As much as you ask for, really. All managers / senior people are different, but there is a widespread understanding that the onus is on you to make the first move. If you ask for feedback, you’ll get it; likewise, if you ask for a meeting with someone, he or she will probably make the time to meet with you for coffee or lunch. They don’t hold your hand, and you have to speak up and take risks. But people are very accessible and open to answering any questions or providing advice so long as you ask.
You should receive as much support as you give back to your desk. Upper management will make an effort to meet with you and get to know you. They are invested in making you love the firm as well as fully trained. Think about it, this firm is onboarding you, paying you with a pretty top-notch wage, and investing manpower to train you. They don’t want to see you go, you are an investment. If you don’t like something about your function or your work, speak up and you can expect to see concrete changes.
Aside from your direct upper management, I think one of the best parts about GS is that you can literally reach out to anyone at any office. If you express interest in their desk or function, they will more than be happy to spend 30 minutes on a call. It’s a great way to reach out and get to actually know the firm as a whole.
The one thing that surprised me as an intern was the amount of attention and support I got from others in the firm. I interned in a team, as the only intern, with pretty much everyone being a VP and 2 or 3 associates. Whenever I got stuck with my code, I just had to lift my head and call anyone in the team and they would walk over to my desk and help me out! Even one day I used my manager as a "rubber duck" to figure out a bug in my code. He does not write code but dear lord is he good at debugging! They were always EAGER to help you. They always told me my success was tied to theirs. So as an intern or analyst, you get a lot of help. Granted, this level of support may wane as you progress to higher roles but that will be because fewer and fewer people can actually solve the problem you have. However, you can still get help from people in different divisions and teams as long as there is no information breach.
Goldman Sachs is a large company, you will likely not deal a lot with the upper management. Know your boss, and your boss’s boss, and know who the department manager is. Find People at Goldman Sachs within your personal network or network your way through the firm internal system by setting up lunches and attending networking events. Some teams within Goldman are almost run in a startup like fashion. So if you know and have a good reputation with the relevant team managers of the teams that interest you, then your chances of joining one of those teams is increased.
Exposure to upper management varies. For one, at least for traders, each individually manages their own portfolio, meaning that you’re on your own when it comes to generating P&L. As an intern, however, you have to reach out to partners in order to secure an offer. The reaching out process would include asking the partner about their career paths, but may also include looking at your trade ideas. In that sense, as long as you reach out, you will receive support.
Your managers are always ready to support you. We sit together in the trading floor. They are extremely busy in the morning but in the afternoon they check on you your progress and answer any question or problems you have. My manager is a vice president. I got lots of chance to communicate with him daily and even with his manager (managing director) and VP and MD from other desks. So you always get supports from other people.