Career Moves: Jane Ragland ’23 leveraged her internship experiences to secure her ideal full-time job

Ragland merged her favorite aspects of working in the audit and financial services industries to curate her ideal intersection for her next professional step.

Jane Ragland ’23

Jane Ragland ’23, an accounting and economic consulting double major and member of Elon’s 3+1 Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program, is graduating with dual degrees after having an impressive four years of professional development at Elon.

The Marshalltown, Iowa, native completed an audit internship with KPMG after her sophomore year and secured a credit risk analyst internship with Goldman Sachs for the following summer. Interested in merging her favorite aspects of the two experiences, Ragland worked with the Student Professional Development Center (SPDC) to determine her next career steps and negotiated a full-time role as an Internal Audit Analyst within the Private Wealth Management Team at Goldman Sachs.

Ragland recently shared about her experience working with the SPDC and how she leveraged her previous experiences to align her personal and professional goals.

What were you trying to accomplish when you met with the SPDC and what specific help did you receive?

I have used the SPDC numerous times throughout my Elon career, from resume reviews to LinkedIn headshots. Most recently, I used the advice from the professionals at the SPDC to gain clarity on where I wanted to begin my career.

What did you learn from working with the SPDC?

The SPDC helped me to reflect on what I was looking for in my first job out of school. As an accounting and economic consulting double major, I could go down two very different paths. Brooke Buffington, Cindy Sweeney and Lauren Bosselait all shared great insight, connected me with alumni, and helped me compare different opportunities to determine the best company fit for me.

How did your interest in working at Goldman Sachs develop?

I have always admired the ambition and excellence that Goldman Sachs represents. Throughout my early years at Elon, I attended virtual information sessions to get an inside look into the firm. In the summer of 2021, I also had the opportunity to complete Goldman’s Summer Insight Series. Following this, I applied to a 2022 summer internship and was elated to join the company as a Summer Risk Analyst within the Credit Research Group in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tell me about your experience in landing this opportunity with Goldman Sachs.

During my time as a Summer Risk Analyst, I was blown away by Goldman Sachs’ company culture. Questions were not just encouraged, they were expected. The environment is designed to encourage learning, which pushes everyone to excel. Although I enjoyed my internship, I missed utilizing some of the skills I gained at my KPMG audit internship the summer prior. Knowing that I want to gain additional audit experience, I began looking into Goldman’s internal mobility process. This led me to Internal Audit in New York City. It’s the perfect fit. I get to build a foundation of internal control and financial services knowledge, hone my critical thinking skills, and work in my dream city, all while staying with the company I love.

What specific things about Goldman Sachs’ culture made an impression on you?

Something that really stood out to me about Goldman’s culture is the emphasis on learning. One of my favorite examples of this are “catch-ups,” where staff are encouraged to schedule meetings to learn more about how the firm operates and how roles are interconnected. Meetings are encouraged not only with members of your team but also with people from Goldman Sachs’ various departments and offices around the world.

What did you learn from your internship experience with Goldman Sachs?

During my internship, I challenged myself to take advantage of the “catch-up” culture and learn as much as possible from those around me. One of my favorite things to come out of this challenge was connections with Elon alumni. I reached out to Elon graduates across the country with experience in a mixture of Goldman’s divisions, from Asset Management to Equity Research to Internal Audit. During this process, I heard inspiring stories of how people navigated their careers from Elon to Goldman. These individuals also connected me with other professionals who further attested to the culture, opportunities, experience and community at Goldman Sachs. Soon I had a network of mentors whose advice gave me the confidence to begin my career.

Which other faculty members did you work with to prepare, and what help did you receive?

All of my accounting and economics professors have played an extremely important role in my career path thus far. Specifically, Dr. Tina Das, my advisor for the Business Fellows program, highly encouraged me to take advantage of the resources available at the SPDC. Additionally, my accounting professor Dr. Kevin Agnew, who has a background in internal audit, was a great mentor in my decision-making process. I owe a big thanks to Dr. Das, Dr. Agnew and many other Elon professors and mentors who have well prepared me for my Internal Audit role and helped me navigate the decision process.

What recommendations would you share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?

Don’t be afraid to make an appointment or stop by the drop-in hours at the SPDC! Everyone I have worked with at the SPDC and in the business school’s Porter Center have always been extremely welcoming and helpful. The services offered at the SPDC are a major asset to campus, take advantage of them!