Bloomberg Wants Bruins!

Bloomberg street view

Last week the UCLA Career Center was invited to visit Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York City, NY for their annual University Day.  UCLA is one of only 24 schools nationwide that Bloomberg invited to this exclusive event to attract more top technical talent.

What do you think of when you hear “Bloomberg“?  For most people, Michael Bloomberg (founder and former NYC mayor), financial information, and media are the first things that may spring to mind.  However, in terms of college recruiting, Bloomberg wants you to think of them as a tech company like Google, Facebook, or Apple.  Their primary hiring need is for Software Developers.

Bloomberg university list

Table assignments by university. You’ll see UCLA spent the day at a table with our “rivals” USC and Cal.

Work Environment

It just wouldn’t be a tech company without a lot of free food for employees.  They serve breakfast every morning, soup at 11am (for which the employees rush to the 6th floor en masse – it’s quite a sight to see), candy every afternoon, dinner at 8pm for those who are working late, and ice cream on Fridays.  And it’s not just a lot of food, it’s GOOD food.

There are no solid interior walls except for the user experience lab, where a team of researchers, designers, and engineers observe clients utilizing their products in order to gain insights and make improvements.  Not even the CEO and executives have office walls, nor does the “green room” where guests wait for their “on air” time in the TV and radio studios on the 5th floor.

We weren’t allowed to take photos of much of the interior of the building, but Business Insider did in 2012 when they spotlighted Bloomberg LP as one of the 15 coolest offices in tech.

Bloomberg horseshoe

The building is shaped like a horseshoe.  This symbol of good luck and fortune pervades Bloomberg’s culture.

Why NYC (aka Silicon Alley)?

New York is a rapidly expanding tech hub with over 3,000 tech companies located there.  Well established companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Etsy and Yelp have NY locations, as do thousands of emerging startups.

Check out Made in NY for more info about the tech industry in NY and visit this Jobs Map to see where there are job openings at NY tech companies.

Bloomberg 29 view

View from the 29th floor of Bloomberg’s NYC office. That’s Central Park on the left. Not sure about you, but I could get used to this…

Opportunities for College Students and Graduates

Software Engineer Interns at Bloomberg get to work on real projects that will actually be used.  Their training is dynamic and hands-on and they have an opportunity to work alongside a cohort of fellow interns, as well as an assigned mentor.

In addition to the quality of the professional experience they gain, interns also get to enjoy a number of fun social perks including picnics, tech talks, game nights, contests, community service, and free museum admission throughout NYC for the summer.

Bloomberg group photo

UCLA Career Center staff, Dr. Bill Goodin, Bloomberg recruiters, and Bloomberg’s current UCLA interns at University Day 2015.

Full-time entry-level hires with a CS background go through a 12-week training bootcamp in which they work with various teams in order to determine their best fit.  Full-time entry-level hires with some relevant technical training/knowledge, but without a CS degree, go through a more intensive 16-week training class and come out the other end as software engineers!

When can you meet Bloomberg at UCLA? UPDATED 10/12/15

Don’t miss your opportunity to meet them in person to express your interest and learn more!  View our full list of Fairs & Events as well as our tips to help you Prepare for Career Fairs.

Mon 10/12: CS Internship Career Fair. 1pm-4pm.

Mon 10/12: UPE Honors Mixer. 5pm-6pm.

Tue 10/13: Computer Science Showcase. 6:30pm-8:30pm.

Wed 10/14: 2015 Engineering & Technical Fair Day 1. 11am-3pm.

Wed 10/28: Tech Talk. 6:30pm.

Wed 10/28: On-campus Interviews

Thu 10/29: On-campus Interviews Day 2

What do Bloomberg’s current UCLA interns have to say?

We were fortunate enough to meet five current summer interns over cupcakes to learn more about their experience at Bloomberg so far (they were in Week 3 of the internship).  They were clearly having a great time and had built up camaraderie with each other – laughing, smiling, and sharing stories.  Watch the following videos to hear two of the interns share some tips and insight with their fellow Bruins about the Bloomberg experience.

Why should UCLA students consider interning at Bloomberg?

How to prepare for an internship at Bloomberg?

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THE GREATEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE LEARNED – Part 2

95475-12042514041853 Last year, with choosing a major being one of my primary headaches, I, unexpectedly, decided to take a computer science course. I heard coding consumes life. I knew projects are often finished through a week of trial and error. My friend’s joke that she woke up at 3 am suddenly with a solution to one homework problems finally occurring to her head indeed intimidated me. Still, with no programming background, I was determined to take up such a challenge.

Although I was overwhelmed by the endless concepts in this new world most of the time, I was totally amazed by how everything works magically. I could still remember the time when I started to get myself familiar with the software development environment on a computer and spent almost an hour in attempting to create my very first project by carefully following the instructions word by word (even though I knew nothing about their meanings) I jotted down even the simplest codes that my professor mentioned in lectures and could not wait to run them on a physical computer after class.

However, as time went by, I became increasingly frustrated. My frustrations not only came from staring at my computer for hours without coming up with even a single line of code or frequently debugging my programs till very late at night. I felt I fell behind most of my peer who were already programming experts or gifted prodigies. Some started at a pretty young age and were already fluent in various programming languages. Others were proud of their experience in working on complicated projects with large teams prestigious companies or even have several original mobile apps to their names. People always say that talent play a large role in this industry. Am I a real late starter? I constantly asked myself whenever I had a hard time understanding a chunk of code while others seem to finish doing it so effortlessly. I attended those engineering career fairs, timid and unsure of myself. Everyone there appeared ready to impress recruiters with their glittering projects or give a perfect 90-second pitch, while I was even too afraid to drop off my resume. Why would they ever consider me? I had only taken one very basic computer science course and had so few accomplishments that I could present to boost myself. Shouldn’t people pursue things that they are good at? Why would I keep stubbornly adventuring in this new world, knowing that I would never be as smart as those brilliant brains?

Sometime I loved to seek answers to questions like “is it too late to learn to code” online. I was so surprised that so many people who also discover their passion in programming feel the same way just as I did. They lacked confidence, doubted their abilities and so they asked the same questions. I was also surprised that so many excellent software developers actually received their formal CS training and get their feet wet in the industry in their late 20s or even 30s. Much later than I did. One day I encountered a quote that I will never forget, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”This is told by one of the software engineers that I admire, who received a Phd in architecture but only started her programming journey at 27. Yes, it is ideal if we can start a thing as early as possible. However, starting late will never be an obstacle, if we are truly passionate about that thing and really want to make a difference.

Inspired by those stories shared by others, I started to redefine the formula that determine a good programmer. It is not all about past experience or age. If you have crazy ideas, if you never allow a problem get the better of you, if you see the world differently, and with at least some knowledge about the basics of programming, there is no reason why you should not be able to become an authority in that area. If you are alive, you can always pursue what you are fascinated with. Maybe I was just too anxious for success. Why not doing it now? I found the seeds (of my true interest) by serendipity. Why not sowing it now? Why not just growing it with 100% drive and determination? So I calmed down, started with basic ideas and easy problems, sought every opportunity to practice, self studied how to develop iOS apps, explored popular interview questions…I also tried to catch up and thus took three major-required math courses last quarter at the same time. Initially, they all said, “That would be impossible… You won’t make it! You can’t have three finals from 8 am to 6 pm on a same day.” However, I ended up with good grades and realized that, nothing stops you when you seriously begin to work hard. This quarter, I suddenly feel the subject is no longer that hard for me! After enough practice, tricky concepts gradually make sense and they all intertwine with each other in such a wonderful way. Also, I was thrilled by and rewarded with so many “Aha” moments that truly demonstrate my progress. So I copied this inspiring quote, neatly, on my notebook; thus, I can see the sentence whenever I open it in my later computer science courses. My tree is now growing, at a amazingly aspiring speed.

Kexin Yu | UCLA Career Center Peer Advisor B.S. Mathematics of Computation (2017)

To Undeclared Students: Your Future Is as Open as Your Mind

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By Kexin Yu, Peer Advisor

Last week, we, as the representatives of Career Center, tabled at Major Blast 2014 and spoke to hundreds of freshmen within 2 hours. They all looked aspiring, but unsettled at the same time. They bombarded us with similar questions. “I don’t know what to do in the future.” “How can I choose a major?” “Does Career Center offer personality assessments?” I smiled to them, whispering in a voice that they could hardly hear, “Don’t worry. I know exactly how you feel. You are just as the old me one year ago.”

I was under great pressure during my freshman year. When my friends already stamped their ambitious, four-year timeline on the wall and were quite determined about their major decision, I was even struggling with my class planner for my very first quarter. I couldn’t start with the right pre-major courses. Also, being undecided seemed to me a negative state of indecision. I felt so timid (and even a little shamed) every time we were asked to introduce our names and majors to other classmates, since I was still unready and unable to determine my goals.

But I tried to calm down. Being undecided can also mean being open-minded. You can investigate new areas before you make up your mind. This is probably the last time you have such freedom to design your own dream studying plan. When you start to work, endless assignments and responsibilities consume you and you have so little time concentrating on your own interest. Sometimes, people who seem to have a clear vision about their future may be just compromising the matter with their parents. So first, I took introductory psychology, which was one of the fields that I was most eager to explore. The course offered me unparalleled insights into a brand new world. I was totally amazed by the wide application of psychology and the exciting research opportunities it has to offer. We read good books authored by patients suffering mental diseases and even got to meet the writers in person at the end of the quarter. However, it also gave me realistic views about an area which I thought I was very enthusiastic about. I then realized, although psychology is a great subject, that’s not what I want to do for a career.

Don’t be discouraged by words like, “You make little money if you do this job”. You will definitely feel uneasy about this later on in your life, since you reject the opportunity to have a try. Also, don’t push yourself so hard in the first year. Taking  GE courses and seminar might also be a smart choice. The film class, architecture history and political science that I took greatly enriched my freshman year at UCLA and led me to get inspired by the ideas and expertise of prominent professors from various cutting-edge areas.

Another advice: being strategic when you enroll in classes. Narrow down your choices by crossing off the ones that fail to appeal you. Choose subjects that not only intrigue you but can also fulfill the requirements of a great many majors. Then you will not fall very behind and graduate in a timely manner just as others. For example, I took Chemistry 20A rather than 14A since the former can apply to more science majors. Starting from scratch will definitely stress you out, especially when your peers are already half the way there! Do more research in the syllabus and contents of the courses that you are likely to choose. Sometimes having the knowledge of what material will be covered help you realize whether or not you are truly interested in this subject. Is this what you really want to spend time exploring and do it for a living?

Also, talk to peers with various majors. I originally thought I would never care about how a computer software actually works and were so prejudiced against programming geeks. And I always believed computer science is an area in which I had no talent. However, it turned out that it was only because I had never tried. A lot of my friends were “tortured” by C++ at that timem and so I also boldly took up this new challenge. To my surprise, I totally fell in love with it. Now, I’m even thinking about take Mathematics of Computation as my major. Moreover, seek answers to your questions from upperclassmen. Get to know what they consider as the most wonderful experience in those upper division courses and learn from their experience.

Remember, everything you learn or spend energy on eventually pays off. Maybe just in an unexpected way. People are frustrated when they begin to do something new because they feel what they’ve already done is just a waste of time. I also took Management 1A, Principles of Accounting, in the spring quarter. Although it seems not related to my curriculum, its philosophy influence me a lot. I become familiar with how a corporation actually runs and how to keep it organized and make best practices. This can apply to all aspects of life and everyone should at least have some knowledge of it. The course also helps me build a broad set of transferrable skills that will provide me not only a meaningful job but also a purposeful life in the future. And which employer would reject a well-rounded applicant?

Try to engage in as many self-discovery activities as possible outside the classroom. Going to Career Center to access our amazing assessment inventories can help you find your way. Also, during the spring break, I joined the UCLA Career PREP program which helps its participants get a glimpse of what a particular industry looks like through a one-day job shadowing experience. Actually, I stayed more than one day but a whole week during my host company, Park & Sylva Law Firm, after I found out that my experience was more than I could have expected. This externship provided me early exposure to professional law world and I could then decide whether or not I still want to enter that field. To get involved in a real working environment gives you more reliable facts about that industry than any TV series version. This unique experience even encouraged me to use what I gained to help other programs at Career Center grow. And that’s how I became a peer advisor for this academic year. (Now it’s only Week 4 and I still have a lot to learn. However, I already feel so lucky and fulfilled being in this position.) Helping others is just helping yourself. I grow so fast when I attempt to address the concerns of others in the best manner.

Although, sometimes my friends frown at my “random” class schedule and always seem confused, “What exactly is your major?” But, see? Isn’t it great sometimes being undecided? I always believe that everything starts with coincidence but ends up with destiny. Things that best match your capabilities and interests will come up to you while you keep wandering and wandering. Also, you should know that your major does not determine your entire career! So don’t freak out!

You should know that you are actually in great company! Studies show that 75% college students change their majors before graduation. Do not figure out all things on your own. Take advantage of resources around you. Make regular academic counseling with your advisors and eventually you will be able to make a concrete, sound choice independently.

So Bruins, take off your anxiety and embrace the chance to explore! Have a nice academic year! 

A glimpse into a career as an Analyst at Medallia: One UCLA sophomore’s peek into the professional world

This is the second installment of our Career PREP blog series.  This past spring break over 45 UCLA students participated in the UCLA Career Center’s Career PREP program, which offers first and second year students the opportunity to participate in a one-day externship in order to explore a career field of their choice.  Here’s one of their stories… 

During the entire trip, we felt the warm welcome from our alumni. While staying with them, I felt we were so close to each other because our wonderful memories about UCLA overlapped so much. We chatted about the popular dining hall Feast, compact residential rooms in Hedrick, various courses and professors. They shared the anecdote that people will clap after someone breaks plates at dining halls—the tradition reserved until my day; I also strongly recommended that they visit the brand-new and super healthy dining hall Bruin Plate.

The most unforgettable part of the day was the field trip to Nordstrom and Apple store. There we were told to perform as real customers—to purchase something and think of the touch points of shoppers at these stores—and then design our own customer survey. Don’t worry about the money—we were provided with $30 to conduct this activity. I bought a bracelet at reduced price.

The method Medallia organized and presented its data is methodologically creative. Instead of extracting a small group of people from the population as a sample and searching into the sample, they first collect a huge amount of data and use Medallia-developed software to sort it out. Medallia helps many well-known companies like Lego and the Four Seasons hotel gather customer feedback and make corresponding analyses. Everyone at the company can browse the data, but presented differently–the frontline staff might only see the data of specific customers they directly interact with; the manager or the CEO might access the general trend of the company. Information being displayed hierarchically is one impressive thing I learned from my externship experience.

Before my arrival at the company, I had been looking forward to having a fuzzy sense of how a company is operated–what is a day of a working adult like. Undoubtedly, this simple wish was perfectly satisfied. Since I haven’t got deeply into my major courses, I didn’t expect that I could completely understand the professional stuff. But in the reality, the seemingly profound professional knowledge was simply conveyed to me and we even performed ourselves as team members and finished our own analysis.

Mengdi Yu

Mengdi Yu
Sophomore
Financial Actuarial Mathematics Major