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Alumni Newsletter

December 2014

In this last newsletter of 2014 we feature "Sexy Socks", a dating agency entrepreneur (who would welcome your application) and what we think is a unique Mountbatten wedding - New York Programme guy and a London Programme girl. There are also quite a number of current jobs on our website, should you be looking for new opportunities; and a list of forthcoming events for early 2015.

Notice: Calling all UK University Alumni from the London and New York programmes, currently living in the US, the British Embassy in Washington wants to connect with you! They are looking to invite you to relevant British Embassy/Consulate events in the areas you are residing. Sign up here.

Lastly, for those of you who have to grapple on a daily basis with a variety of financial terms over the globe, Bishnu Sedai (March 2010 - London) who currently works in the finance industry has set up a page on Facebook called Financial Terms where he posts a word/term everyday on the page with a simple straightforward definition.

Reflections on 30 years and every happiness for 2015

From Dr Paul Beresford-Hill, the Director General: Firstly I must wish everyone a very happy holiday season and particularly thank those who attended our 30th Anniversary Galas in New York and London. They were so very well attended, and the Mountbatten spirit so much in evidence, that they have convinced everyone that we need more alumni events to celebrate the friendships and opportunities that the Mountbatten year has given to all of you. So lets see if we can have an annual or bi-annual event in New York and London.

The development of the Mountbatten Institute, spanning three decades, owes much to those who contributed the time, commitment and ideas that helped shape the Institute. Some, sadly, are no longer with us. Chief among those is the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, whom I had the privilege of meeting several times. It was his work as an internationalist and as a leader committed to young people that inspired the idea of the Institute, and in whose memory we are named. Read full article.

 

Alum of the month

Amy Thomas
August 2005 - London

"I was tasked with organising a team building day for the team. What was great about the experience is my team leader gave me the freedom to come up with a new idea and gave me a budget to manage. I was able to organise a day out volunteering in Tower Hamlets which was a great way to give back to the community and build team relationships. We had an excellent day out as a team, painting a community centre, and it was the start of an annual volunteer event for the team."
Read full story
.

Forthcoming Events

Charity Brunch in Jersey City - Sat 10 Jan 2015
Current Mountbatten trainees at St George's Society have started a new initiative to raise money for charity. Their next event is a brunch in Jersey City. It is to be a mix of Alumni and Trainees. Full details and tickets.

Alumni Reunion in Dublin - Tue 20 Jan 2015
We are holding a drinks reception for all alumni based in and around Dublin. Time and venue TBC.

Networking Reception in London - Thu 29 Jan 2015 - 6:30pm
We will be holding an alumni and current intern networking drinks reception in The City - Venue TBC.

A Unique Alumni Wedding

This is a truly romantic story of a British boy meeting an American girl, who both go on to participate in the Programme (on separate sides of the Atlantic):

Elliot March (January 2007 - New York) describes how he met Felicia Marsh (nee Vidal) (August 2008 - London) on a night out towards the end of his Mountbatten Internship: "When we were dating, I told her all about Mountbatten, and she told me she had been thinking about doing something just like that for herself. She promptly applied and was accepted onto the London programme. After a stint of my own back in New York with my current employer American Express, we got married in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada last summer. Mountbatten friends from both sides of the Atlantic were in attendance!".

We wonder if there are any other marriages between New York and London programme alumni? Please let us know if there are, as this really demonstrates the cross cultural multi benefits of participating in Mountbatten!

Entrepreneurial Alumni

Social Entrepreneur, Dave Hutchison (Mar 2013 - London) recently set up his business, Sexy Socks with an emphasis on giving back to his community in South Africa. Dave sets the scene:

"It was a classic winter's day in Cape Town. Rainy, wet and dreadfully cold. The doorbell rang, and I found a man standing at the gate. He was drenched and shivering. I brought him in, made him some nice food and found him a change of dry clothes. What really struck me, though, was how many thousands of people he represented in South Africa: hungry, cold and without the things that I would consider basic necessities. I began to wonder how a business in South Africa could help. Five months later, on 20 November 2014, my first business went live. Say hello to Sexy Socks! It is a for-profit business with a philanthropic mission at its core. For every pair of Sexy Socks sold, a pair of school socks is given to a child in South Africa's townships. Our mission is to give a pair to every child who can't afford their own. Put simply? Warm toes all round.

"It has always been my dream to start a company, and my time in London last year gave me the space to realise quite how badly I wanted it. I was introduced to the idea of social entrepreneurship and it immediately piqued my interest. I loved the concept of building a business which centred around giving back to society. On my return, while serving my time in a corporate law firm, I decided to start something which is fun, easy to run after work, and that will make a difference. And so I started Sexy Socks. We make funky colourful custom designed bamboo socks. They are made locally in Cape Town, from eco-friendly material (bamboo), and each pair sold warms the toes of a child in need."

"In due course, we plan to take our socks to the global village and use that to warm the toes of the children here at home. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to see when international shipping begins. And cheers to Mountbatten for helping us realise our dreams!"

We would like to wish Dave every success in this philanthropic entrepreneurial venture.

A day in the life of...

Nana Wereko-Brobby (March 2009 - New York) founded Social Concierge, a professional dating agency 3 years ago, holding their biggest party yet for 300 eligibles in Shoreditch. "We graced the black book of Tatler Bystander and used the momentum of the party to embark on a massive marketing push. The birthday marked 10 months of working on this venue full time and taking it from a blog and ad hoc events company to a fully developed offline dating agency. In the last year we have put on over 16 events, organised over 100 one-on-one dates, a tonne of double dates and been featured in Tatler, Evening Standard, the Metro, City AM and lots more. We also have some genuine success stories in relationships, as well as happy clients who are just glad to be back in the dating game and enjoying it."

Nana's day starts early, waking up at 5.30/6am to go through emails, facebook messages, tweets, WhatsApps and texts. "I find clients contact me on all digital platforms, at all times, so I have to make a conscious effort to turn my phone off at night. Unless I have a breakfast meeting, I grab some porridge at 7am and dress quite casually for the day - black jeans, pumps and smart string tops. I often bring a second outfit into the office - something smart and a little frivolous - for post work meetings with clients. They seem to respond better to me when in glammed up matchmaker mode..." Read full story.

Jobs

Although it's the season for office parties and merriment, it doesn't seem to be halting the movement of staff. We currently have a number of available job opportunities on our alumni website, including Research Analyst positions in both London and New York for Cognolink; several opportunities at Zurich and UBS in London; and a Territory Associate position at London & Partners in San Francisco. Check out all the details on the alumni website.

Tax Info

March & August 2013 Intakes - New York Programme: As you know early next year we will be mailing you your W2 form for the 2014 tax year so you can complete and submit your tax forms for 2014. The W2 is a very important document - you can't complete your tax forms without it - so it is crucial that we have the right mailing address for you. Please email us your mailing address so we can check it against the address we have in the system for you.

Jo Harvey: jharvey@mountbatten.org
Vicki McCordall: vmccordall@mountbatten.org
web: http://alumni.mountbatten.org