Set to graduate Exeter this summer with a degree in Sociology, Genevieve has secured an exciting role at financial services firm Bloomberg. She was kind enough to answer our questions and offer her insight into the application process.
What attracted you to Bloomberg and the role in particular?
To be very honest, as soon as I started University I did not know what I wanted to do afterwards. But I was convinced that I wanted to work within an international company that could support me build a professional career. Hence, I attended various Insight Days, and Insight Weeks and did a few internships to identify what I enjoyed. I quickly recognised that I wanted to work within the financial markets as it was a fast-moving industry in which I could learn a lot and develop quickly. I came across Bloomberg through attending a one-week training internship within Analytics and Sales.
The internship made me fall in love with the company culture which values diversity, and transparency. I loved the fact that Bloomberg was the market leader when it came to the dissemination of financial information to support different clients (Investment Banks, Professional Services firms and Fast Moving Consumer Goods etc. ) to make the best investment decisions. This made me understand that working for Bloomberg would be a huge opportunity to learn about different industries whilst also building my financial knowledge. After the internship I was approached by a member of HR who encouraged me to apply to the graduate scheme.
I will be starting in Financial Analytics and I am attracted to the role as it allows me to engage and interact with different clients who work within the financial markets, offer them advice and guidance on various queries. I also like the fact that the role enables me to make use of my language skills enabling me to interact with Bloomberg clients from different countries. Finally, I am thrilled about the prospects of travelling to represent the company and support Bloomberg clients across the globe whilst increasing my cultural awareness.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
As a Sociology and Criminology student I was struggling with numerical tests which a lot of companies use to sift out candidates. But with a lot of practice I was able to overcome that obstacle. And, through practicing these tests you understand how to solve them. It is more of a problem-solving task than actual mathematics to be honest.
As Financial Analytics is very client focused you will have three interviews to proof your communication skills. I really enjoyed all of the interviews as I viewed them as an opportunity to explain why I was a suitable candidate and also express my passion for the role and the company. Don’t get me wrong, the interviews are tough as you will be questioned about everything you say, and they also expect you to have an understanding of the financial markets so you will come across some technical questions. But I really wanted to work for Bloomberg so I put in the effort and researched and learned as much as I could to master all the questions.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
There was nothing that surprised me. But I appreciated that Bloomberg acknowledged my passion for the role and the effort I put in to build a repertoire of financial knowledge. At first, I was under the impression that they only looked for finance savvy individuals but they look for people who are hungry to succeed and are willing to learn.
What three pieces of advice would you give to fellow BN members looking to follow in your footsteps?
1. Quality is better than quantity.
The biggest mistake I made at the beginning of my university career was to apply to anything and everything without getting to know the company. In order to get ahead with applications make sure you attend events of the company you are targeting, get to know the firm and allow them to have an understanding of who you are as well. Through building networks for the company you would like to apply to you can actually get some tips from people who work there, you can state names within your application and also demonstrate your passion for the role within your application. This will not only boost you chances of getting the job, but you can identify if you fit within the company culture and ethos.
2. Fear is the enemy.
I remember times were I deliberately did not apply to certain companies (Bloomberg being one) as I thought that I did not have the skills or qualities for the role. But I think that you never know how far you can get without trying, do not be discouraged or intimidated by the reputation of a company, at least try! And not getting a job is not always a bad thing as you can ask for feedback to understand your shortcoming and improve your next application.
3. Build a network.
Make sure you build your own support network of like minded students or register to organisations (Bright Network) that can support you in finding opportunities or even give you tips. I encourage people to be part of societies (Business and Finance Society, Entrepreneurial society etc.) as those societies mostly do networking events with different companies, do skills workshops etc. Furthermore, LinkedIn is your best friend ! Whenever I met people during internships, events etc I would add them on LinkedIn and ask for advise on application etc. You never know what opportunity may arise from just knowing someone.
Do you have a lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
It sounds very cheesy, but whenever I go for an assessment centre or a final round interview I arrive at least 30-45 minutes early and stand outside the company building for 5 minutes before entering. During my 5 minutes outside I pray: In my prayer I acknowledge how far I have come, I tell myself that I can get the job as I have the skills and qualities they need . I always view every stage as another opportunity to learn and get to know people. This helps me calm down and acknowledge that I received the opportunity because I am good candidate. After my little prayer, I go in, get a drink ( coffee, tea) and network with other candidates or listen to music (no need to drive yourself mad).