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Sophie’s Story: Returning to Investments with BlackRock (part of Diversity Project Cross-Company programme)

Sophie Story

Prior to taking a career break I was an Investment Advisor in private banking. I took a 5-year break to pursue a deep passion of mine: nutrition. I returned to university to complete a degree in Human Nutrition and subsequently built my own nutrition consultancy. I thoroughly enjoyed the steep learning curve, not only in the new field but also in terms of what it takes to start a business.

Once the business was up and running and a routine set in, I knew it was time to go back into finance. I feel very lucky that I stumbled across Women Returners early in my job search. I immediately signed up to one of the events, where I met a whole host of individuals who were in the same situation as me, trying to get back into the corporate world after a break. Before that I didn’t know anybody in a similar position, and found it difficult to bounce ideas off others, find motivation and encouragement. Women Returners offered all of that, plus the possibility of well-structured returnships across a number of reputable companies. The application process was extremely well organised and straight forward. I feel particularly fortunate having been invited to a few interviews. In the end, I joined BlackRock’s Returner Programme and I couldn’t be happier.

I have since been made a full-time employee, and I absolutely love what I do. The returnship, and in particular Hazel’s coaching and my cohort’s support helped me immensely along the way. It’s fairly easy to fall into the imposter syndrome trap when you had the privilege of taking a career break. However, the open and honest discussions within my cohort helped get rid of any doubt.

My advice to anyone thinking of returning to work is to go for it, and give it the best shot you have. Everyone has doubts, insecurities and setbacks but returning to work is one of those things you’ll probably regret not trying than regret trying.