Vikram Pappachan

BSc Economics and Economic History, 2012
Analytics, Bloomberg

How did you go about choosing your career?

At university my interest in economics developed into an interest in financial markets, which was my starting point for looking for a career. I applied to a few summer internships at asset management firms, but with no success. I also browsed the LSE Careers website and I saw an advertisement for a week’s work experience at Bloomberg – I applied and got onto it. From there I was offered the summer internship and then a full-time offer for the graduate scheme.

Why did you choose to join Bloomberg?

I chose Bloomberg because of my great experience on the internship. It was the first time I had spent an extended period in a large corporation. I was fully exposed to the brilliant company culture, experienced new challenges every day and did some great things over the ten weeks. I met the CEO, visited the Bank of England and saw the pit at the London Metal Exchange (LME).

What did LSE teach you?

Not much of the knowledge I gained during my degree is directly being applied to my work. However, the skills I gained from LSE are crucial to working effectively. I developed strong analytical skills, learned how to manage my time efficiently and practised my presentation skills.

Has LSE given you special or different skills?

Very few of the people who started work with me were new graduates. Some had just finished a masters, others had a few years of experience working at another firm. My education at LSE allowed me to compete with people with more experience.

What’s your current role and what are you expected to achieve?

I am currently in the Analytics department, with a view to moving into Sales. I help educate our client base (users of Bloomberg terminal). I do this either over the phone, through instant chat or in person. If users need help navigating the product or clarification on how something is calculated I help them. This is a core feature of Bloomberg and allows graduates to learn all about how the system works before moving into sales. I am expected to help a certain amount of clients per day and to provide an exceptional quality of service.

What has been your most significant achievement at work?

Getting through the first few months, which have been an extended period of training including some rigorous exams. I have demonstrated that Bloomberg were right to hire me and can now focus on building a successful career.

What are the best and worst aspects of the job?

Best: I’m always learning something new about the markets or about how players in the market do their job. My role gives me a very broad perspective of what is going on, which is something pretty unique. Worst: Sometimes clients can be pretty difficult to deal with. Traders often need information straight away, and they aren’t happy if it takes longer to solve a problem – speaking to those guys can be pretty tough.

How have you contributed to the success of the organisation?

My role is in the client-facing part of business. I provide excellent service to ensure clients keep our product on their desks. It is a subscription-based product so we have to maintain the relationships we have, and that has been particularly important given the challenging times that the financial industry has been experiencing.

How do you see your career progressing?

I have not fully thought about my long term plans. I am enjoying Bloomberg and I hope to progress into a sales role in the near future.

What makes you good at your job?

The ability to learn quickly. Financial markets can be complicated to understand and something new seems to come up every day, so it is important to take that on board swiftly. Being a good listener also helps; a trader is only going to explain what they want once and having the ability take that on board and infer from it allows me to excel in this job.

What are the top skills that graduates should develop at LSE?

It is essential to be a good communicator. You need to be able to convey your ideas and explain why they are good. It also helps to be proactive – don’t wait for things to come to you. At LSE, get involved in societies – do things that are beyond what is expected.

What is your best piece of advice for LSE students?

Concentrate on your applications and tailor your CV for each job. Having been involved in the recruitment process here at Bloomberg it is pretty obvious which applicants have carefully considered their application forms and those who have just copied and pasted.

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Vikram Pappachan