READY, SET, SPRINT: The Bloomberg Internship

READY, SET, SPRINT: The Bloomberg Internship

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Madison Gardiner, Analytics

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 2:20pm

CAMPAIGN: Bloomberg: Philanthropy & Engagement


January 15, 2015

Originally posted on Bloomberg Now.

I have never started an internship truly knowing what to expect, and walking into 731 Lexington on my first day of the Bloomberg L.P. Financial Product Sales & Analytics Summer Internship Program was no exception. This was okay, I told myself, because as evinced by all of my prior intern roles, I would be able to ease into the company’s environment, steadily familiarizing myself with the culture, the people and the workflow, right? Not so much. Forget hit-the-ground-running; my first week at Bloomberg was a full on sprint, in the best way possible.

As a public policy major who could barely articulate the definition of a bond, I was more than nervous to begin working for this giant in the financial data industry. However, all of my concerns about lacking prior finance knowledge quickly dissipated after we went through intensive educational training to learn about key market players and their incentives, the main types of securities issued and traded in the market, and core Bloomberg Terminal functionality. By the end of the first week, we had received mentors in the Analytics department, an assignment for a first project, invitations to networking events, and some of the most senior Bloomberg employees gave presentations on their backgrounds and visions for Bloomberg’s future. I felt as if I had been working at Bloomberg for months.

I wish I could tell you what a day in the life of a Bloomberg intern was like, but there truly were no two days that were ever the same. Splitting our time between the Analytics department and Sales, we gained exposure to nearly every aspect of the Bloomberg Terminal. Once we transitioned into the Sales portion of the program, we were able to participate in ongoing outreach campaigns and even assist with client visits. While preparing for one campaign which sought to educate clients about Bloomberg’s robust mobile platform, my team leader imparted the advice that I shouldn’t be nervous, because no calls from Bloomberg are cold calls – they’re all a little warm. Little did I know then how true this would come to be. One day, I dialed one of the house accounts that my sales team was working with, and my nicely formulated pitch fell to the wayside as I listened to the voice on the other end of the line — it was my uncle! After catching up about cousins, dogs, and of course, my current internship, I was proud to add another tally to my campaign successes.

For every clear-cut project that we were assigned, we were also given time to embark on our own initiatives. Some days this meant reaching out to employees in other departments to shadow their work or grab a coffee in the bustling 6th floor pantry. One of my most notable shadowing experiences was with a member of the New Business Sales Team. I was given a headset, which allowed me to observe client interactions in real-time, as well as a pen and paper, so I could formulate my own impressions of how the conversations went and what a follow-up might entail. Other days, I took time to work on a side project of my own design – a “survival guide” pamphlet for future Bloomberg interns, featuring tips and tricks critical for thriving at the company. In doing so, I was able to integrate my personal love for graphic design with the skills and knowledge that I had been accumulating all summer. After showing this project to the sales team that I was working with, my team leader asked if I would take a look at some of their documents and presentations and advise on any design or layout changes. This allowed me to get involved with even more projects that were truly adding value to the company.

The most challenging aspect of the internship was also one of its most rewarding elements. In college, norms and procedures for how to work within a team and undertake group projects are pretty clear, and even more so within a specific major. But at Bloomberg, I found myself in an entirely new environment, where every single person came from a different academic background, with unique and sometimes conflicting notions about how to strategize and execute ideas. This newness was a challenge that I was confronted with several times throughout the summer, as our two largest assignments for the program were team projects that required innovation, delegation, and ultimately, trust. Though at the beginning it was difficult to get on the same page as one another, with the support of our internship coordinators and some dedicated communication, these projects turned into incredible learning experiences. Through them, I discovered how to balance my own voice and skills within a larger, dynamic team fabric. Ultimately, as a result of an idea that was a true collaboration between my group’s art-history, policy and finance minds, we were selected as the winners for the first large presentation of the summer.

At the end of the summer, I was offered a full-time position upon graduating and I accepted on the spot. One of the reasons why I so readily accepted was, unlike at the start of the internship, I knew exactly what to expect going into Sales & Analytics in a full-time role. Throughout the internship we were truly treated like employees, so I understood the work load, the importance of client interactions, the leadership opportunities and the multitude of staff collaborations that I would join upon graduation. Looking back on these expectations now, I realize that I was ultimately anticipating the transition from my internship sprint to the marathon of a lifetime.

-Madison Gardiner, Analytics

You can visit our careers site for the listing of a Financial Product Sales & Analytics Internship here:  

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