Being a data analyst at Bloomberg: how I got my job and what I do
A data analyst’s job varies considerably according to the sector and employer they work for – here one graduate data analyst reveals what it is really like to work in Bloomberg and how you can impress when interviewing.
Joel Grace Muhigirwa is a data analyst and deputy team leader in the global data team at Bloomberg L.P. In an interview that first appeared in the UK 300 , targetjobs’ sister publication, he explains how he chose the right employer for him and how interview success lies in developing your financial knowledge and technical skills.
From student to data analyst: Joel’s career timeline so far
2011–2015 Completed a bachelors in administration at the UCU Business School (including 12-month exchange at Southern Utah University).
2015–2016 Undertook a financial analyst internship at Natlor Inc.
2016–2017 Completed a masters of finance at the University of Arizona (Eller College of Management).
2017–2019 Undertook an internship at Leavitt Group, first as a regional controller assistant, then as a finance analyst trainee and finally working within its treasury department.
2019 Started the global data programme at Bloomberg L.P.
2020 Promoted to deputy team leader within global data.
Q. What is Bloomberg?
Bloomberg is a global media, financial data and analytics organisation founded by Michael Bloomberg in the early 1980s. It is well-regarded among finance professionals, as they recognise its core strength of quickly and accurately delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology – most notably through its Terminal product .
Q. Why did you decide to apply?
While pursuing my masters, I undertook the Bloomberg Market Concepts course, a well-known certification offered to university students, and used the Terminal. I was very impressed by the Terminal’s depth of information. I also participated in a Bloomberg-sponsored trading competition, with winning teams receiving a donation for their chosen charity. It was then that I realised I was looking at a company that was not just motivated by profit, but also in using its position to empower communities. I researched the company further and created a profile on its careers webpage to hear about different opportunities.
Q. What do you think made you stand out during your interview?
I had two interviews for my role; these focused on my finance knowledge, skills and motivations for applying. It was important for me to demonstrate a basic knowledge of, and genuine interest in, finance and the wider financial ecosystem. I think my genuine enthusiasm for the Terminal made me stand out.
Q. What do data analysts actually do at Bloomberg?
My team essentially provide support around data interpretation to clients (such as portfolio managers) and to our colleagues within Bloomberg. We develop business intelligence tools and analyse data to provide insights that contribute to strategic business plans. As backup team lead, I provide leadership assistance to my team leaders, which allows me to manage some issues and influence how things are done.
On a day-to-day basis, the work is varied. Yesterday, for example, after I logged on as usual at 8.00 am, I provided support to clients regarding datasets and contributed sets to their inquiries. I then helped to train our new recruits. Afterwards, I met with my coding team to discuss the requirements of a current project and then continued working on my project tasks until around 6.00 pm.
Q. What is the work culture like?
One of the biggest things I’ve learned since starting at Bloomberg is that I can have an impact in my role regardless of my job title; there is no sense of a hierarchy and you can always bring about change by putting forward ideas.
I think this is partly because the company genuinely encourages a diverse mindset – diversity in people and thought. This is something that I value because, over the years, I’ve seen that good ideas can come from anywhere. I am from DR Congo and have studied in my country, in Uganda and in the US; I now live and work in London, having also worked in the US. I feel that the company is not just trying to fill a diversity quota or tick a box – it actively evaluates the success of its initiatives to continuously learn.
I also particularly value the volunteering I can do as part of Bloomberg’s corporate philanthropy programme. I have volunteered at a refugee charity, where I have been mentoring school students. For example, my mentee was going for his first ever job interview. I gave him a mock interview and the next time I saw him I heard he had gotten the job. I’ve already achieved my goal of 25 volunteering hours this year and now I’m pushing for 50. When we volunteer for 25 or 50 hours in a year, the programme provides a financial donation to a charity of our choosing. I feel proud to work for a company that both empowers people and places such a strong emphasis on giving back to the community.
Q. What advice would you give job-hunting students?
The jobs market is always changing. I would advise all students to look at job advertisements to identify the skills that employers currently want. Then, go the extra mile to develop them and apply them to something else, such as a course project. Move beyond your course – I learned Python, one of the most widely used programming languages within the financial industry, in my own time. You can learn technical skills through sites such as Coursera or watch tutorials on YouTube.