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Rachel’s Story: Investment Banking to Investment Management


Rachel built a dynamic 12 year career in European credit sales while having her first two children and then took redundancy to become a full time mum during her second maternity leave.  Soon after, her third child was born and the family then moved to Singapore for her husband’s job.  Although Rachel had enjoyed her time as a full time mum, in England, the prevalence of domestic staff in Singapore meant she started to feel a bit bored and looked for a way back to work.

Rachel succeeded in gaining a place on the Goldman Sachs Returnship programme: while she loved the organisation and the programme as a whole, her role, in compliance, didn’t suit her skills and interests.  A colleague suggested that she’d be perfect as a client portfolio manager which did appeal and so she started to search for role like this in Singapore.  Frustratingly, just as Rachel was getting going with her search and making good progress, the family moved back to the UK, but settled outside London.

At this point, Rachel viewed the 90 minute commute to the City as too big a hurdle to contemplate continuing her search.  She was spurred into action a year later after talking to a friend in a similar situation to her who had just been offered a choice of three exciting roles.  Rachel set about talking to everyone she could think of.  Although there were times when she wondered if the endless meetings she was going to were a waste of time, she persevered and was ultimately successful in landing her ideal role at a blue chip company.  She had also applied for numerous jobs online and via headhunters but got nowhere – networking really was the only useful route.

Now back at work, Rachel is overall very happy with her decision to return, although she finds that she is always short of time and has had a lot to learn about the new business and her role.  Her children have adjusted better than her husband!  But even he can see that she is happier working.
Rachel’s advice is:

  • It is all about networking: although it is not normal female behaviour and is a full-time job in itself, the effort will pay off
  • Make time to keep in touch with your network once you are back at work, to give you balance and perspective