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How a French and history graduate began a fintech career at Bloomberg

‘It felt like I was being paid to do a masters in finance’ says French and history graduate Orla of the training offered by Bloomberg.
Orla MIller, a French and history graduate who got an analytics job with Bloomberg
Name: 
Orla Miller
Job title: 
Account manager

2014–2018 Completed a degree in French and history at the University of Warwick, which included a year abroad.

2014–2018 Worked at a waitress at the student union restaurant Xananas, while also being a keen rower and representing the university nationally and internationally.

2018 Was a summer intern at Bloomberg after graduation.

2019–2020 Joined Bloomberg as an analytics equity specialist.

 

2020 Appointed to current role in April.

I couldn’t believe I was telling my interviewers that story.

I started my job search with a Google search and Bloomberg came up. I didn’t know what roles existed in business, but I knew I wanted to be in a big, international company where I could use my language skills. When job searching, it is best to focus on your strengths and where you can apply those strengths.

I applied for Bloomberg’s internship the summer after my graduation because I knew that I wanted to experience the company before applying for a job. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t do an internship at university.

Unconscious networking

I don’t think you realise as a student that you are building a network through your extracurricular activities, but you are. Rowing took up a lot of my time at university and at my internship assessment centre I actually bumped into a girl from a couple of years above me who worked there and who I knew from my rowing team. She gave me some helpful advice.

Standing out at interview

My interviewers were particularly interested in my rowing. I think it demonstrated my drive and my time management – fitting this in alongside my Xananas shift and studying taught me to be very disciplined. Extracurriculars can help you break the ice at interviews and distinguish you from other candidates.

At interview it helps if you can turn your experiences into a story that properly conveys your skills and values. I was asked when I had gone above and beyond for a customer and I explained how a customer at Xananas had accidentally left his dental retainer crumpled up in a napkin and how I’d thrown it away. I then told how a colleague and I donned rubber gloves and rifled through the bins until we found it. I told my interviewers that I couldn’t believe that I was telling them this story, but they said afterwards that it made me stand out.

Joining Bloomberg

I’d describe Bloomberg as the central nervous system of global finance – essentially the goal is that everyone involved in trading and beyond will use our platforms and systems to trade and communicate. As an intern, I joined the customer success team but the internship was based around getting a feel for the whole of Bloomberg: a lot of shadowing of different people, network events and socials.

Not having a finance background, I wanted to learn as much as possible about different roles. My friend from rowing worked in analytics and invited me to shadow her for an afternoon. I loved it and I got talking to her manager about what I wanted to do long term; at the end of my internship I had another interview to join analytics.

Analytics at Bloomberg involves helping clients to do their job in an optimum way – whether that’s advising them on how best to research a company using our platform or informing them of the price of a German government bond. You work on the analytics ‘desk’ and specialise in an asset class and region – I focused on equities for Switzerland.

Starting in analytics, I felt like I was being paid to do a masters in finance; it was brilliant. For the first month, no matter what degree you studied, you are in a training room from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, learning financial theory and all about Bloomberg’s functions. Then for the second month you work on the analytics desk, answering queries, before going back into training on more advanced topics.

Moving up but locking down

I started a new role during the [first] coronavirus lockdown. The premise of it is to travel to clients in Paris and see what they do in order to better support them and this has definitely been a challenge from home! However, the amount of support you receive at Bloomberg is really impressive. Even before lockdown, there has been an emphasis on support and training around good mental health and resilience. I feel that it has helped me to work optimally at a difficult time.

This content first appeared in the UK 300, a product developed and created by the editors at TARGETjobs.

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