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Alumni Newsletter

July 2015

Welcome to the our July edition of the alumni newsletter, which has turned out to be quite a foodie issue! From a New Orleans style London pop-up restaurant (see below), to an artisan bakery in Fort Collins, it seems Mountbatten alumni are proving to be a success on the international food scene. Indeed, our Day in Life of article this month features an alumna who recently followed her dreams to retrain as a pastry chef, and now works in a Michelin starred restaurant in San Francisco.

This month we have also celebrated the MBA Completion Ceremony in Bangkok on Saturday 18th July and the St Mary's Graduation Ceremony was held on Monday 20th July. The Institute would like to congratulate all candidates on their successful completion of the programme and details plus photos will be published in our August issue.

It won't be long (next month) before both the London and New York Certificate Programmes come to an end and, with this in mind, if your company does have any suitable job vacancies, please get in touch. We aim to publish a list in next month's newsletter, but don't forget to have a look at our website jobs page now, as there are a number of current job postings that have mainly been given to us by other alumni.

Alumni Pop Up Event

Inspired by her experience on the New York programme, Gemma Taylor (January 2008 - New York) has now opened a New Orleans themed pop-up restaurant in London called Po' Boys. She hopes to get alumni down there to give you a taste of "home". The next event is on Friday 31st July, which is followed by a series of such events throughout August and September. All the information including venue and ticket sales are on their website.

 

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Alum of the month

Vatika Mahajan
March 2013 - London

"I got the opportunity to work with three different teams within Barclays within a time span of 1 year which turned out to be quite an enriching experience for me to see professionals in action and provided me with some glowing references that put me one step ahead of the competition."
Read full story
.

Entrepreneurial Alumni

Benjamin D'Innocenzo (August 2010 MBA - London), a Hobart and William Smith Colleges graduate, is just coming to the end of his time as Business Development Advisor for Peace Corps in Cameroon. During his time there, this multi-talented and extremely dedicated alum has been extremely busy developing and launching TravelTrainer - a fitness mobile app for iOS and Android that helps make staying fit while travelling a breeze. Benjamin explains how he and his team have designed an algorithm that generates unique full body weight workouts at one tap of the screen, taking the effort out of deigning a customized exercise routine. The app keeps track of your progress, allows you to learn more about individual exercises, and guides your workout from start to sweat!

The busy and demanding schedule of a full time Mountbatten trainee requires work at your host institution and lots of time spent studying and writing. This does not leave much time for exercise or planning workouts. The seed for TravelTrainer was planted during my time on Mountbatten, with so many wonderful places to visit in and around London, my workouts occasionally suffered. This was even more emphasized during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Central Africa. Many workout apps either require extra equipment, internet, or are very complex. We worked to simplify our product to be streamlined, easy to use, feature rich and offline; so the app can always be there for you, even when you may be off the beaten track! Read Full Story.

We all wish Benjamin every success with this new venture. Like his facebook page for all updates!


Callie Koch (August 2008 - London), graduate of Colorado State University, is the "owner, operator, head baker and just about everything else of Ingrained Bakery. We make artisan sourdough breads and other baked goods that are sold to restaurants, cafes, grocery stores and at farmers markets. We will very soon be opening a store after having recently re-located to a new site.

I have always loved baking, cooking, and all things food, but my year in London was directly responsible for my passion for sourdough bread. While in London, I researched the artisan bakeries that were there (simply to find the best places to buy bread) and made a habit of going to those bakeries on the weekends. I started catching on to the fact that all the breads I liked the most from those places were sourdough. I decided to start experimenting with baking my own while I was living there. I fell in love with sourdough and bread baking! I brought the sourdough culture that I started in London back to the US when I came home and have kept it going ever since." Read Full Story

A Day in the life of...

Meredith Tan (née Leach) (March 2007 - London) originally from Northern Virginia, attended the University of South Carolina, shortly after which she headed to London with Mountbatten to work at Deutsche Bank for a successful year. Meredith then decided to see more of the States and moved west to San Francisco where she was able to land a job with salesforce.com. Throughout this time, she always had a great interest in pastry arts and baking professionals, so after six years in SF and many more years thinking about it, she quit her job and went to pastry school. Now, she is currently cooking up desserts at Spruce, a Michelin-starred restaurant, where Obama even came to eat during his last visit! Day to day life has changed a lot, from sitting at a cubicle, to currently running around a hot kitchen, and she wouldn't change a thing.

Morning: I struggle but manage to get myself out of bed by 8:30am so that I don't sleep the day away. It's a big change from getting up around 5:00am when I would have to make it in the office early, but now, not getting home until after midnight, I need those later mornings. I head to the kitchen, make myself some cereal and head out for a run. Keeping healthy through diet and exercise is key due to the nature of the job, and being surrounded by sweets all the time!! After getting a coffee, checking my emails, doing a chore or two around home and just relaxing on the couch - This is the only down time I will get, It's nearly midday.

Afternoon: I head off to work at 1:30pm. Luckily for me I live about a 20 minute walk to work, because I have learned over the years, a short commute makes such a difference! I get into the kitchen, change into my chefs coat, apron, and shoes and check out the daily list for what needs to be done. Gathering pans, utensils and everything else I will need, I start whipping up desserts for what is low on inventory. Cakes, mousses, caramel, cremeux, there is always something to be done. 4:30pm comes up and a quick break is had for staff meal so that we can energize and fuel up for the rest of the night ahead. "Outside" is called and it's now 4:45pm. Our Chef de Cuisine takes up outside for line up to give us a pep talk and what to expect for the night. A few private parties and plenty of guests will keep us all very busy.

Evening: Heading back to my station I continue with production projects and prep the desserts for the private party and wait to finish them once fired. It can get a bit crazy with an abundance of orders, and although by 10:00pm things are slowing down in the kitchen, dessert orders are still coming through strong, but between helping out and cleaning up, wrapping and putting away any new product, the end of the night will come soon! I head into the walk in and freezer to get a count of our inventory so that I am able to make a list for the next teammates that arrive in the morning. At 11:00pm I finish up all my work and help breakdown the station and clean up with my teammate as all the dessert orders are in, we are done for the night! It's 12:30am and we are all set. Cleaned, organized, and ready for the next day, we get dressed, head out, and maybe grab a drink before heading home. A successful night always ends with feelings so accomplished. Being able to see tangible work being finished each day, along with the smiles on customer's guests and hearing their reviews, I am constantly reminded why I made this career switch, and go to sleep happy, ready to do it all again the next day...

Universities in the Spotlight

"I DIL MOUNTBATTEN" say our Delhi Alumni. From "Dilwalo ki Dilli" (Delhi belongs to those with a heart), it is just one step away to "I HEART NY" or "I HEART LONDON" for our Mountbatten alumni from Delhi, India. Whilst the Mountbatten Institute has been placing international candidates in internships for 30 years, India operations for Mountbatten started in 2006, and there are currently 400+ Indian alumni of the Institute. The Institute opened an Indian office in Delhi NCR in 2014 and Delhi was the site of a recent alumni reunion. All Delhi alumni attending the networking reception on July 16 were unanimous in their positive experiences on the personal and career front through their Mountbatten year. Future channels for Delhi alumni engagement were discussed, including participation in campus presentations or career fairs as well as Alumni Ambassador roles and Ishan Kukade (March 2013 - London) was invited as a speaker by British Council Delhi for their Pre-Departure Orientation on July 21 as a result of this evening!

Left to right: Samarth Prakash (March 2013 - New York), Vatika Mahajan (March 2013 - New York), Ashwin Nair (March 2014 - New York), Yogini Joglekar (Mountbatten Institute - Asia Pacific Director), Kanika Khurana (August 2012 - London), Neha Karla (March 2011 - New York), Shefali Bhutani (Mountbatten Institute - Consultant) and Ishan Kukade (March 2013 - London).

The majority of Mountbatten's Delhi alumni got their degrees from either the highly ranked University of Delhi (10 alumni) or from the LSE program partner Indian School of Business and Finance (3 alumni and 6 currently enrolled interns). Dr Jitin Chadha, Director of ISBF, comments: "ISBF has been associated with the Mountbatten Institute for over five years since our first student went for an international internship in the year 2010. In the successive years, we have seen the participation steadily increase through the positive word of mouth and experience sharing of our alumni. These programs have helped in imparting all the right ingredients like entrepreneurial, managerial and leadership competencies in our students. A year of work abroad provides the much required launch pad in the career progression of our students. After completing Mountbatten Internship programs, our students have been successfully absorbed by the leading companies in India, and those interested in higher education, have made it to the top universities of the world based on this one year of international work exposure."

Indian alumni report that one year abroad helps them fast track their career, and is equivalent to 2-3 years spent in the home country. Compensation is also fast-tracked by about 37% post-program in comparison to pre-program pay. In the recent past, as many as half of Mountbatten's Indian alumni have been offered post-placement opportunities within their internship company's India operations. The remainder report that they are successful in finding a suitable job anywhere between 2 weeks- 2 months after returning from their Mountbatten London or New York year. As can be seen from the "Alum of the Month" Vatika Mahajan (University of Delhi) the chutzpah naturally characterizing Delhi-ites would have taken these talented alumni far, but it needed that special Mountbatten New York or London year to act as a catalyst in helping them jumpstart their careers!

Jobs

A number of companies have contacted us recently to share their vacancies with you, so do look at our alumni website. Berwin Leighton Paisner, an international law firm has a number of positions in their Marketing Department, which already boasts 4 Mountbatten alumni in the team. We were notified of the vacancies by an alumna, who holds a senior position there, and is happy to be chat or look over CVs of those who wish to apply.

With headquarters in Oxford, UK, but offices in New Jersey, California, Switzerland, Japan and Australia, software company Zinc Ahead has been expanding rapidly in the last few years and currently has a number of available positions in both Oxford and New Jersey.

For full details of these positions, plus all other vacancies we have at the moment, please go to our alumni website.

Jo Harvey: jharvey@mountbatten.org
Vicki McCordall: vmccordall@mountbatten.org
web: http://alumni.mountbatten.org