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Routines, self-reliance led to job at Goldman Sachs for recent WCSU graduate

Alumnus Chriss Sari
Alumnus Chriss Sari
Alumnus Chriss Sari

DANBURY, CONN. — Chriss Sari likes routines. As a student, the Danbury native would get up at 5 a.m., go to the gym, eat breakfast, go to work at Union Savings Bank, and then take evening classes as he worked toward his Bachelor of Business Administration in Supervisory Management at Western Connecticut State University. “I enjoyed the routine,” Sari said. “It taught me discipline and kept me in check.”

The hard work paid off recently when the 23-year-old first-generation college graduate was offered a position as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs in its Salt Lake City office. He was one of 1,600 hires by Goldman Sachs in the Americas in 2022.

Sari developed a strong work ethic by watching his parents, both Ecuadorian immigrants, as they devoted their time and energy to their cleaning and landscaping business. Once he joined WCSU’s ConnCap/Upward Bound program in high school, it awakened him to the possibility of college. “The program took me on campus tours, helped with paperwork, filling out the FAFSA and how to apply,” Sari said. “I realized I could live at home, keep my job and save money. It opened my eyes to everything.”

After a year at Naugatuck Valley Community College, Sari enrolled at WCSU as a Justice and Law Administration major before switching to Business Management. “I enjoyed learning about the law, but I knew I wanted to run my own business and eventually work for myself.” In the BBA Supervisory Management track, he was exposed to financial accounting, supply chain management, managerial accounting and more.

“By the time I was a senior, I had heard stories about people who had gotten their degree and never used it or went into an entirely different field,” Sari said. “I didn’t want my parents, who had been helping me with school, make that investment in me and then not use my degree.” So, Sari set out to apply to as many job opportunities as he could to “put myself out there” on Handshake and Indeed. Among the companies he applied to without receiving an interview were Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

He saw the Goldman Sachs opportunity on Handshake in the fall of his senior year and submitted applications for three positions: in New York, Madrid and Dubai. “What was the worst that could happen? They could say ‘no’ and I would be in the same position I was in before. So, I went for it,” Sari explained.

According to, “Goldman Sachs receives 1 million applications for midlevel jobs each year. About 0.5% of those hopefuls — just 5,000 people — get hired. That makes the bank nearly 10 times as selective as Harvard.”

A few weeks later, Goldman Sachs contacted Sari and asked if he’d like his resume submitted to their Salt Lake City, Utah, office and he said yes. He followed up a few months later and was offered an online interview called HireVue. After researching intensely for a week on YouTube, Google and more, he understood that the interview would be a mix of prerecorded technical and behavioral questions. He did his online interview in WCSU’s Higgins Hall.

Not long after that, he was invited to a Super Day interview, where every 30 minutes he would be interviewed by a different vice president or group of administrators for an hour and a half. It would be conducted via Zoom. With a little more than a week to prepare, Sari immersed himself in financial news, current market conditions, and poured through the Goldman Sachs website. He also practiced talking about how his coursework at WCSU and job at Union Savings Bank would relate to the expectations at Goldman Sachs. “I focused on the thoroughness of my classwork and job. At Goldman Sachs, they expect perfection. I explained that I understood that they chase excellence and give their best work every day, and this is the environment I want to be a part of.”

A second Super Day interview followed and soon after, an email from Goldman Sachs’ human resources department to set up a phone call that would contain an offer of employment. “I couldn’t believe it,” Sari said. “It was a surreal feeling. To receive an offer of this magnitude, it changed everything.” His contract was signed within 48 hours.

Less than two months after his May 2022 WCSU commencement ceremony, Sari found himself in Manhattan’s Conrad New York Midtown at Goldman Sachs’ orientation for all of the new analysts hired from across the country. By late July, he was settling into his new apartment in Salt Lake City and working long days with the Direct Management Reporting team, which serves as “the breach between product controllers who work with traders and senior management to report revenues in Global Markets and investment banking.”

“This is my first time on my own, having an apartment, feeding myself, everything,” Sari said. “I am here with the mindset to learn and understand everything. I do not care how long I have to be in the office. I left all of the people I love behind to grab an opportunity that I could not pass up.

“I’m getting into a new routine here and enjoying going to the gym and meal preparation every night. I’m trying to set an example for my little brothers, and I hope I can offer guidance for the next group of students at WCSU. If it weren’t for the experiences I went through and learned from during my years at WCSU, I would never have gotten here. I am where I am today because of my mindset: it is important to believe in yourself because if you don’t, then who will?”



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