Photo Courtesy of Goldman Sachs.
Vicki Tung, now the head of campus recruiting at Goldman Sachs, started at the firm right out of college. But despite spending her entire career thus far at Goldman Sachs, she’s had a winding career path. She’s worked in many countries, supported many teams and had many managers — each with their own distinctive style.
Now managing around 80 recruiting professionals on a team she built, Tung has also learned quite a bit about being a manager herself. She shared what she’s learned about management through this process, how she tackles onboarding and how Goldman Sachs sets their managers up for success. Being a recruiter, she also shared her best advice for job seekers — and what she’s learned about career paths from managing her own.
Tell us a bit about your job. What are your priorities at work?
As head of campus recruiting at Goldman Sachs, I run a global organization of about 80 colleagues focused on recruiting the best and most diverse entry-level talent. First and foremost, my priority is to ensure a best-in-class candidate experience for anyone who goes through our recruiting process, and to motivate and develop an effective recruiting team.
What were you doing previously/what has your career path looked like?
I joined Goldman Sachs right after graduating from college, so I’m a homegrown recruiter. Whilst my career has only been here, it certainly hasn’t been linear. I have worked in different international offices and have supported various businesses. These experiences have carved my path and helped position me for my current role. While the firm has challenged me with new and different responsibilities, my biggest takeaway has been that managing a career is 100% my own responsibility – you need to own and control your path.
While at this company, you’ve built the team that you’re now leading. How did you approach this?
Being a manager and being a leader are two very different things. I started being a strong manager – team members knew I was in the trenches with them, I helped problem solve with them, I commiserated with them. Put simply, I was a player and coach which helped shape my leadership style: I focus on vision and motivation. My team needs to buy into the journey and I take that very personally. Building and sometimes re-building teams takes investment and I prioritize that above anything else.
What do you believe is the no. 1 thing managers must do when onboarding new employees?
I meet every single team member we hire to ensure they understand and support our culture and values. I set a timeline for one month, three month and six month check-ins to address any integration issues immediately. Also, I’m brutally honest – I find that being transparent builds mutual trust.
How did your company provide support during this process?
Our firm offers a variety of manager resources – from an online toolkit to in-person classes to an annual manager effectiveness evaluation. Goldman Sachs is invested in developing good managers because we know managers play an important role in defining the experience of their team.
How did former managers shape your management style?
I have had many managers during my tenure. I have taken the best parts of each of those managers’ styles and applied them to my own. The age old saying is manage the way you would like to be managed yourself. The managers that stand out to me the most are the ones that believed in me and pushed me out of my comfort zone.
While building this team, what did you learn that surprised you most?
I learned not to take things personally. While you invest so much of your personal time and effort to build and develop a team, people will leave you. What I pride myself on is that I stay in touch with those who have left – I support the next phase in their careers and I’m happy for them. And I’m proud that their time with us helped shape their future path.
What’s your no. 1 tip for job seekers?
Be patient. Dream jobs don’t materialize overnight. You’ll network and interview plenty, but diligence will always pay off — you know that next job is the right one for what you’re looking for in your career journey.
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