Features - Alum of the Month
Harpreet Kaur Mangat
New York Programme
September 2010 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Law with professional development (LLB) at Brunel University followed by the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I lost my Dad to cancer the year before I signed up. After feeling numb for a long time and not really having any idea what was going on in the world around me, I needed a change and decided the Mountbatten programme was the perfect challenge and hoped it would afford me some new possibilities in terms of my career.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I was placed in the NY office of a law firm called Boundas Skarzynski Walsh & Black LLC (now Skarzynski Black LLC), supporting attorneys specialising in insurance/reinsurance work (including director and officer liability), which included assisting a partner-led team on a complex, high-profile civil litigation matter involving over 100 plaintiffs.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
After spending most of the year working on the civil litigation matter mentioned above, I got to watch the attorneys battle it out in court. American lawyers are hugely entertaining! The judge also allowed the court reporters to tweet updates in real time, which I’d never have thought would have been allowed (and – it’s rare - I’ve never heard of this happening since).
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Ah, this is tough. There are so many moments that I remember and they all came about from just going to new places and meeting people. Some of my closest friends that I have now came from chance encounters. I would never have known these people if it hadn’t been for the internship programme and Mountbatten intern culture of being open and curious about everything and everyone.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
To do well at work: go all in – do the work and ask questions. Try and really understand what is happening and think about what you can bring to the table from your experiences to date to further team/company objectives. Outside of work: meet people, including those outside the Mountbatten bubble, and have fun.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
Wish I’d joined some of the away trips the other interns organised.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
My career to date has been extremely varied. Since coming back from New York, I spent a year at Japan Tobacco International (a tobacco manufacturer), a year at Amazon (the online retailer), five months at Richemont (high end luxury goods manufacturer/retailer – e.g. Cartier, Chloe) and then went back to work for Amazon.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I’m now a qualified lawyer at Amazon. I advise across Amazon UK’s retail and marketplace businesses on regulatory disputes with primary responsibility for managing existing, and creating new, relationships with UK regulators and law enforcement. There hasn’t been a dull moment yet!
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Career-wise, I’m lucky to be where I am and can’t imagine running out of things to learn and challenges to rise to for a while. In the long term, I’d like to return to New York City and practice law there. Social aspirations include more travel and I’m starting that in December with a trip to Hong Kong and Singapore.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I only just learnt how to ride a bike last year... and need a lot more practice.