Launching Year 2 of the iQ Thrive Academy

iQ Thrive Academy

Over the last year, the iQ Thrive Academy has been an initiative our team has been really proud of. With the help of upReach, we’ve been able to provide 40 student associates with support towards their future careers; we’ve hosted seven associates in work experience placements and internships, matched 16 of our iQ mentors to mentees and provided accommodation bursaries to ten students. The first year of the programme has been a huge success and it’s even been awarded Social Initiative of the Year at the Property Week Student Accommodation Awards thanks to its impact.  

Yesterday, we launched Year 2 of the iQ Thrive Academy and welcomed our associates and mentors to a networking day at iQ Manchester Gardens. We kicked off the day with some SpeedFriending icebreakers before hearing all about our programmes impact and development. We heard about: 

  • How we’re going even bigger with the programme this year 

  • What makes the iQ Thrive Academy so special 

  • How upReach really makes an impact on associates, from upReach alumni Oliwia 

  • How to get the most out of mentorship, from our panel of iQ mentors and mentees 

  • The impact of our internship and work experience opportunities from our associates who joined us in the summer 

students talking

What is the iQ Thrive Academy?  

The iQ Thrive Academy, in partnership with upReach, is our way of supporting social mobility for students. It’s a 3-year programme designed around giving students the skills and experience they need for the best possible start to their careers. The programme includes mentoring, networking and internship opportunities plus access to iQ spaces for the right place to study.  

What happened in Year 1 of the iQ Thrive Academy? 

In Year 1 of the programme, we: 

  • Welcomed 40 associates from across the country 

  • Hosted 7 associated in work experience and internship placements 

  • Matched 16 iQers to upReach mentees  

  • Provided accommodation bursaries to 10 students 

Why is the iQ Thrive Academy important? 

Everyone deserves the same shot at life and their career. The iQ Thrive Academy is a way for us to give direct support to students from less advantaged backgrounds towards their future careers.  

The iQ Thrive Academy provides our associates with networking, mentorship and internship opportunities that they might not otherwise be afforded. It opens them up to learning about new industries, gives them a way to perfect their CVS and sharpen their interview skills, and discover what they want to do with their careers.  

upReach alumni Oliwia joined us on the day and summed up the importance of programmes like the iQ Thrive Academy perfectly: “before upReach, I felt like everything was a guessing game. UpReach helped to ground me. It helped pin down exactly where I was going wrong and what I needed to do to get that one ‘yes’...upReach has been the saving grace.” 

iq thrive academy panel

What is new for the Thrive Academy in Year 2?  

We’ve got some great news. As upReach Nick Bent revealed on the day, “we’re delighted that the programme is already doubling in size after a successful first year”. 

In Year 2 of the programme, we are going to: 

  • Welcome another 40 associates, totalling to 80 on the programme 

  • Increase our work experience and internship placements 

  • Increase our number of iQ mentors to make a bigger impact with our shared expertise 

  • Double our bursaries to provide free accommodation to 20 students 

By increasing the benefits that we’ve got on offer with the programme, we’re confident that we can make a significantly bigger impact in this coming year.  


Find out more about how we're supporting students here



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