Features - Alum of the Month

Laura Thorburn

Laura Thorburn

April 2017

New York Programme

March 2010 Intake


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I studied Communication, Advertising & Public Relations at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I was looking for a new challenge and a big life change. One of my best friends was on Mountbatten Programme and raved about the opportunities and the experience, so I contacted the programme, applied and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Describe your placement.
My placement was a year of working like a crazy person and discovering NYC and the US. I loved every single minute. After a month or so my boss at the time ‘promoted’ me so that I was no longer an intern and took on a lot more responsibility. I worked on the global PR team so I got to travel and take on tough and interesting work. The job kept me on my toes and I learnt a huge amount. Personally, it was a year spent with some of the most amazing people who are still my best friends today.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your training experience during this year?
Running the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in DC for Reuters. Escorting renowned editors, celebrities and political stars through the red carpet and into our party was unbelievable. Having dinner with the President was a remarkable experience!

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
There are too many to choose from! Independence Day in Cape May, skiing in Vermont, the most ridiculous weekend upstate for Thanksgiving. Every weekend was a memorable one!

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your year.
Say yes to everything, professionally and socially.

If you could change anything about your year, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a single thing, it was one of the best years of my life.

What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I was hired full time by my boss at the time, Jolie Hunt, who ran communications at Thomson Reuters. I worked for them in London for two years as a PR Specialist who looked after EMEA for the Reuters news agency.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am the Director and Head of the Media Practice at Hunt & Gather, a three-year old marketing and communications agency. I’m based out of New York and moved back to the States three years ago to start the agency with Jolie Hunt and Erin Kurtz (they were my bosses at Thomson Reuters during Mountbatten).


Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I would love to live and work in a few other countries before I settle back in the UK. Once the time is right for me I plan to live in the countryside and have lots of dogs!

What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Loyal, passionate & determined

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That one of my favourite ever jobs was the year I spent working in a children’s nursery in Edinburgh. The babies/tweenies/toddlers made me so happy! People are always very surprised by this as I don’t have much time or patience for babies these days.

I also volunteer at a dog shelter once a week, where I walk and bath and cuddle all the adorable dogs.


laura@hunt-gather.com