Not everyone has the same starting point in life — and not everyone has the same access to opportunities. In the UK, the poorest children are already 11 months behind their peers at the start of primary school and by the age of 16, highly-able students from disadvantaged backgrounds are almost twice as likely as similarly talented classmates to drop out of the top third of attainment. Driven by founder Mike Bloomberg’s view that a strong and inclusive education system is good for students, communities and the economy, Bloomberg works with a broad network of education and mentoring non-profit organizations to inspire and invest in young talent from varying socio-economic backgrounds. This includes our partnership with the Sutton Trust, a UK-based educational charity that champions social mobility from birth to the workplace.
In 2020, we pledged over £1 million in a multi-year grant to launch Sutton Trust Online as a UK-based pilot of our CollegePoint initiative. Our partnership, including direct support from Bloomberg engineers, supported the development of a digital platform that guides high potential students from poorer backgrounds through all the information, skills and advice they need to apply to and succeed at university. To date, we have reached close to 31,000 students through the platform, and this figure only continues to grow.
Then, in 2022, we launched the Career Skills Bursary program, which is aimed at boosting students’ employability by providing access to work experience, mentoring sessions and other career development opportunities. 60 students have already benefited from the 12-month program, which includes a bursary of £3,000 and a summer insight week at Bloomberg.
Programs such as these can give young people a stepping stone to success. Indeed, Sutton Trust students are four times more likely than their peers to receive an offer from a leading university, and 93% move from the lowest to the highest socio-economic groups after leaving university.
Below, Sutton Trust alumnus Emily Emiru shares more about her experience interning with Bloomberg’s Buy-side Analytics team.
Emily Emiru Intern, Buy-side Analytics
How did you hear about Sutton Trust?
I attended a summer school program through the Sutton Trust, which I discovered through personal research when looking for educational guidance. I had heard about the Sutton Trust from my peers and knew that I could benefit from their programs.
How was your experience interning at Bloomberg?
I enjoyed the opportunity to gain exposure within the industry and I learned that no two roles are the same. Everyone plays a vital part at Bloomberg, and I felt that my achievements, as well as that of others, are celebrated. My experience allowed me to network with different people from various parts of the business and hone my presentation skills.
Did anything surprise you about the Bloomberg culture?
When I looked around, I saw so many different people from all sorts of backgrounds. There was a culture of openness and I could see it around the office and in how people collaborate. It was very different from other places I have been, and I could tell that Bloomberg truly cares about creating a diverse workplace.
What were your key takeaways from your mentoring experience?
As a black female, it was an added bonus that my mentor was also a black woman and in a senior position. I was grateful to have a role model I could connect with on both a professional and a personal level. Overall, I learned that you should always use your skills and personality to your advantage. Not everyone is the same and that is okay, because it means that every individual will bring something unique to the table. It’s important to know yourself and invest in your personal development.
What is one piece of advice you have for anyone considering a career in the financial industry?
It can be difficult to know what you want to do for a career unless you give yourself the chance to explore the options out there. There are so many different career paths within the financial industry, so it’s important to network and take time to discover where you want to be and thrive.
At Bloomberg, we also encourage employees to help nurture the next generation of talent through various mentoring programs — both long- and short-term, virtual and in-person. These initiatives give employees the opportunity to help young people figure out their career paths, particularly in the areas that Bloomberg knows best — including finance, technology, data and journalism. Last year, we facilitated 38,653 employee mentoring interactions through our Best of Bloomberg volunteering program, supporting thousands of students from underrepresented communities around the world.
Here, Annick Aboya, who is Emily’s mentor at Bloomberg, tells us more about the importance of investing in the next generation.
Annick Aboya Team Leader, France, Sell-side & Insurance
How did you hear about this mentoring opportunity?
Recently, I helped develop an internal mentoring program for the Black Professionals Community at Bloomberg. As part of the project, I connected with the Corporate Philanthropy team, who introduced me to Sutton Trust. The work that Sutton Trust does to advance social mobility is very close to my heart as I was born and raised in Cameroon, where opportunities are limited. I acknowledge that while talent is everywhere, opportunities are not available to everyone.
Do you have any professional role models?
I’m a big advocate of learning from others, and I believe the best gift someone can give you is sharing their story, knowledge and experience. Throughout my career, I’ve had many professional role models — I look up to some for their leadership style and skills, and others for their business vision.
What inspires you to be a mentor?
I’m passionate about meritocracy, equality and fairness, and mentoring is one of many ways to advance society. Bloomberg really invests in talent development and social mobility, and this is brought to life through our employee engagement programs.
What did you gain from these mentoring sessions?
A mentor can definitely learn from a mentee. For instance, I discovered that Emily is an incredibly talented individual who is passionate about advancing her community. The work that she is doing to positively influence the younger generation and those around her really inspired me. Also, mentoring allowed me to sharpen my inclusive leadership skills and better understand what motivates the younger generation.
What is one piece of advice you have for anyone considering mentoring?
Do it intentionally and be authentic, open-minded and purpose-driven. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience!
Interested in hearing more about Bloomberg internships? Find out more here.
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