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Carla: Returning via the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Returning Talent Programme

With the launch of the 2016 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Returning Talent Programme, we caught up with Carla who told us all about her experience of the 2015 programme. 
I recently
returned to work after a long career break, to the Global Banking and Markets COO
group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This was made possible through my
participation in their 2015 Returning Talent Programme.
several years of staying at home to raise my children, I began to think about
returning to the workforce last year.  During
my break, I had stayed active with a couple of board positions and a small accessories
business, which I founded and ran. However, as my children grew up, I was eager
to return to a full-time corporate role.  Previously, I had worked as an Institutional
Equity Salesperson and I wanted to find a position that was a good fit for my
skills and experience.  However, when
thinking about my return and job search, I was unclear about other areas in
financial services to target and unsure how to market myself as a
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Returning Talent Programme helped me to address
these uncertainties. The conference and follow-on coaching workshops not only provided
me with advice and information about the job search process but also gave me
the tools to consider what types of role and organisational workplace would suit
me best. This reinforced my decision to target a clearly-defined role at a large
established organisation. I also benefitted from the talks from senior female
leaders, which offered exposure to different areas of the bank and a means of
developing networking contacts.  Just as
importantly, taking part in the Programme was also a great way to meet and connect
with other returners. This created a back-to-work support system for me, which I
had found difficult to do within my regular social group and school network.
advice to other women wanting to return to a City role is:
  • Be resilient
    and open-minded to new and different opportunities
  • Take
    the time to understand what type of work will best suit you
  • Commit
    time to your job search – putting aside a couple of days a week was essential
    in keeping me focused and active
  • Focus
    on returnships and other returner programmes, like the Returning Talent
    Programme. These are an ideal platform to restart your career with a high level
    of support and resources from the organisation.

I am
delighted to be back at work in a full-time role in financial services. My
family has adjusted well to my new schedule and I would definitely encourage
others considering a return to take the step.

If you would like to apply for the 2016 programme, follow this link. The closing date for applications is Friday 18th December, 2015.
Posted by Katerina