Associate blog: Sabina on the upReach Banking & Finance Springboard launch

The upReach team this week¬†introduced its Banking and Finance Springboard, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to this week’s launch event.

The Springboard is a set of activities which helps students from less-privileged backgrounds learn more about Banking and Finance, while building confidence and the technical skills crucial in making competitive applications.

The launch event began with a masterclass from John Craven, the CEO of upReach and previously Head of Structured Products & Capital Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he led an informative session explaining the structure of an investment bank and an overview of global markets. Through the interactive session I was able to learn the difference between various asset classes and divisions, and understand the factors that affect currency, bond and stock prices. During the session there were many opportunities to ask questions and take notes.

Associate Fatima Benkhaled talks about her experiences

Overall I learnt a lot about how sharp movements in a share price can often be explained by unexpected news such as a profit warning, a takeover bid or geopolitical issues. The masterclass was a great way to introduce the Springboard and provide enough information to motivate further research into banking before embarking on upReach’s new career course.

Following the masterclass we all had the opportunity to visit the Bank of America Merrill Lynch offices in London. The night consisted of two inspiring talks from Kay Hope, a Director in the Research team, and a fellow upReach Associate, Fatima Benkhaled, who spoke about the positive influence of upReach and the support, and confidence they provide.

Following these speeches there was the opportunity to talk to fellow Associates, Programme Coordinators from the upReach team, tech consultants from JMAN Group (upReach’s technology partners who built the Springboard), and Bank of America Merrill Lynch employees, many of whom are mentors of upReach Associates.The evening was enjoyable and provided the occasion to network and celebrate the next initiative that upReach are taking with the Springboards in order to help students, like myself, achieve their career goals.

For more information on our Springboards and other developments, email

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