What advice would you give your younger self if you were graduating today?
That’s the question Goldman Sachs (GS) posed to some of its leaders on Friday as college seniors across America collect their degrees.
In return, the investment banking giant, which is more difficult to enter than several Ivy League schools, got quite a few candid and useful tidbits from its employees about what they wished they’d known when they were just entering the workforce.
Aside from the usual advice—work hard, remember names, plan for the long term—Goldman Sachs leaders also gave these answers:
When at a business event, “hold your drink in your left hand so your right hand won’t be wet and clammy when shaking someone’s hand,” said Esta Stecher, a non-executive chairman and former CEO of GS Bank. Also wear your name tag on your right lapel so the other person can read it when shaking hands, she noted.
David Lang, head of Goldman’s Salt Lake City office said he would’ve told his younger self that success takes “tremendous resilience.”
“Put yourself in positive surroundings to enjoy what is going to be a long and challenging journey to achieve the goals you have set for yourself,” he added.
The head of Goldman Sachs Hong Kong’s Merchant Banking division, Stephanie Hui noted that she would have told her younger self to speak up more, and accept more opportunities when they are presented.
Hui also made one more suggestion: “I would put down my smartphone whether in work meetings or family dinners and give them my full attention.”