Features - Alum of the Month
New York Program
September 2008 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
BA Marketing & Management at Newcastle University.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I love travelling and my friends and I had always joked I'd end up living in New York, so it seemed the perfect opportunity! It also seemed like a good way to test out a career in events management.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked for BritishAmerican Business, a membership organisation promoting British business in the US (like a Chamber of Commerce). I started out as the Office Assistant but got promoted to Events Assistant halfway through the year, so my roles included operating the front desk, managing diaries and general office admin as well as helping to set up and run business and networking events.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Right at the end of the year I somehow found myself with an invitation to the Virgin Atlantic 25th birthday bash, so enjoyed an evening mingling with Richard Branson, Smokey Robinson, lots of other American celebs I didn't know and watching Fatboy Slim DJ!
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
It's hard to pick one! Celebrating July 4th was really good - loads of us went to the park in Hoboken right next to the river to picnic and watch the fireworks. It was brilliant watching the election unfold and seeing Obama win the Presidency. Just before we left New York I also went to All Points West Festival in Liberty State Park, which I loved. Watching Jay-Z and Coldplay as headliners was amazing - one of my defining moments of the year was there watching Coldplay on the last night. My friend and I had lost everyone else, we were covered in mud and then Vida La Vida started - thousands of arms went up in the air and everyone started singing along. I don't know what made it so special but it's one of my favourite memories!
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Everyone says this, but it's true - really make the most of every moment. I got a little too caught up in work at the start of the internship and felt I missed some of the social side, so make sure you get a balance. Also grab on to the American positive/go-getter attitude - I seemed to have a new-found confidence when I got back to the UK which really helped me to get ahead!
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I would have tried to have more of a work/life balance, but really I wouldn't change anything as the entire experience - the highs and the lows - taught me a lot.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I unfortunately had to miss out on my grand plans for travelling across America because I came back to the UK straight after finishing to do an MA in Broadcast Journalism. I then did a LOT of work experience before landing my first job.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I'm back in my hometown of Lincoln, freelancing at the local radio stations. I'm the Early Breakfast presenter on the commercial station, and a Broadcast Assistant at the BBC where I work across a number of shows (researching stories, finding and booking guests, screening calls and putting callers on air, etc) and help to produce BBC Introducing for our region. I also write for a few music websites.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I'd like to focus on presenting - long term I want to get on to a national station - and I'd like to move into TV work. I'd like to carry on travelling, too - if I could combine the two it would be perfect!