Features - Alum of the Month
New York Programme
January 94 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Prior to embarking on the MIP, I had undertaken an Administrative and Secretarial Diploma Course and worked as a Personal Assistant with Columbia Tri-Star Television and then Harper Collins Publishers in Sydney Australia.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
The Mountbatten Programme was being offered for the very first time in Australia, and I was one of the first five Australians to undertake the Programme. I saw the Programme advertised in a Weekly publication that was distributed for free in Sydney called 9to5. There was literally a small advertisement in the Classified section that asked if you were a Secretary and would like to work in New York. The question for me was an absolute yes, so I applied and was one of the first five Australian girls to do the Programme. Without seeing the ad, I had no awareness that a programme like Mountbatten even existed. My sisters (who are twins) ended up going the following year in the September 1995 intake.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked with a boutique company called the International Center for Management Education (ICME). ICME happened to share office space with Paul Beresford-Hill and the Mountbatten team at the time, and I came on board with ICME as an Administrative Assistant. As the name suggests, ICME specialised in Management Education and what, at that time, was referred to as Outplacement (it was the era of downsizing and a lot of middle management in corporate America were being made redundant, requiring the services of ICME to prepare and look for the next opportunity). ICME was a small, privately owned business, and I was lucky enough to get on very well with the business owners, Clint and Lucille Glenn. Lucille Glenn really believed in giving me every possible opportunity to learn and grow and was my very first Mentor. I was incredibly fortunate to have had a placement at such a business where, due to the size, I had direct access to the business leaders. Very sadly, Lucille has now passed, but really made an imprint on my life journey.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
New York City was a world away from Sydney, Australia (Sydney in 1991 almost felt like a country town in comparison to the size, population and buzz of NYC). I immediately felt the energy and vibrancy of being in New York, there was a magic about the city that just made me stand taller and dream bigger.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
The offices I worked in were on Park Avenue, New York – every day walking to work was an experience! One of the memories that has become a particular “stand-out” (for obvious reasons) is spending an evening at the Top of the World Trade Center where I really felt that I was on Top of the World.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Embracing the experience in its entirety is my best takeaway, there will be challenging moments and amazing ones (that’s life!). Look for what you can learn and experience during the year to make the most of your time there, and importantly, what you can contribute to the experience. Try to say yes to everything.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
It has been 23 years since I experienced New York as a MIP intern. Upon returning to Sydney, I worked for a short time in Sydney and then had the opportunity to work in London with a PR Company, followed by returning to New York, to work for ICME again. I returned to Sydney after my last stint in New York and have worked for various Corporates, mainly in Executive Assistant roles.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
Over the last two years, I have established, with a business partner, a Distribution business called T Star Global (TSG). TSG distributes selected products predominantly in Malaysia (long story behind why Malaysia!) and we are hoping to grow and continue to expand our distribution throughout the broader ASEAN countries.
Are you still in contact with any alumni or work colleagues you met during your Mountbatten year?
Social Media (LinkedIn) has allowed me to reconnect with some of those with whom I had lost contact.