Careers

Lloyd Blankfein's advice to Goldman Sachs interns applies to every young professional starting a new gig

Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.

You might not have the stamina to intern at Goldman Sachs, but that doesn't mean you can't benefit from the advice CEO Lloyd Blankfein gives his interns.

In an email sent last week, Blankfein welcomed the company's summer interns and shared valuable career advice anyone starting an internship or new job can use.

Above all, take the role seriously, and don't wait around for new opportunities or projects to come your way, Blankfein says.

"Take ownership of your internship experience," he writes, noting that Goldman's company culture "emphasizes entrepreneurship and innovation."

To get the most out of a summer experience, he suggests interns do two things:

Goldman Sachs signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Goldman Sachs signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

1. Share your ideas

First, "find creative ways of contributing your ideas."

Other highly-successful people give young professionals similar advice. Philanthropist Melinda Gates encourages young people to resist the urge to conform or fit in.

"The world doesn't need more people who think and act the same — so resist the temptation to conform to what's around you," Gates tells CNBC.

Brian Wong, a 26-year-old CEO who works with top companies, says the biggest mistake young professionals make is not having enough confidence. If you're too scared, he writes in his book "The Cheat Code," no one will ever notice you.

2. Get to know people at the company

In addition to completing your work on time and contributing your ideas to the team, seize the chance to get to know people you can learn from.

"As you integrate into your teams," Blankfein writes, "capitalize on every opportunity to learn from your colleagues, develop new skills and forge meaningful connections with our people and your peers."

Finding a mentor is crucial — everyone from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to this two-time Super Bowl champion agrees. Plus, you'll be seen as likable and friendly, traits many managers look for when hiring.

Check out a 26-year-old entrepreneur's career secrets every young professional should know.