Lloyd Blankfein Got Rejected From Goldman Sachs The First Time He Ever Applied



Julia La Roche for Business Insider

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg shared their first experiences on Wall Street during a luncheon at Bloomberg LP's headquarters.


Blankfein told alumni of the Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program about how he got rejected when he applied to Goldman.

"Well, I got into Goldman really by acquisition because I had gone- I grew up in east New York in the Linden Projects- I did go to fancy schools, but my résumé wasn't up to a Wall Street set of résumés. I went to college. I went to law school and practiced for a while. Then, like a lot of people in that era, I wanted to get into finance...I applied to a number of Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and got turned down by all of them, and including Goldman Sachs. Which is why to this day, I admire the firm that I run today...But the only job I could get that kind of had, you know, related to Wall Street was J. Aron & Company, which was a commodity trading firm, which on the prestige between equities and fixed income and commodities-commodities was just above a toaster compared to the other jobs. But I got a job there. And soon, that firm got acquired to Goldman Sachs. That's how I got into Goldman Sachs."

Bloomberg, who worked as an equities trader before launching a media empire, also shared his experience when applying to Wall Street. Unlike Blankfein, he got into Goldman.

"And just for the record, when I got out of school, instead of going to Vietnam, I applied to two firms - both offered me a job. Goldman was one of them. I turned them down and went to Solomon Brothers."


"Between Solomon Brothers and Vietnam?" Blankfein chimed in.

"Then I got fired in 1981-The best thing that ever happened to me," Bloomberg, who is now worth billions, said.

The pair of business titans gave a coaching session to alumni of the Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses- a $500 million program that helps entrepreneurs get access to business education, financial capital and business support services. The event host was Charlie Rose.