.

How has your political science degree contributed to your work at Goldman Sachs?

Although my role at Goldman Sachs differs from my political science major, my education from Oberlin has been invaluable. The diverse curriculum, extending beyond politics to the core subjects, taught me to efficiently learn and adapt to new challenges. This skill set has been crucial at Goldman, where I regularly encounter unfamiliar problems. Unrelated to my politics degree, my experience dissecting a rat in Biology 101 prepared me not to fear any challenge—even in the finance world.

Can you share how your extracurricular activities at Oberlin impacted your professional development?

My time in Harkness co-op was instrumental in preparing me for Goldman Sachs. As a head cook for two years, I developed skills in multitasking, working under pressure, and leading a team. The culture of debate in the co-op’s governance taught me to confidently advocate for my ideas. I am truly grateful for this experience, as it significantly contributed to my career success.

What advice would you give Oberlin students looking to enter competitive fields?

Make sure you leverage Oberlin’s unique qualities, such as its passionate professors and quirky clubs, to make your job applications stand out. Building relationships with professors in your major is key. Take their classes, participate in the classroom, and go to office hours. Oberlin’s small community allows for these meaningful connections, which can be pivotal in obtaining strong references and recommendations. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to alumni in your desired field. Most are more than willing to help with the application process.

Were there any mentors at Oberlin who were crucial to your professional growth?

Eve Sandberg, my foreign policy professor, gave really great insights in her class as to what the expectations and realities are of working in fast-paced, high-stakes foreign policy fields. I found her advice to be transferable to my career now. My professor Joshua Freedman helped me build confidence in my abilities when I was in his seminar and worked as his research assistant. There are too many others to name, but all my professors have had an impact on my growth in one way or another.

What is your fondest memory from your time at Oberlin?

My fondest memory is of taking a samba class during a summer semester. When the weather was nice, we went out to dance in Tappan Square! It was not just a class, but a place where I formed lasting friendships and also gained an appreciation for Oberlin’s beauty in the summer. It’s a memory I’ll always cherish.

You may also like…

A Beautiful Mess

January 30, 2024

Omar Hurtado stepped away from math and quickly learned why he missed it.
Omar Hurtado headshot.

Happy Return

December 8, 2023

Oberlin was Samia Mansour’s top college choice. Now years removed from her graduation, she chose it all over again.
Samia Mansour headshot.