Features - Alum of the Month
New York Programme
March 2012 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I studied MSc International Business and Finance at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
In 2010 I came across the Mountbatten Program advert on the university career portal and I wondered to myself “could this be real? You get more than you pay for through the stipends, free accommodation and invaluable work and social experience?” Well, it was in 2011 when I was rounding up my masters program and was contemplating what to do next that I decided to do either of two things, get a job in the financial industry or apply for the Mountbatten Program. Getting a job proved difficult so I went ahead and applied for the Mountbatten Program, and it turned out to be the best decision.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked with the Operations Team at UBS Investment Bank, New Jersey, as an Assets Servicing Analyst. My main responsibility was the front to back processing of DWAC (Depository/Withdrawal at Custodian) which is the electronic transfer of shares for stockholders due to buying and selling of stock through their stockbrokers. Other roles entailed the processing of corporate actions, ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund) transaction fees and client account reconciliation.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I remember one time there was a major break in the transfer system that lasted for a week, but with my assistance the manager was able to fix it and I was commended for my effort. I enjoyed fixing breaks in the system when they occur, because it was challenging.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
I had numerous memorable moments, so I have to mention a few.
It was fun to have family around. My sister, Mabel, joined the Mountbatten Program 6 months after me. She applied for the MBA program and this gave us the opportunity to create some fun memories.
I was able to attend one of my best friend’s wedding in Chicago, if I wasn’t in the United States for the Mountbatten program, I doubt I would have had the opportunity to attend. I was so happy that I was able to share that special day with her.
It was fun to visit some major cities like, Texas, Las Vegas and California as I love traveling. At the Universal Studios, Burbank, California, I met and danced with Ellen Degeneres when I attended her show taping, as a fan, it was a dream come true.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Enjoy the moment while it last to the fullest, you only live once, so make the most of it, don’t let anything ruin your day, that would be a day lost, the year runs by fast, trust me.
Network - New York is synonymous to networking, which is the key to move ahead the career ladder.
Finally, don’t neglect family, try to keep in touch, so that they don’t worry too much and make friendships that would last a life time. i am still very much in contact with the good friends I made, because of the bond that was created during our internship together.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I would work on improving my networking skills, because I came to realise that those who strategically networked, were either retained or transferred to a branch in another country by their sponsor companies.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I went back to the United Kingdom and in about 3 months I got a contract job in Equiniti Group, London - an assets management and investment company - as a Corporate Actions Analyst. The skills I acquired working at UBS Investment Bank during the Mountbatten program proved invaluable to the execution of my role at Equiniti. I worked there for about 8 months but my contract came to an end. Then I returned to my home country, Nigeria.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am currently working as a Senior Project Cashier in Kakatar CE Ltd, Nigeria - a construction and engineering company. We are responsible for the major infrastructural projects in the Federal Capital, Abuja and the rest of the country.
My role involves processing payments, managing the corporate account, preparing account reconciliations, making journal entries, managing departmental budgets, forecasting, processing LPOs (Local Purchase Order) for the procurement of goods and services from suppliers, vendors and contractors.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
My future plan is to be a successful entrepreneur, like my role models, such as, Aliko Dangote, Barbara Corcoran, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg. So apart from working a 9 – 5 job, I also engage in my entrepreneurial pursuits, hence, I founded Jackplays Events Ltd, where we organize events for corporate bodies and family fun fairs. We are currently planning our next family fun fair in November this year.
I also provide freelance services as a photographer, website and graphic designer. I am currently in the process of establishing a company called Webizza Global Concepts Ltd, which would cater to the online marketing, app development, website and graphic design needs of online start-up companies, as there is a significant market increase in online businesses in Nigeria.
Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
I would be glad to get the follower-ship and support from my fellow alumni and current interns on the below blogs that I started:
Entrepremotivated.com - the aim of the blog is to motivate budding entrepreneurs like myself. We all know that it is hard to stay focused and hyped about a business idea, especially if you are not getting the needed support and encouragement. That is why I post inspirational videos and articles on the blog that keeps me going, hoping that it would help someone else. Please, feel free to use the forum on the blog that can be used to discuss and share ideas and challenges, as well as, send your articles/videos to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on the blog.
Tastensnap.com is a food blog for all foodies. On the blog I post restaurant reviews and food recipes. There is a promo coming up on the Instagram account @tastensnap, only followers are eligible and winners could win a free meal in their favourite restaurant, worldwide. Also, feel free to contribute to the blog by sending food reviews, recipes videos and articles to email@example.com to be featured.
Please join the Facebook pages (details on the blogs), like, share and comment on videos and articles.
I am willing to collaborate with anyone who can offer tips or services that would improve my existing entrepreneurial ideas or start a new one that would be mutually beneficial.