Lyubina Martinova '11 Takes on Wall Street

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 14:12

By Suk-Lin Zhou '14

Working at Goldman Sachs this past summer was a dream come true for economics and math major Lyubina Martinova '11. Inspired at an early age by a close family friend who worked for Goldman Sachs, the leader of investment banking and one of the most successful firms on Wall Street, Martinova aspired to one day be part of the Goldman Sachs team. While the firm has a very selective process for hopeful interns, Martinova was determined to overcome the odds.

"This was the only internship that I truly wanted. It was my dream, and I was determined to do the best I could," she said.

At Goldman Sachs, Martinova worked as an analyst in operational risk management for the finance division. She helped develop assessment frameworks for monitoring any risks that might arise from the firm's functions--e.g., human error, legal settlements, or any disruptions of process. To develop those frameworks, Martinova not only helped in calculating capital, looking at different case studies on past errors and speculations, she made sure that the company followed regulations set in stone by the government after the 2008 economic crisis. Daily, she juggled three or four projects, while constantly communicating with the firm's junior and senior employees.

"I love the business model of Goldman Sachs. I love that it is teamwork oriented and that in the core of its principles are the employees. Valuable results are generated when individuals work together, share ideas, and learn from each other," she said.

Before her senior year, Martinova recalls an alumna of Mount Holyoke saying, "Creativity comes through connectivity." For Martinova's summer, that couldn't have been any truer. Her time at Goldman Sachs taught her more about the finance world and more about herself, as well as more about the value of working with other people.

"At the beginning, my transition into the firm was tough, but I've come to realize that if you really want something--and still want it even after you have gotten it--you will be successful no matter what," she said.

At the end of her internship, Martinova had to give a presentation to her coworkers about Operational Risk Management. Her inbox was flooded with congratulatory emails afterwards.

"I was very happy, and in the end I knew that Mount Holyoke prepared me well," she said. "I had fabulous math and econ professors who helped me build and expand my critical thinking skills, and I was also encouraged to develop good communication and social skills in my work-study job at the Career Development Center."

Following her graduation this December, Martinova will work full-time for Goldman Sachs. After a few years in the corporate world, she plans to go to law school. To her fellow Mount Holyoke sisters, she offers this piece of advice: "Whatever job you plan to have in the future, it should make you happy when you wake up in the morning. It should be a job that preserves your internal peace and positivism.

"Don't limit yourself based on what you majored in during college," she added. "You can do anything you set your mind to. It's just the beginning of the beginning when you graduate."