How this Goldman Sachs executive went from intern to managing director

Abu Mubarik September 07, 2023
Shekhinah Bass. Photo credit: Goldman Sachs via CNBC Make It

Shekhinah Bas is a Goldman Sachs executive and a mother of five who went from an intern to becoming a managing director. She first worked at Goldman when she was only 22 years old and rose through the ranks to become a top executive.

Now 39, Bas is Goldman Sachs’ head of talent strategy within the firm’s human capital management (HCM) division. She attributed her success to sharpening her time management skills which she said has helped her be more productive and avoid burnout as she rose in the ranks at the firm.

“I used to be jealous of all the senior executives running off to meetings and now I’m jealous of my younger self and how few meetings I had on my calendar,” she told CNBC Make It

Bas said she never imagined herself becoming a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs because she planned to go to law school after graduation and also because she didn’t know what the firm was about until her boyfriend-turned-husband interned there.

According to Bas, when her husband encouraged her to apply, she initially did not understand how her academic background in industrial and labor relations would fit within an investment banking firm. However, she came across the diversity page on, and not too long after, she was a summer intern in Human Capital Management (HCM).

“I loved my experience, my team, and our projects, but my plan was to go to law school, so I turned down the offer to return,” she said in an interview with Goldman Sachs. “My recruiter at the time gave me a call, and suggested I talk to my mentors to think through the opportunity. Through those conversations, I came to realize that becoming a lawyer wasn’t the only way to pursue my passion of standing up for people, including diverse professionals, and having an impact on society at large– I could do that ‘in-house.’”

Bas said once she recognized that what she wanted to do was possible at Goldman Sachs, she decided to build her ‘HR portfolio’— and she has now been in HCM for 17 years. Bas noted that her first role as an analyst allowed her to dive deep into the diversity and inclusion space.

“Then, wanting to see how the firm embeds diversity in other aspects of HCM’s work, I moved into Talent Assessment. After that, I served as chief of staff to the global head of HCM. Bringing that expertise to my next role, I became head of Performance Management – a team I had grown up on.”

Now leading talent strategy, Bas said she is focused on bringing together areas across HCM and the firm to enhance and develop solutions to positively impact the experience of people. “Those experiences have been possible because of the firm’s support of mobility – and thanks to countless people who encouraged me to always pursue the next challenge,” she added.

Today, not only is Bas a top executive at Goldman Sachs, but she is also a mother of five. According to her, she has found a way to successfully integrate her professional and personal lives.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 7, 2023


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