SGA President Selected to attend Goldman Sachs Summit
Published date: October 4, 2018
There are many ways that Virginia State University (VSU) Student Government Association President Gabrielle Wilks leads by example—- actively hosting campus events that gather the student body to celebrate Trojan pride, organizing fundraisers and drives for the local community, utilizing social media to engage and connect the campus—- but she’s also on the forefront of academic excellence.
Wilks represented VSU at the prestigious Goldman Sachs HBCU Leadership Summit in New York City, September 26-28. The 2nd annual event was started to highlight the diligent work of HBCU alumni at Goldman Sachs and offer the chance to current HBCU students to meet with and learn from working professionals. This year’s summit focused on exposing students to professional development, skill-building activities and discussion hosted by the global top 10 investment banking company.
“It was really a great feeling to be selected. It lets me know I’m capable,” Wilks said. The junior, double majoring in biology and mathematics, was selected to attend the three-day conference out of more than 1,000 qualified applicants. “I’m sure they received a bunch of applications from majors that are more aligned with their firm and still getting selected made me feel great.”
Wilks had the opportunity to network with more than 100 accomplished HBCU students from 35 other institutions and Goldman Sachs professionals. The summit consisted of career-development workshops and the possibility for students to interview for various divisions of the firm. Applicants had the option to apply to 18 divisions of Goldman Sachs. Wilks participated in the office of operations and human capital management tracks, which she felt best allowed her to utilize her skills.
“I applied to those divisions because I felt it catered most to what I enjoy about math, the problem solving aspect,” Wilks said, also noting the chance to exhibit important social skills. “Both divisions best suited the characteristics I feel I portray: interpersonal skills, leadership and integrity.”
“Those kinds of experiences are invaluable,” VSU Honors Program Director Daniel Roberts said to describe the Presidential Scholar’s opportunity. “I am thrilled for Gabrielle and think this will positively impact her career plans.”
For Wilks, the accolade of attending the Goldman Sachs HBCU Leadership Summit is a feeling of joy, but a genuine treasure in it all is setting an example for current and future Trojans.
“I want other VSU students to know that they should never limit themselves just because they feel they don’t possess the criteria or requirements they feel are needed for the job,” Wilks shared. “Yes, college is about education, but to me it’s more about the skills you gain and apply in order to succeed at your university. Those skills and knowledge are what carry you on in your future endeavors.”