Features - Alum of the Month

Donal Kerr

Donal Kerr

February 2015

New York Programme

May 2006 Intake


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Law at University College Dublin.
Msc in Digital Media, Dublin City University.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I read an article about MB in the Guardian Education supplement, it seemed like a great program and just the sort of challenge that I needed.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked as a Business Analyst for Citi Private Bank, assisting my then boss to overhaul a piece of legacy banking software and implement the roll out of a new suite of systems that would help the bank better serve its North American and Latin American customers.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Completing a project for the Bank's Art Advisory Group which involved bringing together a group of disparate teams from across the company, from front office private bankers to back office systems administrators.
This allowed me to see an interesting part of the front office which advised private clients on art as an investment class. I also had the chance to collaborate closely with a wide variety of people, which I was very challenging but a great learning experience.

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
I participated in the SCUSA (Student Conference on United States Affairs) conference at West Point Military Academy on the Hudson valley. I met international students from the US and all over the world as well as young officers in training (as well as sharing their quarters!).
We discussed international politics and globalisation and had debates and discussions on foreign policy and military intervention. It was an eye opening experience and I made some great friends who I am in touch with to this day.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
I really pushed myself to get involved in as many activities as possible. I think this helped me to become adaptable and flexible while also being a great way to make new friends.
I matured a lot during my year in New York and the year helped me put many things in focus.

If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
It would have been great to have had the chance to avail of some of the Bank's in-house training and to get exposure to other parts of the business.

What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I got a job at Citi in Dublin, running a management office for a newly appointed MD in the Funds Administration Business. I subsequently did some further study (passed the New York Bar Exam) and took on other roles in the funds business at BNY Mellon and Royal Bank of Canada.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
After several years in Financial Services I decided to change careers.
I had some business ideas to explore, which took me around the world, to Brazil and China, but ultimately these did not work out. I made some great contacts in that time however which lead to a role in a start up and then my current role as a policy analyst at Twitter's European HQ in Dublin.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Future plans - In a few years I'd like to join a start-up and do an MBA (hopefully at the same time)

Connect with Donal on Twitter - @donaldinho