“The stakes were much higher than anything else I had ever done,” said NJIT senior Norman Hamilton of his recent internship with Goldman Sachs in New York City. The computer science major/business minor spent summer 2016 at the global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, where he wrote software code that could “bring business value to the company.”
He admits to being a bit intimidated at first, but he quickly rose to the challenge, working on a two-man team with a returning intern from Columbia University and greatly improving his programming acumen. He also participated in meetings and attended reviews of his code.
“I wrote software that assisted my team in making business decisions concerning financial information like securities,” said Hamilton. “I was confident in my abilities as a programmer, but after going through the 10-week internship and actually being in a structured program, specifically for developing scripts and developing software, I would say coming out of it definitely made me 10 times better than I was coming into it.”
Hamilton gained not only real-world experience from his time at Goldman Sachs, but a valuable professional network as well, one to which he can turn to help launch and advance his career. He learned of the opportunity at a conference sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), where he met a Goldman Sachs recruiter. His programming interview for the summer slot tested him on everything he was taught in his NJIT classes, particularly information on data structures.
The 2016 internship was the latest in a series for Hamilton, who spent previous summers at Boeing and Hewlett-Packard. He has taken advantage of on-campus activities as well, primarily as internal vice president of the NJIT chapter of NSBE and as a sprinter and relay expert on the university’s track and field team. And as a student of NJIT’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), he has found a great wealth of support to guide him throughout his college years.
“When I first came to the university, [EOP] gave me a network of friends that I could speak to for general issues,” he said. “It also gave me a network of older EOP students who graduated, who work in the industry, who I could speak to for professional advice.”
Hamilton, from Ewing Township, will graduate with a bachelor’s in computer science this coming May. He wants to work as a software engineer and establish his own business sooner than later. For now though, he is fielding job offers with a wish to join a premier tech company on the West Coast.
As a first-generation college student — his parents emigrated from Sierra Leone — Hamilton will always have another job, albeit on a personal level: being a role model for his younger brother.
“Because of the fact that I’m a first-generation college student, I have to be the best that I can be, not only for myself, but for my family and for my brother. I have to be the role model for him.”