Features - Alum of the Month
August 2007 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I majored in finance and international business at Carroll College in Helena Montana. I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence Italy for a year.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
My study abroad experience established my desire to travel and work outside the US after school. I came across information about Mountbatten while researching work abroad opportunities during my senior year. Looking back, I recall having initial concerns that the program was actually a scam. It just seemed too good to be true! However, meeting and interviewing with the Mountbatten team in NY certainly helped affirm my conviction that this was the best opportunity for me at the time. Turns out it was.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I was placed at Deutsche Bank - Investment Bank. I was part of the operational control room which still sounds much more exotic than it really was. We partnered closely with front office, middle office, finance, operations and technology teams, analyzing processes across the organization to identify improvements and reduce ongoing risks.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
During a point in my internship, Deutsche Bank was implementing a cost-optimization strategy. As a side, one thing my internship introduced me to was the wonderful world of corporate finance lingo: cost-optimization strategy = cost-cutting. Anyways, an aspect of the strategy was a near-sourcing initiative moving non-essential headcount and processes from London to their Birmingham office. Our team was involved in this initiative and my manager assigned me with responsibility on a number of items with the project. This was the first time during my internship that I was given significant responsibilities and the experience was rewarding. It was also the first time that I was able to travel for work even though it was only to Birmingham.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
I met my beautiful wife during the year, that was pretty memorable. She was one of a collection of people who I met that I continue to remain in touch with. This speaks volumes about the experience we all had. I was also able to travel to some memorable places during the year, but the one trip I remember most was a random Saturday trip to Cambridge where we just spent the day enjoying the sun and riding bikes around town.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Try your best to take on tasks that are uncomfortable; those will always offer the most opportunity for personal & professional growth.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
A rotational program within DB providing insights into all the differing types of groups and jobs across the organization would have been beneficial. It would also have been interesting to better understand all of the different jobs, companies, industries that my fellow interns were working in.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
After London, I moved to Baltimore, MD with a fellow Mountbatten alum and lived on his mom’s couch. I unfortunately wasn’t able to maintain an appropriate “emergency fund” while in London, so that couch saved me. We were both trying to land jobs in New York and unfortunately the fall of 2008 proved to be a difficult time to find a finance job in NYC. I eventually landed at UBS Wealth Management as an analyst for the head of their Products & Services group. This group was responsible for overseeing all of the different products and services that a UBS financial advisor can use when working with a client. After this role, I transitioned into a securities-backed lending internal sales role.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am currently at Blackstone working in their private wealth group. Our team is responsible for raising capital from individual investors across all Blackstone products by partnering with financial advisors and private bankers globally. I have held a number of different roles within the group both in New York and London. I am currently responsible for overseeing our internal sales desk in New York.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
My wife and I just had a baby girl in October. Our future plans are entirely centered around making sure we are the best parents possible for her.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Friendly, thoughtful, diligent.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Prior to Mountbatten, my only work experience was at my parent’s Dairy Queen. Mountbatten was actually the catalyst that allowed me to shift from fry-cook to a career in finance.
Feel free to connect with me via linked-in: John Tierney