Leverage your languages for a career in finance at Bloomberg

Senior Bloomberg employees explain how speaking French, German and other languages can lead to a dream graduate job
Other finance
Financial data

The firm’s Analytics and Sales training programme should be at the top of the wish list for any linguist with a real interest in financial markets.

Starting off on the Analytics desk, you can expect to be put through rigorous training on the different products and areas of the market before narrowing down to the two different asset classes you’ll be working with initially.

For more insight into the structure of the programme, follow this link to our [previous article**](https://www.weavee.co.uk/articles/other-finance/financial-data/bloomberg-building-a-career-at-bloomberg-sales-and-analytics).**

Based in London, you’ll be using your languages from day one, managing client queries in their target language and developing your financial vocabulary. For European language speakers, it means direct exposure to one of Bloomberg’s largest and most important markets. 

The senior professionals we spoke to had all started out on the scheme as graduates in Analytics and Sales. Their collective career paths have so far taken in a range of different locations and geographies, from Paris to Moscow, New York and Hong Kong.

In each case, the ability to speak one or more different languages proved key in allowing them to seize the opportunities on offer. This is what they had to say about their experience: 

Anna Mitchell

Role: Sales Team Leader – French Sales

Degree: French and Maths (Sheffield)

Applying to Bloomberg was a chance to be in a client-facing role where I’d be able to put both my maths and language skills to good use.

It’s been a relatively fast progression to where I am today. Following my time in Analytics, I decided Sales was where I wanted to be long-term. Just after four years in the company, I was promoted to the position of Sales Team Leader.

The graduates I started my training with in Analytics were just like me: they were all hungry to make an impact as quickly as possible. There is a very flat hierarchy that allows you to do that and have as much impact on the business as you want.

Certainly a big part of what’s kept me here for so long is the fact that I’ve always been encouraged to define what my role looks like and to take a lead role in growing my area of the business.

France is a massive region in terms of existing clients and potential new sales, so this means taking on some big accounts as well as forging relationships with some very senior individuals.  

We have two French sales teams in London, within which there are also people speaking a variety of other European and Asian languages. It’s an incredibly stimulating place to be.  

Forget the old line about everyone speaking English nowadays; regardless of whether they do or not, people always appreciate you being able to speak their language. It really helps to build a rapport with a client and to provide them with the right level of service. 

It can be a very steep learning curve. Luckily, on the Analytics desk you are surrounding by other linguists, including native speakers. There’s always somebody to turn to for help if you need it.

I sometimes think where I’d be today if I hadn’t joined Bloomberg. I can’t imagine there are many other languages graduates out there who’ve had the same opportunities in finance as I’ve had. 

Alexa-Maria Rathbone Barker

Role: Head of Analytics, EMEA

Degree: French and Spanish (Oxford)

My core motivation after leaving university was to find a career where I knew that the quality of the work I did would ultimately determine the rewards I received and how quickly I progressed. I think that’s a big part of Bloomberg’s appeal: the promise that you’ll always be rewarded for your ability and for the work you put in. 

This is certainly true of Analytics. The environment we foster within the department is very competitive; everyone we hire is determined to succeed and go far in their careers. 

It’s a healthy kind of competition, however. From the managers to recent joiners, we all take great pride in helping each other out and giving support when it’s needed. 

The training graduates receive in Analytics is simply world class. The induction programme is designed to give you the best possible start to working in financial markets and to prepare you to handle questions from any client, on almost any subject. 

My time on the Analytics desk paved the way for me to move into a sales role, though a lot of graduates decide to stay in Analytics as advanced specialists. These are ‘experts’ who deal with more complex queries from clients and act as trainers for the rest of the department. 

Soon after moving to Sales I was promoted to a management role, first in Bloomberg’s London office and more recently in Hong Kong. While this has meant taking on more responsibility, as a French and Spanish speaker I’ve always made sure to keep my language skills alive wherever I’ve been. 

Having recently returned to London as Head of Analytics, it’s fantastic to now be taking an active role in developing the next generation of Bloomberg talent. The training I received here eight years ago was what laid the foundation for all the amazing opportunities I’ve enjoyed since. 

As long as you’re willing to work constantly on acquiring and developing your knowledge, it’s up to you to take your career as far as you want. By adding languages to the mix you have a really potent recipe for success.

Ksenia Bure 

*Role: *Sales Manager – German, Austrian and Swiss Sales

*Degree: *German and Management (UCL)

I’d always been interested in working in the financial sector but coming from a non-finance degree I didn’t exactly know which part of the industry I wanted to be in.

Stepping into the Bloomberg offices that first day I knew I’d made the right decision. The office was buzzing and there was a sense that people were really enjoying their work and were excited to be there.

The Analytics desk laid the foundation for the success I’ve enjoyed here over the past few years. I was covering the German and Austrian market, which is obviously a hugely important region from a business perspective. 

It was also a great way to develop my German, which is my third language after Russian and English. The more communication you have with clients, the more financial vocabulary you pick up which is essential terminology for building relationships and selling effectively into your market. 

Since moving into Sales I’ve also had the opportunity to work in the Russia team and to travel extensively throughout Russia and the CIS region. I’ve also spent time in New York where I worked as a Team Leader in the sales division, which obviously meant switching back to English.  

Bloomberg is definitely a great place to be for anyone with ambition and with a natural desire to be the best at what they do. The managers and team leaders are very good at seeing when our graduates and junior colleagues have reached their comfort zone and presenting them with a new role or challenge that will help them progress to the next stage in their career. 

Being able to push yourself and develop new skills is so important. As an organisation Bloomberg is constantly innovating and developing new products to meet the needs of its clients. If you can combine this desire to learn with the ability to speak another language then you’re well placed to be at the forefront the changes taking place.