Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), arguably the world’s most prestigious financial institution, can be a great place to work – once you make it past the early years.

Goldman Sachs
Image: Goldman Sachs Logo

Ranked as #45 on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for List, the firm offers its employees, who average $380,000 per year in salary, benefits fit for a king (or queen).

Goldman keeps elite minds clear

The firm offers meditation classes and puts a “resiliency week” on the corporate calendar.  Keeping the highly educated, elite financial professionals’ minds clear is accomplished through a Tai Chi club, five times a week Pilates classes or bubble tea in the café, according to a recent report in Fortune Magazine.

Are you a new mother or father?  Goldman provides a friendly environment that includes a paid four-month maternity leave for both biological and adoptive mothers and day care centers in most of its facilities – including a rock climbing wall for kids in the firm’s lower Manhattan headquarters.

Progressive on Social Issues

Want to work from home?  Not a problem, as 30% of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS)’s workforce does so.  Looking for a socially permissive environment that doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation?  As Time Magazine recently pointed out, “The hyper-educated elite Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) recruits tend to be pretty open minded about social issues, so Goldman’s inclusive culture is a plus. On the day the Supreme Court overturned the defense of marriage act, Goldman flew a rainbow flag at its headquarters, and the bank boasts more than 80 affinity networks for minority employees, including an LGBT group.”

But perhaps the most significant benefit for a high profile trader, merger / arbitrage rainmaker or SWAPs deal maker is the fact the bank allows talented people to make what can be small fortunes without putting any of their own capital at risk.  The cost of capital from the Federal Reserve is cheap and seemingly limitless.

Nothing worthwhile is easy: grueling internship

While the perks can be rewarding – not to mention the prestige that comes from being associated among the most elite in the financial world – getting there is not easy.  First, there is the firm’s highly selective recruitment process, which typically only accepts the best of the best from the most elite schools in the world.  Once a prospect clears this hurdle, there is a grueling internship which might be compared to a fraternity hell week.  Interns are said to work 16 to 18 hour days at times and have been known to sleep on toilets inside the corporate headquarters, according to reporting from Charlie Gasparino at Fox Business News.

Nothing worthwhile comes easy.  Joining the Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) “club” may be a daunting challenge, but once the achievement has been attained it has perks.