How to become a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs – Clare Ashley’s success story

The Power of Being a Trailblazer

Clare’s ascent to a leading role in a field where few from her background have ventured underscores the significance of trailblazing. Her journey teaches us the importance of carving new paths, not solely for personal achievement but to pave the way for others. Clare’s story is a testament to the impact of breaking barriers and setting new precedents for future generations to follow.

Career Adaptability and Growth

Starting her career with a background in history, Clare’s pivot to technology and finance is a masterclass in adaptability. Her transition highlights the value of being open to change and seizing opportunities outside one’s comfort zone. This adaptability is crucial in today’s fast-evolving job market, where the ability to pivot and embrace new challenges can lead to unexpected and rewarding career paths.

The Crucial Role of Networking

Clare emphasised the instrumental role of building robust networks both within and outside one’s organization. Networking is more than a career advancement tool; it’s about learning, sharing, and contributing to a community of like-minded professionals. Building meaningful relationships can provide support, mentorship, and opportunities that are pivotal for career progression.

Strategic Career Planning

Clare’s journey to becoming a managing director was marked by deliberate planning and goal setting. Her story illuminates the importance of not just dreaming big but also taking concrete steps toward those ambitions. It’s about identifying your goals, understanding the steps required to achieve them, and persistently working towards those ends.

Leadership Rooted in Empathy

Effective leadership, as demonstrated by Clare, transcends managing tasks and projects; it involves inspiring and understanding the needs of your team. Her leadership style, characterised by empathy and support, showcases the importance of fostering an environment where team members feel valued, understood, and motivated.

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Clare’s career trajectory is a testament to the importance of lifelong learning and personal development. Embracing new challenges and continuously seeking growth opportunities can propel professionals to new heights. This commitment to learning is crucial for staying relevant and excelling in one’s career.

Making a Broader Impact

Achieving personal success is fulfilling, but Clare’s vision extends beyond that. She aims to use her position to make a positive impact, not just within her firm but also in the broader community. Her aspirations remind us that true fulfillment often comes from contributing to something larger than ourselves.


Clare Ashley’s journey from a history graduate to a pioneering managing director at Goldman Sachs is laden with valuable lessons for aspiring professionals. Her story is a powerful reminder of the impact of trailblazing, the importance of adaptability, strategic planning, empathetic leadership, continuous learning, and the desire to make a meaningful impact. Embracing these lessons can guide individuals toward not just career success but also toward becoming influential leaders who inspire change and progress in their fields and communities.

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