Diversity, drive and practical industry knowledge are among the reasons why recruiters from top firms work so hard to attract City’s highly employable graduates, writes Jessica Holland.
Jordan Fleary is EMEA Graduate Recruiter for Bloomberg’s Analytics and Sales department. He looks for around 150 new graduates, recent graduates and ‘second-jobbers’ each year, in addition to 75 summer interns and 60 participants in an ‘insight week’ each spring and summer. He singles out Cass students, in particular, as being “very professional”, adding that “they seem to have a very clear idea of what they want to do”.
It’s not just Cass that Jordan recruits from, though; he also hires people from City’s science, language, humanities and law courses. Lots of them, in fact. He says
I’m not aware of another university that has as many alumni working here. We’ve got 140 people who went to City currently working at Bloomberg, including 68 from Cass. That’s across London, Europe and the world: Munich, Milan, Zurich, Rome, Berlin, Istanbul, New York, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Hong Kong. So, obviously it’s a very good talent pool for us.
There are many reasons why this number is so high, Jordan says. The fact that jobs at Bloomberg are spread over the globe is one factor: “We look for multilingual talent for a lot of our roles,” he says, “so we obviously want to work with universities that will have a high proportion of students that have those additional languages, which City is able to provide.”
Part of the reason for all this multilingual ability is that City and its constituent Schools are so diverse. City’s student population is drawn from more than 160 countries, which creates a lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Similarly, more than 25 per cent of staff were born in another country, with homelands ranging over 50 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, India, Greece, Germany, Brazil, China, Spain, Italy and Serbia.
This is very much a positive at Bloomberg, Jordan says. He explains company founder Michael Bloomberg’s philosophy of employing people from all backgrounds and walks of life, in order to attract the very best recruits. Jordan says:
We really see diversity as a business imperative. Rather than a ‘nice to have’, it is a ‘need to have’. And City is a really diverse university.
The range of societies at City, including language-speaking societies, as well as finance and business-related societies, is another boon. “That helps us to be able to target the right types of students,” he says, “who are not necessarily studying for a finance degree but might have a passion for finance, for example.”
There’s also the fact that Cass has a training room for Bloomberg terminals, which shows the real-time price of stocks, shares, commodities and foreign exchange, as well as showing historical data for those products. “Obviously,” Jordan says, “recruiting people who have already had a chance to use the product is always a good idea for us. And I’m always encouraging the Cass undergraduates to get themselves over to Bunhill Row to see that training room and get stuck into the functionality.”
The location doesn’t hurt either, he adds. “It’s just around the corner, which certainly helps. Cass couldn’t be much closer.” Both City and its business school, Cass, are on Bloomberg’s concise list of targets for graduate recruitment, occupying two places on a shortlist of higher education institutions across Europe with which Bloomberg maintains such close links. It means that the company has a presence at both City and Cass careers fairs; works with the societies the institution has on campus; and maintains close relationships with City and Cass’s respective careers services, participating in events such as employability skills workshops, alumni panels and networking events. There are only about 20 universities across Europe with which Bloomberg maintains such close links, Jordan says.
“The careers services are really good,” he adds.
They’re engaged with their student development and it seems like they’ve got really good relationships with employers as well. When you have a strong careers service, you find that the students trust it, use it and engage with it, which isn’t always the case.
City and Cass’s careers services, including a special Career and Professional Development team working with Cass MSc and MBA students, organise opportunities throughout the year. City undergraduates have the opportunity to take part in another powerful scheme, exclusive to City, called the Industry Insights Programme: a series of year-round, off-campus events with companies from several different sectors. The students will visit the company’s premises for a day or half day to learn about the business, the industry and the different roles and opportunities there so they can make more informed career choices.
Bloomberg is one of the many companies that have participated in this scheme and Jordan Fleary says that the event that he took part in involved about 30 City students, who toured the offices, listened to a presentation about the history of the company and met professionals working there. “The idea is for them to be able to picture themselves at Bloomberg and also to decide which department might be the best fit for them,” he says. “It was one of the highlights of my year in terms of having such an engaged group of students. They were really enthusiastic, really professional.”
By Jessica Holland, a freelance journalist, copywriter and editor, City alumna. Jessica has written for The Guardian, Vice and Al-Jazeera.