Features - Alum of the Month
August 2010 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I completed two Bachelors, one in Art History and a second in Studio Arts Painting, with two concentrations in Economics and Business, Race and Culture.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
With the knowledge that I wanted to pursue an MBA overseas, what really caught my eye with the Mountbatten programme was the opportunity to study in both the UK and Thailand, while also being able to engage in an excellent work placement.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
UBS Investment bank is a large global firm providing a suite of services in investment banking, equities, fixed income and foreign exchange. Encompassing many different facets of the banking business allows for a seemingly endless array of work opportunities.
My specific role was as a Business Analyst on the Data Services Team in Specialized Investment Products. My work developed quite quickly and before I could even take a second breath, I had become the point of contact for a number of different systems and processes, mainly in exchange traded derivatives. It was fast paced, tedious at times, but I learned an immense amount and had an invaluable experience.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I had volunteered to stay a bit later one evening, and I was sitting at my desk at about 7:30 PM when I got a phone call that a trade was failing, a rather large trade. I was at that moment, the only one on my team in the London office, and with the temperature seeming to rise to about 150 degrees, managed to push the trade down in our systems and successfully aided my colleague in not failing, what would prove to be, a very large win for his team. It was a small piece of my year, but very memorable.
Ben with Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill (Director General) Dec 11
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Hiking Ben Nevis in early Spring with fellow Mountbattens. By the time we got to the top it looked more like mid winter in the Arctic, but we live to tell the tale.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
I learned that in order to best perform in a new job, especially one where there is a steep learning curve, actively listening is the most important skill you can bring to the table.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change my internship, but I would have changed my attitude for exploring other parts of the bank. For example, setting meetings up to learn about the various functions that affected my role, there were many, and I would have liked to have learned more. Mountbattens work with excellent organizations, so I encourage those currently working, take advantage and really get the most out of your positions!
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
After completing my time in Bangkok, and taking a few days to breathe, I wasted nearly no time before venturing off on a few months of travel adventure, visiting nearly every country in south east Asia. I’m a beach boy at heart and there were some excellent beaches to be had!
After returning home in the Spring I began work at the Victor D’Amico Institute of Art, a subsidiary of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
On my way back from a surf trip in Baja Sur, Mexico I realized a life goal of the past four years; I received my invitation to an assignment in Cameroon to work as an Economic Development Advisor with the Peace Corps. I will be given a consortium of micro finance institutions, credit unions and NGOs to work with and will aid in furthering their development goals.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
The next two years will be characterized by my new job in Cameroon, speaking French and learning an entirely new culture. I have some ideas for what lies beyond that, but for the moment I am enjoying my new present.