Features - Alum of the Month
March 2010 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I went to CSU, Chico in California and received by Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I remember this like it was yesterday. I was in my school library (CSU, Chico) studying for my finals and I decided to take a quick break and go on the school career site to look for jobs since I didn't have one lined up and was graduating in 3 days. As most college graduates, I wasn't sure what my next step was; did I want to go to school and get my MBA right away? Did I want to get a job for a couple years then go back to school? I had no clue. While I was scrolling the site I saw a job title that said, "Internship in London". I quickly clicked on the link and saw that not only did they offer internships in London but they also offered a MBA program that also took you to Bangkok. I knew right away that this was the next step that I had to take. I was going to get an MBA and travel the world. I called my family and friends that day to tell them about my next move and applied for the program the next day.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked at M&G Investments as a Configuration Manager in IT. As a Business Marketing graduate I had no idea what the position entailed. I learned quickly and worked hard and by week 3 I was coding and sending off software upgrades and technical fixes from the development environments into live environments. It was totally outside my comfort zone but, I loved every minute of it and today, I still use these skills as a Marketing Manager.
Not only did I love my job, but I also loved the company. After graduating from the MBA program, it took me years to find a job that even came close to M&G Investments. They take great care of their employees and yes, even their interns. We were treated like regular employees and were invited to all the fun activities including Christmas parties, softball games, karaoke nights, sailing, etc. They even threw me a birthday party with champagne, sparklers and all. I'm still in touch with most of my former colleagues including my old manager. I even went on a Costa Rica trip 2 years ago with my friend/old co-worker at M&G.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
It would definitely have to be our softballs nights. As most of you know, softball is an American sport and not many British people know how to play and to be fair I'm not the best at playing it either. I don't think I have ever had so much fun playing a sport. I think its because everyone was equally as bad but still had that competitiveness in them. People would run into each other on the bases (I took someone out on 1st base on our very first game), people dropped balls left and right and when they went to throw it to their teammate, would totally miss. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard. After the game, we would continue the fun at our local pub and would play games such as "guess the person on your forehead".
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
I loved them all that I can't pick just one. I loved being in a new country and adjusting to their culture and their traits. I loved walking to work everyday in the city, going to pubs after work, going to their markets (which are 100 times better), seeing all the old buildings, drinking warm beer and seeing it snow for the first time. We also had 20 vacation days from work so I was also able to travel in Europe and I ended up going to 15 different countries while working full time and going to school. It was an experience of a lifetime. And the year went by way too fast.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. I was in a new country, had a new job, had no friends and had no idea what to expect. Embrace this experience because you will never get another opportunity like this again. This was hands down the best year of my life.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I wouldn't change a thing - I loved every moment of it
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I went to Bangkok for 5 months and completed the MBA program
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I have been working in Marketing for over 5 years now. I started working at Intuit which is known for their TurboTax and QuickBooks products as a contractor, and after my contract ended I decided to get a few years of agency experience on my side. I learned a ton and had the opportunity to work with clients such as Oakley, RayBan, Warner Bros. (Godzilla, Tammy, Lego Movie, 300), mophie, 844 cars.com, and Skullcandy. Today, I am back at Intuit as a full time employee working as a Marketing Manager. In my role I create, develop and deploy emails and direct mail efforts.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Professionally, I may go back to school in a couple years to get my Doctorate so I will be able to teach. Personally, I will be getting married next year in Tuscany (yes, ITALY) and couldn't be more excited. I actually fell in love with my fiancé because he has the very same travel bug as I do and we thought this would be the perfect way to tie the knot. I even have 2 of my good friends from the London Program who will be in my bridal party!
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
I'm ambitious, optimistic and driven
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I was really sick my senior year of High School with a rare kidney disease and was told I most likely wouldn't be able to finish college due to my illness.
Can we put your e-mail address at the bottom of the article in case those reading it want to contact you?
Of course and here is my blog which is about my year and half abroad - https://ashleyroberson.wordpress.com/2010/04/