When it comes to job searching, the worst part can be the guessing game. Oftentimes you’ll come across job descriptions for companies that sound vaguely familiar, but it’s hard to tell from only their website if you’ll align with their mission or fit into their company culture. How do you ever know in advance if you’ll actually like it there?
Here at Hackbright we give our fellowship students the opportunity to explore our partner companies while they are still in the program. It’s a chance to help our women, most of whom are in the midst of a major career change, to further define their interests and what they want from a work environment.
Hackbright’s current cohort, nicknamed TwelfthBright, went on an adventure to Bloomberg’s new San Francisco location to explore the office, learn about their software and projects, and meet the team. After a quick tour of their gorgeous new space in the historic PacBell building (where Winston Churchill famously made the first transatlantic phone call), Hackbright’s twelfth cohort joined Bloomberg’s Zach Haehn to talk about the team he runs in SF – R&D Software Development. Zach has been at Bloomberg for over 13 years and he oversees the entire San Francisco office.
Let me be clear – before I visited their office with the Hackbright fellows, I had no idea that Bloomberg was a financial software and data company. I had only ever heard about Bloomberg news and media. Zach’s quick and informative overview of the Bloomberg Terminal completely changed my perspective of the FinTech industry. He shared interesting examples of the Terminal’s capabilities; the huge volume of data it sees every minute, the impact of weather and storms in certain parts of the world, and even San Francisco’s own port traffic. We glanced out the window facing the SF bay, pointed out a cargo ship, and through the Terminal we were able to locate that ship and pull all its available data.
TwelfthBright was fully engaged in Zach’s talk, and not only because he is super charismatic and funny. They asked thoughtful questions about Bloomberg’s algorithms and organization, finding the San Francisco office culture relatable and open. Zach spoke about how he encourages his team to look beyond the Terminal, ask questions, and discover innovative applications of their existing software. This new location in San Francisco will be doing a lot of hiring, he emphasized.
After Zach finished speaking, the students were treated to a delicious luncheon accompanied by several members of the R&D team. Perhaps it was meant to be more of a formal Q&A, but the entire group – both our students and the Bloomberg team – allowed themselves to relax, get to know each other, and have a good time. They day ended with a high volume of chatter, laughter, and smiles all around. Before we left, they made sure to stop by the huge tank in the lobby which houses two adorable, playful baby stingrays.
Hackbright’s partner companies offer students the powerful opportunity to actually see an office, meet a team, and learn about their projects before applying for a job. These experiences help students determine what it is they are looking for in their next career so that they can make intentional decisions. As a result, they will likely be happier and more confident in their next role. Obviously, it’s a whole lot better than blindly throwing out your resume into the ether, hoping something will stick.
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Want to learn more about Hackbright’s engineering fellowship? Click here!