Unlocking the Power of People
PROVO, Utah – Jun 12, 2020 – Growing up in a small town in Oregon, BYU Marriott alum Josh Spencer never imagined that he’d one day work for one of the largest investment banking firms in the world. However, through his own hard work and support from the BYU Marriott human resource management (HRM) program, Spencer is now a human resource business partner at Goldman Sachs.
While Spencer finds great fulfillment in his current work, he didn’t always want to study human resource management. Although he knew he’d study some aspect of business, he wasn’t sure exactly what he’d major in when he got to BYU. Spencer was first exposed to the field of human resource management when a guest speaker in one of his prerequisite business classes talked about BYU Marriott’s HRM program. Even though that guest speaker provided Spencer’s first formal introduction to the field, he later realized that he had been passionate about HR topics throughout his life.
“Looking back at my experiences prior to that point, I realized I had a lot of experience in training and development and that helping people become more productive was my passion,” Spencer says. After being exposed to human resources in that class and researching the program more, Spencer knew that pursuing HR would be the best path for him to follow his interests and build a rewarding career. “The program matched my passions and my skills with the goals that I had in the business world,” he says.
As Spencer progressed through the HRM program, the relationships he built with faculty and students shaped him both personally and professionally. “The relationships that I was able to build at BYU Marriott are something that I cherish. I was often able to meet with professors outside of class to get advice from them and talk about what my career would look like,” he says. “Another great part of the HRM program was my cohort. I have lots of good friends who came out of that program with me.”
Beyond providing Spencer with opportunities to meet people who impacted his life, the BYU Marriott HRM program also provided real-world experiences that became a springboard for his professional success. While seeking an internship during his junior year, Spencer applied for several different internships in the hope of finding one with a respected company.
One company that stood out to Spencer was Goldman Sachs. “I knew that Goldman Sachs had a reputable brand, and I felt that the company offered one of the most prestigious internships. I ended up interning with some of the best and the brightest people while there, so I feel lucky to have experienced an internship with them.”
After completing his internship with Goldman Sachs, Spencer was offered a full-time job as a human resource business partner at one of the company’s Salt Lake City locations. His opportunities with the company have helped him feel that he’s “made it” in the business world.
“During my first two weeks at Goldman Sachs, I had the chance to go to New York City for training,” he says. “I remember walking around Wall Street and thinking about all of the things that happened to help get me there, and that was a cool experience.” Spencer says that his knowledge and connections from BYU Marriott made opportunities with a Wall Street giant possible. “I’m just a small-town kid, and I made it to such a prestigious company in part because of BYU Marriott,” he notes.
Since becoming a full-time Goldman Sachs employee, Spencer, who currently lives in Sandy, Utah, continually enjoys opportunities to interact with people at the company and make a difference for other employees within the organization. “We work hard, and hours can be long, but I enjoy having a chance to rub shoulders with amazing colleagues and do great work alongside them,” he says.
Spencer also enjoys the opportunities that he has to be a voice for other Goldman Sachs employees. “The aspect of my job that I enjoy most is the opportunity to partner with leaders in the company and help them unlock the potential of their people,” he says. “I’ve seen that those who manage employees have ideas of what they want to accomplish, and I get to be the HR voice in meetings with them to talk about how those goals will impact those whom they manage and work with. Being able to drive the business forward from a people perspective is extremely rewarding.”
As he makes his way along his chosen career path, Spencer hopes to continue unlocking the power of people to make amazing things possible. “I’m convinced that if you want to make an impact on the bottom line of a company, you begin with your people,” he says. “You need to make sure they have all of the tools that they need to do their jobs. As you work with your people, that will make an impact on the business.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce