#66: Xuan Luong

“The journey to change jobs from Bloomberg UK to Bloomberg US”

Xuan Luong - Staff Software Engineer at Honor

After graduating from EPFL, Europe, I received an offer from Bloomberg to work in London. I moved to London in November 2015, and after about a week, I began working.

That year, Bloomberg hired roughly 20 recent graduates and put them through a 12-week training program. The purpose is to become acquainted with the company environment as well as the tools and technology that will be used in the workplace. After 12 weeks of training, new hires will be assigned to a team based on the needs of the team and the preferences of each individual.

At the time, my new graduate group consisted of an EPFL student, an ETH Zurich student, and a few others from continental Europe. The remaining group consists primarily of students studying in England, the majority of whom are Oxbridge students (Oxford or Cambridge). Looking at everyone’s profiles, I can see that they are full of wonderful items, so I’m scared that at the end of 12 weeks of training, I’ll be competing with other individuals to see if I can find the team I want or not. The most terrifying aspect is that if you are dismissed without a team, it will be a nightmare.

Except for getting acclimated to the new software development framework, the training content is not too tough. Working with people with good profiles, I notice that it has become typical for them to attend this or that school, and I no longer worry about it. After 12 weeks of training, I was chosen for a team on the wishlist, which is a satisfactory outcome.


In general, life and work in London are enjoyable and relaxed. After deducting taxes and other expenditures, the revenue from work is not large, but it is sufficient for spending and, on occasion, a few short trips. I had almost given up on doing large tech at the time. I also didn’t know anyone in the huge IT industry in London at the time. My friends are mostly involved in banking and finance. At the time, my most ambitious aim was to do a business trip via Bloomberg HQ in New York.

The business organized an internal coding competition about 6-7 months after I joined Bloomberg. This competition has two rounds. Qualifiers are a 24-hour round in which the top 50, 100, or whatever are chosen to compete in the finals in New York. Anyone who makes it to the top in London receives a free vacation to New York. When I learned about the prize, I hurried into the competition with zeal. The outcome was in the top ten or twenty. There were only two finalists on the commodity engineering team: myself and a senior Chinese friend. I’m having a great time for free and don’t know where to place it all.

Who would have guessed that life was not a dream? The date of the final exam is announced by the organising committee of the newspaper contest once the results of the qualifying round have been known for roughly a week or so. The senior Chinese friend recently returned from a business trip in New York, so the visa is still valid. Because I have a Vietnamese passport, I need to apply for a visa to enter the United States, which is impossible to do with only one week to go. The appointment with the US Ambassador in London to issue a visa has been scheduled for a half-month period.

There were maybe five persons in London at the time who couldn’t travel to the US due to visa issues. The corporation paid by taking them to meals and then administering the finals over the internet. The exam is at 7 p.m. in the United States; around 12 p.m. in London, people eat and go to work. In truth, I just dozed off during the exam. I was sad and angry at the time since I couldn’t travel, but after thinking about it, I decided to stay in England for a few more years and then go wherever I wanted.


Although I was unable to travel to New York to play, the outcomes of that time helped me gain the attention of everyone on the squad. Gradually, I was given more responsibility, and I fulfilled everything successfully.

The skip manager was also aware of his progress and development at the time. Skip manager is based in New York. She visits London every couple months to see the teams and team members. Because I didn’t grasp the value of one-on-one meetings with managers at the time, when I met Skip, we merely talked about random topics rather than actively discussing anything specific. During one of these meetings, the skip manager inquired if I had any professional goals or intentions. I stated that I would like to travel to the United States in the future to work in New York because that is where the company’s headquarters are. At the time, the first thing that sprang to mind was to express it without hesitation. After saying that, I forgot about the hungry words I said to the skip manager. Skip Manager, on the other hand, did not forget.

About half a year later, family members filled out the paperwork for the family to go to the US. I was granted a visa to immigrate to the US. This guarantee was made perhaps 13 or 14 years ago, and no one knows when it will be completed. When I was contacted for a visa interview, I was living happily in London and didn’t believe it was necessary for me to travel to the United States so quickly. I told the direct manager about my family’s background and mentioned that my main concern right now is going to the US with my family. My parents are elderly, therefore I want to be close to them to care for them.

My skip manager had to travel to London about a week after that talk. She drew me into a one-on-one meeting and asked:

  • You indicated you wanted to work in New York someday when we met a few months ago. Do you want to visit America right now?
  • I’d like to go as well, however because my tenure on the team is shorter than 18 months, an internal move is not permitted under company policy. So, I guess I’ll let my parents go to the US a few months ago, and then I’ll relocate when I’m 18 months old.
  • Have you checked to see if your team in the United States is hiring?
  • I looked yesterday and discovered nothing.
  • When you desire it, the position is actually empty. If you wish to visit your relatives in the US at the same time, let me generate a new headcount for the commodities team in New York and send you over.

When I heard the skip manager say that sentence, I was both surprised and happy, so I froze for a while and couldn’t say anything. Less than two weeks after that conversation with the skip manager, I left London for New York, opening a new chapter in America.

Techie Story is a digital magazine about inspiring tech people who have contributed continuously to Science, Technology, and Innovation. Please contact us at team@techiestory.net if you want to contribute your inspiring story.
Techie Story

More Stories

54-hung-nguyen's post thumbnail
34-khang-pham's post thumbnail
62-jenny-p2's post thumbnail
41-dzung-nguyen's post thumbnail
44-chan-le's post thumbnail
24-hoai-pham's post thumbnail