Features - Alum of the Month
March 2011 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I studied Advertising/Marketing Management at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. I completed my specialization in international relations after graduation in 2010 when I moved to Cape Town to study and work at a PR/Marketing firm.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I participated in 3 study abroad programs at MSU (Greece/Turkey-2008, Backpacking in Europe- 2009, South Africa- 2010) where I developed a passion for cross-cultural learning experiences and integration. I was looking for the next opportunity to study/work while traveling the world.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I was very fortunate to be placed with IPC Information Systems as a Project Coordinator in the Operations Department. I managed certain steps in project life cycles for implementation of our product/services into trading floors in the UK. I was the first in my role and tripled team members within 6 months.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
On my last day at IPC, I was sitting at my desk to finish up my last few emails and I hadn't noticed the crowd that had gathered across my floor. Everyone had come to wish me a grand farewell and luck on my journey to Southeast Asia to finish my MBA. I could hardly choke out my leaving speech as I looked around and felt so grateful for having the opportunity to work with such wonderful people with who I share many great memories with. These are the people that made my Mountbatten experience remarkable.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
From Christmas parties at French restaurants and wine bars to sharing a Thanksgiving meal of pie and mash in the East end of London with colleagues. My year was filled with many highlights involving my colleagues but to top the list with a grand finale, I hosted my leaving do at Loop Bar in the West end to celebrate a successful year with disco dancing and 70's music!
From attending the Royal Wedding and standing at the Buckingham Palace gates to see the Royal couple kiss not once, but twice, celebrating the New Year Hogmanay style in Edinburgh while learning traditional Scottish music and dance, drinking mulled wine and cracking roasted chestnuts in the Christmas markets of Paris and Berlin, hiking Ben Nevis and Snowdon, to traveling all over the UK/Europe with my Mountbatten family! My year in London was a highlight on it's own!
My highlight in Southeast Asia was traveling to Burma to gather research for my dissertation and learn more about the Burmese people. The US suspended sanctions on Burma during my study in Thailand which created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the country in it's beginning stages for widespread development.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
"The man lives twice who lives the first life well." — Robert Herrick.
Make friends, take action, show up, start anywhere, keep busy, get out more, ask for help, shake more hands, give more hugs, and don't stop! Always make the most of your opportunities, of your potential, and live life to the fullest but make sure to take the time to look around and realize how lucky you are to be you!
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I would not change a single thing. I traveled, I gained valuable work experience, I completed my MBA degree with learned knowledge and skills in international business, I immersed myself into many new cultures, I made friendships that will last a lifetime, and memories I will cherish forever. I made the most of my experience and I hope any future Mountbatten will to!
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
After submitting my dissertation in Bangkok, I left for a month of travels around Southeast Asia with a fellow Mountbatten. We visited the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We climbed in the Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. And we sailed the floating mountains in Halong Bay, Vietnam. Shortly after returning to the US, I accepted a job at London & Partners as a Territory Associate in San Francisco, CA.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
London & Partners is the official promotional agency for the Mayor of London and business development into London. We consult with globally ambitious companies who are looking to expand to European or UK markets and help develop their project plan along the way. I research and learn of new and innovative companies everyday and also about the many sectors in both the US and UK markets. Additionally, I'm maintaining my connection to London, the city I fell in love with as a Mountbatten.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
My long term goal is to utilize my international business academic and career experiences to give back to my native Michigan by driving international business development into Lansing/Detroit, the once booming economy in the early-mid 20th century with the development of the American Automobile Industry.