Features - Alum of the Month
August 2007 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I studied Psychology and Business at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI
What made you apply for the Mountbatten Programme?
I had spent a semester in London during my junior year of college. During my senior year as I was contemplating job prospects, I could either stay with Aflac in Michigan, find something back in Chicago, or possibly work for a big name company in London. The career aspect of the Mountbatten Programme was at first secondary to the simple fact I got to live in London, but grew to be much more relevant to me while I was on the Programme and began to appreciate what a great opportunity it was.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked for Deutsche Bank in a variety of roles, most memorably as a part of a cross-functional business continuity management team.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I’ll never forget my first day. I had a meeting at 10:00 with the leadership of the Business Continuity Management team and while I don’t remember the exact words she used, she said, “Ok guys, it’s time to face facts. There was a car bomb plot that was thwarted in Piccadilly Circus a few weeks ago, and we are seriously overdue for an attack. We need to make sure we’ve got our plans in place in case something happens”. I sat there thinking, what have I gotten myself into!? Thankfully nothing happened that year apart from the usual Tube and train strikes, but it definitely inspired me to learn about business continuity which is something I had never considered before!
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
A Four day Easy Cruise through the Greek isles, a beach holiday in Gran Canaria, Christmas markets in Frankfurt, Canyoning in Switzerland, the list could go on! But my favourite memory of the year was actually here in England. A few of my friends and I rented bicycles, bought a few maps and planned a bike route from London to Brighton. It was just the 7 of us on our own little adventure. The day in itself was a good challenge and great fun, but what made it so memorable was that I was tracking a group who were riding push bikes from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. that summer to raise money for a charity to build fresh water wells in Africa. This trip to Brighton helped kick off what would be a total of 2,758 miles I would ride in support of the team that summer.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
For the first 6 months of the programme, I was very much in a stabilization mode, as coming to terms with being away from friends and family was very difficult at that time in my life. My grandpa died on my second day of work just after I arrived and I missed 6 of my friends’ weddings that year (although I did make it back for two weddings, one of which I was back in Chicago for less than 48 hours!). But I learned two very important life lessons that year. The first was that my friends and family didn’t want me to sit around being homesick and wishing I was somewhere else, namely with them. If I was going to be away from my friends and family, then I had better make the most of it. Secondly, once I had “stabilized” or acclimatized to my new situation and culture, I started getting involved in some really cool things. What I learned through the experience, is how important it is, and how healthy it is, to be involved in something bigger than yourself, even if it means sacrificing some of your own comforts and interests.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I had a position in the back office of European Securities Operations. A holistic view of the entire transaction process from introduction to decision to customer services would have been beneficial after being in my role for a month or so. Having a focused time with interns working in another area of the bank would have been beneficial for all of us to see how we were working together, as it was difficult to get a bird's eye view working in my department. As I was new to financial services, more time spent looking at the bank as a whole would have been beneficial.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
While on the programme, I interviewed for an English company based out of Surrey that offered Christian Holidays throughout Europe. After the programme I worked for this company in the French Alps as an assistant manager at a ski chalet for a season. It’s here that I met my wife. We dated for 10 days before I left, and then long distance for another 3 years while I worked for Young Life in Chicago. We married in August 2012, and I moved back to England.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I now work as a Credit Analyst for Aldermore Asset Finance in Reading, England.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I would love to figure out a way to be in two places at once! But as I’m not very good at engineering or time travel, right now I would settle for having a career that allowed my wife and I to travel frequently to see friends and family.