May 18, 2016, by NUBS Postgraduate Careers
London Calling! Finance and Careers hit the big city
After an early start, 38 NUBS MSc students from MSc Finance and Investment (and other courses), plus three careers staff, piled onto a bus to London.
First stop was Thomson Reuters’ stunning offices in Canary Wharf. Here we learned all about their history, their ground-breaking EIKON system, and admired some stunning examples of photo journalism lining the walls. We also heard about the graduate careers – if you’re interested you can find out more here.
Moving swiftly on, with no time for dithering, we piled back onto the bus to make our way into the heart of the City of London. Whilst passing through we also got to admire various sights including the Tower of London, the Gherkin, and some of the small streets as we made a slightly scenic route to Bloomberg (blame sat nav and a bus too big to fit down some of the ancient side streets).
Once at Bloomberg – with a strict ‘no phones’ policy (hence no photos), we divided into two groups; each had a tour of the facilities and a demonstration session of the Bloomberg terminals. Most students were familiar with the terminals, so this was a chance to learn about some of the more complex (formulae which went over my head) and ‘fun’ functions (did you know Bloomberg complies its own internal ‘TripAdvisor-style’ reviews of locations, restaurants, etc? Or that it has its own Rich List?). The tour took us round the entire office, admiring fish on each floor (chosen for their ‘calming’ influence), the lack of walls (all walls are glass as ‘transparency’ is one of the core Bloomberg values) and discovering artwork: Michael Bloomberg is one of the world’s most generous patrons of the arts, and has opened a number of free galleries. The most impressive installation we saw, a piece called NEST, hangs in the atrium of the building and hosts 888 spheres that light up in response to the number of people logged in to the computer network at any one time. We reconvened as a group to find out more about the Bloomberg terminals, and spent some time exploring the ‘People’ database – an amazing resource for finding and contacting alumni and individuals at target companies worldwide: think LinkedIn but finance only and with more data on individuals. Our final stop at Bloomberg was their ‘pantry’, where we were allowed to help ourselves to snacks – think fruit, nuts and seeds, sweets, crisps, tea, coffee, hot chocolate – you name it! All part of their company aim of employee satisfaction.
Full of sweets and goodies, we made our way to the Bank of England – a short stroll along Moorgate. We made it just in time before it closed, and spent some time exploring the museum: learning about the history of the Bank and of monetary policy in the UK, got to see coins and banknotes from the past 200 years. We also tried to lift a bar of gold – at 28lb (13 kg in new money) it was heavy! – and managed to crack the code of the safe (and win a prize!)
Unfortunately the weather was not our friend, so while waiting for the bus to collect us the heavens opened. Luckily(!) we were able to dive into the Royal Exchange Building – a nice place to while away a half hour, admiring the stunning architecture and (window) shopping. Then back on board the bus for a well-earned rest, and to digest the information and reading material we had all gained.
Such a busy day only allowed us to scratch the surface of what financial careers in London have to offer, but an enjoyable and informative day was had by all.