A week in the life of a Bloomberg data intern

Last updated: 21 Jun 2023, 15:42

Oscar Perez – now a graduate data specialist in Bloomberg’s fixed income team – gives you the insider’s view of what a week in the life of a data intern at Bloomberg is all about.

Oscar Perez, the interviewee.

Jump to: ‘Meeting’ Bloomberg at a dinner evening | A week in a Bloomberg intern’s life | No place but Bloomberg | Find your fit at Bloomberg

You probably know Bloomberg for its business and financial news publishing. You might also know it as the innovator of the Bloomberg Terminal: the software that has become synonymous with financial markets.

However, what you may not know is just how much of an incredible experience undertaking an internship at the company is.

Oscar Perez spent the summer of 2022 as an intern in Bloomberg’s data department in London. He shares why he chose Bloomberg’s internship before later embarking on a full-time role at the company, as well as insights into the company's summer programme.

Read on to discover the skills he developed, the interesting projects he worked on, the friendships he made and how the internship was the best possible foundation for his graduate career at Bloomberg.

When you know, you know…

Oscar’s first contact with Bloomberg came in the form of an unexpected message on LinkedIn from Bloomberg HR. ‘I was invited to attend a dinner evening for German speakers, which was hosted by two employees from Bloomberg’s data department,’ he says.

‘I was able to network with employees who knew Bloomberg’s culture intimately; I learned how much value Bloomberg places on being able to speak different languages, which, as a multilinguist, I found very attractive; and I also discovered how Bloomberg encourages employees to take initiative.’

Before the end of the evening, Oscar knew that Bloomberg was where he wanted to establish his career. ‘Not only did Bloomberg’s culture seem like the perfect fit for my personality, but the diversity among the other attendees made me excited about the potential to work with people from such a wide range of backgrounds.’

During the evening, Oscar was encouraged to apply for a position on Bloomberg’s summer data internship. Following a successful application process, he was offered the role.

A week in Oscar’s life as a data intern at Bloomberg

The 10-week internship helped Oscar to grow both personally and professionally, so much so that picking just one of the weeks to share in this article was no mean feat.

Monday

Oscar’s week got off to a healthy start with a short bike ride from his home to Bloomberg’s London office. ‘I would usually ride my bike to work and get to the office at around 8.15 am, keen to get stuck into my projects for the day,’ he says.

‘I had lots of autonomy over organising my workload and would focus on my smaller project in the mornings – starting at 8.30 am most days. The smaller project involved using the Python programming language to analyse the queries received from issuers (producers of the financial products we list on the Terminal) and determine common trends among these to figure out ways to streamline the process.’

After proceeding with the analysis project for the rest of the morning, Oscar would break for lunch around 12.00 pm. ‘There was lots of flexibility and I could’ve taken lunch later if I’d wanted. However, I usually went at midday and came back at 1.00 pm. Most days I would go out for food with teammates.’

Back at the office, the afternoon was spent tackling the main project. ‘I was working on a big project to optimise our clients’ experience of using the Bloomberg Derivative Library (DLIB). We list financial products on DLIB, which at the time were split across many screens. We wanted to change this so that clients could find and analyse products more easily on fewer screens,’ explains Oscar.

The engaging DLIB project had Oscar applying his analytical and problem-solving skills for the remainder of the day. ‘I finished around 6.00 pm, satisfied with a productive day.’

Tuesday

Tuesday began at a slightly different pace to Monday. ‘I locked up my bike and headed up to the pantry – this is the breakfast and snack bar that each Bloomberg office has – to grab a bite for breakfast and chat with colleagues,’ says Oscar. Energised from breakfast, it was then off to teambuilding exercises at 9.00 am. ‘We had lots of group activities during the internship. On this morning, one of the activities was a game of hide-and-seek in the office. It was such a fun way to bring interns together, helping us get to know each other and strengthen our relationships.’

Teambuilding fun had, it was out for lunch with other interns to one of the many restaurants close to the office.

Back from lunch and the DLIB project was calling – it was 1.15 pm and time to get back into focus mode. ‘The financial products listed on DLIB are complex, so it was really important I understood them and how they related to one another. I dedicated the afternoon to deepening my knowledge of these products and coming up with ideas about ways in which we could group products on the same screen,’ explains Oscar.

At 5.30 pm, and with ideas generated and ready to share with his team leader, Oscar was done and dusted for the day. That evening, social plans were on the cards. ‘I headed out with a few of the other interns that night. Your colleagues are more like your friends at Bloomberg, which is something I really value.’

Wednesday

Taking the Tube to work, Oscar was excited for a day of training sessions and a philanthropic event. ‘We received training throughout the internship, both on team-specific and more general topics,’ he shares. ‘That morning, the session was on presentation skills. This was vital for me because at the end of my internship I had to give a final, big presentation on my Python project to my team leader’s managers – so training sessions like this helped to build my confidence.’

At 12.00 pm the working day came to an early end after the training session, with Oscar heading to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to take part in some altruistic gardening. ‘It was such a fun day. Not only were we helping to maintain the botanic gardens that so many people in the community enjoy visiting, but it was also a huge team building activity. Every intern was there from each team in the London office and I met more people from right across the business.’

Oscar and his fellow interns worked up a thirst from the gardening and the day ended with a celebratory drink nearby.

INSIGHTS FROM A BLOOMBERG ANALYTICS AND SALES INTERN

Lisa Hammer was also an intern at Bloomberg during the summer of 2022. Discover her experiences on the analytics and sales internship here.

Thursday

Thursday morning and Oscar was back on his bike and into the office to start the workday with some networking and informal learning at 9.00 am. ‘I was encouraged to organise informal meetings with experienced staff from other teams to find out about the financial products they worked with and learn from their experience.’ He adds: ‘This was one of my favourite aspects of the week, and the internship as a whole, as I gained greater exposure to the wider data operation at Bloomberg.’

An hour or so later and Oscar attended a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) event. ‘There were several DEI events throughout the internship and I met people at Bloomberg from all communities. This talk was hosted by members of Bloomberg’s LGBTQ+ community and I got to see first-hand how the company empowers employees who identify with this group.’

At 1.30 pm Oscar met with his mentor for a one-to-one session. ‘I had a mentor for the duration of my internship. I’m grateful for this as my mentor shared his Python skills with me and was another figure of support who I could ask questions to.’

Following the confidence-boosting mentoring session, Oscar cracked on with his DLIB project work for the rest of the day, finishing up at 6.00 pm.

Thursday evenings were a favourite for Oscar as the data team interns made it a habit to head to the local pub for dinner and to socialise. ‘We all went out for food after work together most days, but Thursday we always went to the local,’ he says. ‘I became very close with my mentor and so this evening I invited him along as well.’

Friday

The week flew by for Oscar and he started the Friday with a coffee and a catch up with a colleague before heading to his desk for 9.00 am. First on the agenda was another training session. ‘Our training covered both soft and technical skills and this session was to learn how to use the Bloomberg Excel API (application programming interface). This is an incredibly useful tool for everyone in the business, not just the data team; it allows you to process data with Microsoft Excel way more efficiently.’

After lunch with his fellow interns, Oscar got straight back into the analysis project. ‘I was using pandas , which is a software package within Python that allows you to effectively analyse data,’ he explains. ‘This project really helped me to get to grips with specialist aspects of Python and take my skills with the language to the next level.’

At 4.00 pm the day finished up with a catch up with his team leader. ‘I often had catch ups with my team leader to share recent achievements and learnings, and to ask any questions. They were supportive informal chats and I benefited a lot from them.’

With the work week wrapped up, Oscar closed things out in the best way possible: by getting together with some of the other interns and heading out for a well-earned meal.

Accept a graduate role elsewhere? Not a chance

At the end of his internship, Oscar was offered a graduate role in the data team. ‘I loved how during the internship I was encouraged to actively look for ways to help improve the way in which our team worked. This was the sort of culture I wanted to be immersed in and, of course, I accepted the offer to return to Bloomberg as a graduate,’ he explains.

‘For example, I wasn’t assigned the Python analysis project – rather it was a project that I requested to undertake. My team leader could see I was hungry to improve my technical skills, so he agreed to it.’

The support Oscar received to develop his technical skills was just one of the reasons why he accepted the graduate job offer. ‘During the internship, I also really developed my communication skills and deepened my understanding of financial markets,’ he says. ‘My capacity to communicate ideas, especially ideas about the markets, improved greatly.’

Oscar offers a final piece of advice to students considering a Bloomberg internship: ‘At Bloomberg, you really do have the opportunities to push for the work that excites you and connect with the colleagues whom you aspire to learn from – these opportunities are there for interns too.’

Find your fit as a Bloomberg intern

Oscar’s incredible experiences are typical of all of Bloomberg’s internships. So, no matter which department you apply to, be it data or news, for example, you’ll come away equipped with skills, knowledge and contacts. Head to Bloomberg’s career opportunities listed on targetjobs to find your fit.

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