Goldman Sachs interns are scrambling to find housing in New York City this summer as the bank prepares them to head into the office
- Goldman Sachs recently told incoming interns they’ll work in the office this summer.
- The announcement sparked a frenzy among incoming interns, who are searching for housing.
- A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs told Insider the bank will “soon” be sharing info and resources with interns.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The first test that Goldman Sachs’ incoming summer interns are facing this year has already begun: the challenge of finding a place to live in New York City.
On March 29, Goldman Sachs told incoming interns in a post on its website to expect to work out of its offices this year following a one-week virtual training program that’s set to kick off in June, unless they could not reach the company’s offices safely.
“We encourage those that can to please prepare to be near the office of your internship ahead of the start of your virtual training program,” the company said.
Within Goldman’s incoming New York summer internship class, that announcement sparked a firestorm of frantic students searching for places to live, according to two sources contacted by Insider.
Both sources — themselves, incoming interns in Goldman’s New York-based class — requested anonymity to freely describe the situation they and other interns were facing. Their identities are known to and have been verified by Insider.
Without help or guidance from personnel at Goldman Sachs, both interns paint a chaotic picture of interns rushing to coordinate with each other in group text chats to find a place before available housing runs dry.
“People are still frantically looking for roommates and trying to find housing,” the first intern said, describing the tricky situation that others in Goldman’s incoming intern class are facing.
The second source said that interns had obtained each other’s phone numbers through LinkedIn in recent months and been in communication.
That informal network has proved to be a helpful resource throughout the past week and a half, this person said, estimating that as many as 75% of interns had yet to figure out where to live and many are looking for housing options together.
“They’re still widely discussing it in these groups,” that person said. “This will be an ongoing discussion for at least the next few weeks for sure.”
On Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs told Insider that the firm will take measures to address the interns’ confusion and concerns.
“We will soon be communicating additional housing information and resources for interns who will be working near our major offices, including some opportunities for interns to stay in rooms procured by the firm,” the spokesperson said.
‘Oh my God, we’re in person. What are we going to do?
While both interns expressed enthusiasm for the chance to work at the office with colleagues, they said that the stresses of securing housing with relatively little notice had left bewildered college students feeling thrown through a loop.
The first source told Insider that more than 100 interns were attempting to coordinate with one another in a housing-focused group chat on the texting app GroupMe.
“When it came to the summer analyst group chat, there were a lot of messages that were just being sent out. I was definitely getting messages every five seconds for at least a good 30 minutes or so,” this person recalled.
“Everyone was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re in person. What are we going to do? We have to find housing.’ Things went really quickly.”
From the West Village to Times Square, interns are on the hunt for housing
Every summer, thousands of early-stage professionals in financial services make professional pilgrimages to New York City to start their careers, hoping to impress bosses on Wall Street.
The goal, depending how close they are to college graduation, is either to land a return internship offer, or the coveted opportunity to join their chosen firm full-time the following summer after graduating.
In the most normal of times, finding a place to call home can be a headache. During a pandemic, it can be a much more arduous affair.
The first intern said for their summer 2020 internship in New York City they had begun organizing housing options as early as December 2019 — about six months before the program was set to begin. The 2020 internship, which was at another bulge-bracket bank, ultimately happened online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Typically, this person said, interns who flock to Manhattan pursue short-term leases or student housing through vacant dormitories at institutions like New York University. This year, pivoting to find housing with about three months’ notice till interns begin has proven to be far more complex.
“When I’d gone through that housing search, I kind of know where to look, but most of those were pretty full because it was the end of March by now,” the first source said, describing the declining availability of student housing in Manhattan at this point in the spring.
“It was a really, really hectic week for me as well as a lot of the other people that I know that were going through this.”
This person identified an Airbnb accommodation which they will share with another person, at a cost of about $4,500 each, or $9,000 total for the two of them, for a period of nearly 10 weeks this summer.
The second source Insider interviewed had yet to identify a place to live and predicted it could take several more weeks to do so. This person has heard of several other groups of interns who are coalescing and looking for shared housing all over the city, everywhere from the West Village to Times Square.
Meanwhile, David Solomon, the firm’s CEO, has been sending verbal signals since February, when he spoke at a virtual Credit Suisse conference and cast aspersions on remote work, that he was hoping for a situation in which interns could be back at the office in-person though.
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