Features - Alum of the Month
New York Program
May 2008 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Aston University – BSc (Hons) Business Studies with Public Policy & Management.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I had a friend who was on the programme and he recommended it to me. I wasn’t happy with my job at the time and kept flitting from job to job without a clear career plan, so I decided to apply and see what happened. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and prove to myself that I could live and work in another country.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I interned at Citi Private Bank (CPB) which serves high net worth clients (minimum net worth of US $10 million). They provide investing, banking, lending and wealth advice to the world’s most successful individuals and families. CPB’s parent company, Citi, is a leading global financial services company that serves over 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries.
My role was within the Americas Technology Project Office. I was involved with tracking all Americas technology projects, highlighting those that were under/over budget, managing our project management tool (PlanView) which included testing the new version and training all our project managers. I also had to produce meaningful reports, presentations and dashboards for senior management, as well as helping to plan the financial budget for the following year.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
After a bumpy start, I started to really enjoy my job. I realised I had to hit the ground running and this forced me to learn quickly.
The main highlight for me came at the end of the year. I had worked really hard over the course of the internship, but was very aware of the financial climate during that time (April 2009). It was a bad time to try to get a job within the finance industry and I wasn’t very hopeful. My managers fought really hard to find me a position and that showed me how valuable I was to them.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Seeing Jay-Z and Beyonce partying in the same club as me. Very surreal!
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
Work as hard as you can, take on more responsibility and make a name for yourself. This really is a unique opportunity to get your foot in the door by making a good impression. Be as proactive as possible and don’t underestimate the power of networking. I had, and still have, an excellent relationship with my managers who without a doubt helped me with my current position. The power a senior manager has within a financial institution is incredible.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I wouldn’t - I worked hard and played hard too. I think that’s the only way to make the most out of this amazing experience.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
After completing my internship I went to Cancun, Mexico for some much needed R&R after what seemed like a whirlwind year in NYC. Then I returned home to Loughborough, UK and spent time with family and friends for about 4 months before starting my new job in Singapore.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am still working for Citi Private Bank, but now I’m within the Asia-Pacific Technology Project Office, based in Singapore. I’m doing a similar role to that in NYC but on a larger scale. I now liaise more with the business and I’m performing more of a Business Analyst role. I’ve been here for about 14 months and have learned a lot during my time here. Asia is an excellent place to be if you are working in Finance at the moment, there are so many opportunities. I also love being able to travel across the Asia-Pacific region as often as possible. So far I’ve been to: Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Bali, Australia and Indonesia. There are still so many places to see, my list is endless!
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I think I will eventually return to the UK, hopefully still with Citi, but I’m not sure. However, if the opportunity arose to go back to NYC, I don’t think I would hesitate.
Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
One year is an extremely short time to spend in the greatest city in the world. Work hard, play hard and sleep when you get old.