Features - Alum of the Month
New York Programme
January 2000 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I studied Economics & International Business at Nottingham Trent University.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I learned about the programme through research at the university library as I was exploring what do after my degree was completed. I had already secured a position at an asset management firm but knew I wanted the opportunity to work in New York. The mission of the programme aligned well with what I wanted to do at that stage of my life.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
My sponsor company, Centerseat, was a fast growing (and fast spending) start-up company, which was both a media production company and digital platform for media content. Part of the company’s idea was to stream videos online for people to watch coupled with advertisements and an e-commerce platform. Very similar to what YouTube is today. The idea was great, the only problem was speed of the internet at the time. It simply took too long to watch a video etc. This was a start-up in all aspects from growing too fast and spending too much, with a disorganized management which resulted in it being a place filled with lots of young people fun to work with but not necessarily a long-run business success (it did go bankrupt a few years later). Then again this was the dot-com era pets.com, boo.com, Razorfish, as well as success as Amazon.
My role at the company was a financial analyst and I reported directly to the CFO and supported all members of senior management doing everything from a host of financial analysis (projects to budgets) to building a digital media asset database (that eventually was sold) to make sure that there was fresh coffee in the conference room for meetings.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
It is hard to pick a specific moment. Learning the basics to code (a skill I truly value today) and building the digital asset and media content library. Organizing and assigning a value to all the media that was produced and generated. This asset was sold to a larger corporation. In the end, the most memorable moment is that it is where I met my wife.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
First and foremost, the many good friends that I made among the fellow interns to work colleagues. These are individuals I am still good friends with today and we are all over the world. What a great thing. There were so many social events from late nights in the city, sporting events (go Rangers, Mets), shows, and travelling around the U.S. during the holidays. But what I remember the most are those small moments or opportunities like going to the Holland Tunnel Diner (no longer exist) at 3 am for a bacon-egg sandwich with some fellow interns and sharing stories, walking around midtown and getting invited to be a TV-show, or running along the Hudson River through Jersey City / Hoboken which back then did not at all look like what it looks like today. Many fun nights, opportunities, and events simply happened by saying yes to an invite.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Be willing to dig in, take on every task head on no matter what it is, make sure you are resource and asset to the company. No opportunity will present itself without hard work.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I had secured a job for a Swiss / Scandinavian asset management firm and moved back to Scandinavia. Though having met my wife in New York, I only lasted about 12 months in Europe before I moved back to New York. Then I started working as a risk management analyst and have been in the asset management industry ever since.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am currently the CIO and Co-President of a private investment firm. I consider myself very fortunate in that I truly enjoy going to work everyday. My day-to-day entails everything from evaluating potential investment opportunities in Asia to managing staff. No one day is the same.
What are your future plans that you would like to realise (career & social)?
Career wise I like where I am. It always challenges me and there is always something new to learn. Though I am exploring (thinking of) a few options from moving to the mountains and do something completely different from what I am doing now. Considering going into business with my sister who is a chef to starting to work for a not-for-profit organization that has a mission which aligns itself with my world views, or going back to school to learn something new. I am planning to be more involved in the start-ups where I have an interest. Life is to short not to enjoy what you do.
Socially, I am currently planning for a trip to the Rocky Mountains and then off to Southern Europe in the fall to visit our family farm. The goal is to get more days in the mountains and to spend more time with my friends and family.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I am a passionate beekeeper, my job first job was laying asphalt, and I run ultra-marathons.
Can we put your e-mail address at the bottom of the article in case those reading it want to contact you?
Marcus is happy to be contacted via Mountbatten Connect, and is happy to help where he can.