Features - Alum of the Month
Emma Arnold (nee Paget)
New York Program
September 2008 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
St Andrews University, Theology MA.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
It was a suggestion from a friend who had previously been on the programme and recommended it highly. Seemed like a great alternative to starting the life of work in London - which was the 'usual route' - and I was planning to train as a lawyer, so one goal was to try and get an internship that gave me an opportunity to try out the legal profession. The other was to gain some international work experience and of course to live in New York!
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
My role was an intern at TWG (Now Wigdor Law LLP), an employment litigation firm based near Union Square. The intern role was a mixture of office admin and paralegal work and was very hands on. We were involved in supporting the lawyers from initial meetings with prospective clients, right through to preparing trial documents. It was a fascinating insight into the area of law.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Oddly, it was realising that I didn't want to be a lawyer! I hugely enjoyed working at TWG, both from a personal point of view and also in starting to understand the law and the legal profession. The people I worked with were lovely. However, a year spent working at a law firm and socialising with the other interns (all working in different professions) gave me the breathing space to really think about what I wanted to do with my life and that was very valuable.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
The New Year's Eve concert in Madison Square Garden! My sister came over to visit and it was an amazing evening.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
The first year after university feels like a steep learning curve, but it is great fun as well. I had done some work experience but working day in and day out in an office is a completely different experience.
One f the key things that I have learnt is the importance of managing expectations - not boxing yourself into a corner by giving a tight deadline, it is much more impressive to give yourself more time and deliver a peice of work early!
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
Slow it all down! You blink and suddenly go from the 'first weekend' of everything to the 'last weekend'. The year disappears so quickly!
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I worked for a social media start up company in London, and through them I won a scholarship to study at IIM Ahmedabad, a leading business school in India. I then moved to India to open their new business there. Whilst in India I met my husband-to-be and caught the entrepreneurial bug, so that was an excellent posting!
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I do a couple of things. I lead recruitment and team performance at Good Source Global, an international market research company that specialises in interviewing hard to reach audiences globally. The company has real expertise in Asia, Middle East and Africa where research is more challenging, but can run projects anywhere in the world. It involves a lot of travel for recruiting new team members, training and coaching people and managing projects and I love it! I am also working on a couple of early stage business ideas with my husband and run our bidding processes at MSK, another start-up, which provides entrepreneurship and job skills training to disadvantaged groups.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Yes - I would love to start a non-profit or social enterprise that addresses gaps in formal education and equips young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for a better life. Good Source already has a very strong socially useful recruitment model and this is something I would like to formalise with training, funding and partnerships.
Checkout the company's website: www.goodsourceglobal.com.