From education to employment

Industry leaders break through traditional barriers to financial services education

trading course

ZISHI, the preferred training and education partner providing learning and development solutions for financial services businesses, and Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) (NYSE:ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, are pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Financial Trading qualification, delivered by ZISHI at Sheffield Business School.

Providing full sponsorship for 18 students from multi-disciplinary academic and socio-economic backgrounds, the five-week programme – concluding Friday, 15 September – was aimed at breaking down traditional barriers to financial services by bringing together academia and industry.

The significance of this programme and making financial education accessible to all is demonstrated by the support and active involvement of one of the world’s largest exchanges.

Head of ICE Education, Neil Scurlock said:

“ICE has been involved in financial education programs for over a decade and we are proud to support this initiative to help broaden the students’ financial industry understanding, and in turn, nurture the next generation of market participants. The students were engaged, curious and pro-active, and we hope this course has served to promote an interest in finance and the opportunities available within the sector.”

“With the support of our partners, we are not just unlocking the financial markets, we are unlocking potential,” said Chris Jenkins, CEO, The ZISHI Group, on the import of the programme to the relatively closed finance sector.

“This joint initiative with ICE is a resounding testament to our collective belief that opportunity, when shared equitably, can engender prosperity for all. Together, we are building bridges where barriers once stood, paving the way for a more inclusive, empowered future within the sector.”

The highly immersive course is designed with purpose, stretching the students to become professionally competent and ‘work-ready’, building industry required skills and knowledge and, importantly, behaviours.

We have seen notable growth in adaptability, discipline and time management skills, along with the growth of bonds and friendships across the group. Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University’s Financial Services Lead, Damion Taylor, describes the programme as “Nothing short of amazing… In partnership with ZISHI, SBS have become leaders in financial markets trading education… We take every opportunity to drive widening market participation, which is why delivering this fully-funded programme for students with a range of backgrounds and life stories was so important.”

Highlighting both the trading and personal development outcomes achieved through his participation, Sheffield Hallam, BSc Economics student, Aamir Murtaza:

“This newfound knowledge has not only boosted my confidence but has also significantly improved my trading outcomes. But this journey is about more than just analysis and strategies. It’s a profound personal development voyage. Under pressure, I’ve learned to adapt swiftly, make real time decisions, and grapple with complex concepts. It’s a journey that’s pushed my boundaries, instilling in me a newfound appreciation for risk and money management.”

Speaking of her penultimate week on the programme, Sheffield Hallam, BA Hons Languages with International Business student, Georgiana Petrescu, recognises how its immersive format has fuelled her learning.

She commented:

“This entire week was dedicated fully to trading, and it was both mentally and physically demanding. One of the key takeaways for me was the significance of technical analysis. Practising extensively improved my understanding and boosted my confidence in making informed trading decisions… I’ve come to appreciate the value of patience and meticulous market analysis before entering any trade.”

Not only was the programme revered by participants, it has also received similar acclaim from its educators too.

Coskun Kilic, Lecturer said:

“In this class, I’ve witnessed students who embody an extraordinary work ethic, an unwavering positive attitude, and a real desire to apply their knowledge”

Accrediting the role of this initiative in addressing the financial sector’s barriers to entry and their valued contribution, VTCT Deputy CEO, Ashley Barnes, notes:

“we take immense pride witnessing our Grants & Bursaries scheme being utilised in such a dynamic and innovative way, engaging and inspiring underrepresented learners and giving them access to a career in financial trading”.

Addressing social mobility issues and supporting equality, diversity, and inclusion within the finance industry, this is a proven – and invaluable – CSR initiative with significant and direct impact.

ZISHI’s Global Head of Professional Trader Qualifications, Robert Russell, not only thanks programme partners for their valued support but, “more importantly, the attending students who have gone above and beyond. It’s been a pleasure to witness their unquestionable engagement, commitment and work ethic from the first minute to the last. Approaching every day with unwavering enthusiasm and drive both on an individual basis and group collective,” and continues “we, along with partners, are already planning 2024’s summer programme and have aspirations to extend beyond current capacity”.

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