Alumni Programme

Exclusively Sponsored by Goldman Sachs

The upReach Alumni Programme is for former upReach Associates, who automatically qualify when they graduate. Whether you have just started your first graduate job, or did so many years ago and are seeking to progress, the Alumni programme is designed with you in mind.

The programme consists of three core elements:

Giving Back - Many Alumni who have benefited from upReach’s free support choose to give back to upReach. This might be as a mentor, by connecting us to potential partners, or financially - so that we can work with even more students in the years ahead. Further details of how to get involved are shown below.

Events - We host 3 to 4 exclusive events each year, designed to help you progress in your career, develop skills and expand networks.

Networking - With hundreds of former upReach Associates who graduated in the last five years, there are great networking opportunities. Discover more in the Alumni newsletter.

UPDATE - upReach and Goldman Sachs are collaborating in 2020 to deliver an enhanced programme of professional development support for Alumni of upReach programmes. Alumni will be invited to three exclusive professional development and networking events, with industry leading speakers. The partnership will also fund enhancements to the upReach online platform, to help Alumni progress in the workplace. 

Read more in the press release, by clicking here

Giving Back - How to get involved

upReach are keen to get Alumni involved in the work we do, there are lots of ways that you can stay involved with upReach that will help us as a charity to expand the support we offer to students with similar backgrounds to yourself:
  • Donate to upReach. A regular contribution helps upReach fund additional students on our programmes. In 2018/19, donations from individuals including Alumni helped us support more than 160 extra Associates. Those who donate regularly to upReach by monthly direct debit are entitled to join upReach as a MemberSupporter or Sponsor, details of which are provided here.
  • Champion our work within your own organisation. An email connecting us to your recruitment, CSR or diversity teams can lead to a partnership which helps upReach support dozens more students! See Jamal’s story to see how easy it can be.
  • Fundraise for upReach by taking part in a sporting challenge or by hosting an event. This is fun, helps raise awareness of the work we do at upReach and contributes to the vital funds we need to keep delivering our services. Contact olivia.reeve@upreach.org.uk for details of how we can support you with this.
  • Provide us with an update on your current status to help us build valuable case studies or get in touch if you’d like to write a blog post about your experience. This will help us reflect the work we do to potential funders and build a written community of Alumni stories. Please email alumni@upreach.org.uk for more information.
  • Become a mentor to an upReach Associate if you work for one of our partner employers. If your employer doesn’t currently work with upReach, why don’t you connect us to your CSR department to set up a mentoring programme?
  • Sign up to volunteer. and share your knowledge, skills and experience. We’ll get in touch when volunteering opportunities arise or you can contact liberty.ohagan@upreach.org.uk to volunteer at a Careers Academy.
  • Join our LinkedIn group upReach Connect to benefit from the network of Associates, Alumni and professionals who are engaged with upReach on LinkedIn in discussing professional development and social mobility challenges.

Recent Events

Communicating with Stakeholders in a Global Environment – 26th February 2020

The first Alumni event of 2020 launched upReach and Goldman Sachs' new partnership to support the career progression of upReach Alumni. The event was a great opportunity for Alumni, the upReach team and Goldman Sachs staff to reconnect and network over drinks and canapés. Alumni heard from Heather Mulahasani, Partner at Goldman Sachs, who shared her insights into developing key professional skills and how she communicates with stakeholders within her role. Clare Hix, BBC Producer and Director, spoke about the making of the 2019 documentary ‘How to Break into the Elite’ and the insights she gained into the social mobility landscape.

Getting On and Getting Ahead in the Workplace – 25th June 2019

At the Summer 2019 event, upReach Alumni heard from Isabella Luba, Head of Early Careers at Merkle, who shared valuable tips and advice for graduates in the first few years of their careers. A panel including former upReach Associates and the Merkle team talked about early career success and how to tackle some of the challenges new starters often face. The evening was a wonderful opportunity to see the Alumni network grow as our 2019 graduates joined the community.

Vicissitudes of Leadership and Life – 29th November 2018

The final Alumni event of 2018 was held at North Highland, where upReach Alumni heard guest speaker, David Lancefield, give an open and insightful talk on 'The Vicissitudes of Leadership and Life'. David is a senior partner at PwC, has worked in 20 countries over the last 22 years, and lead more than 600 projects.

Personal Brand – 2nd May 2018

upReach’s 2018 Alumni programme got off to a flying start when over 40 Alumni and friends gathered at Allen & Overy for an exciting evening of networking and professional skill development. Trang Chu, professional coach and former Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, delivered an inspiring seminar, sharing her valuable insights and vast experience to guide Alumni on how to create an authentic personal brand during their early careers.

Graduation Dinner and Associate Awards – 3rd September 2019

The inaugural Graduation Dinner and Associate Awards hosted by Allen & Overy in their client dining rooms was attended by 67 recent graduates and 40 professionals from across the City. Attendees heard inspirational speeches by Jennifer Chamandi Boghossian, Luxury Footwear Designer, ex-Banker & member of upReach’s Development Advisory Board and Saeed Atcha MBE DL, Charity CEO, Deputy Lieutenant & Social Mobility Commissioner. We celebrated the success of those who have been on upReach's programmes, and had the great opportunity to reconnect with other Associates and expand their professional networks.

Insights from the Charity and Social Mobility Sector – 18th February 2019

upReach held their first Alumni event of 2019 on the 23rd floor of the Aviva offices in London. Over canapés and spectacular views, Alumni heard from Jessica Oghenegweke, Social Mobility Commissioner, who shared her inspiring story about how she defied great odds to achieve her dreams of working in the music industry, before becoming an anti-bullying campaigner and being invited to join the Social Mobility Commission.

Behavioural Insights – 16th August 2018

upReach’s Summer 2018 Alumni event was hosted by Close Brothers - it was wonderful catching up with Alumni over drinks and canapés with great views of the City of London. Alumni heard a thought-provoking talk on using behavioural science to help with setting and achieving goals given by Christine Kelly and Lucy Makinson from the The Behavioural Insights Team, and gained some fascinating insights into their studies within social mobility.

Alumni Blogs

Jamal Ud-din - Giving Back - Charity of the Year

upReach Alumnus, Jamal Ud-Din works as an Analyst at North Highland, a management consultancy. He was instrumental in upReach being selected as North Highlands Charity of the Year, in 2018.

Read Jamal's inspiring blog here

Chirag Vadhia - Giving Back as a Mentor

After benefitting from having an upReach mentor during his time as an Associate, Chirag reflects on how it helped him in his career at HSBC and why he’s now decided to repay the favour to a current Associate by becoming a mentor.

Read Chirag's blog here