Alum of the Month
Mansoor (Manny) Shar
New York Program
September 2010 Intake
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I did a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I was nearing completion of my undergraduate degree and came across the Mountbatten Program in a newsletter, and it seemed like an excellent way to live and work abroad. I had always wanted to gain experience in an environment that was quite different to what I was used to. Upon looking further into the Program, I felt it would be a great way to build my confidence and cultivate a network of ambitious people with diverse backgrounds.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
My role was a mix of Analyst and Web Master for Citi Private Bank's Knowledge portal. This involved working across teams, including bankers who manage investment portfolios for High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth individuals and provide various other services. My team interfaced with these private bankers to facilitate interactions from an operational standpoint. This meant everything from ensuring the correct forms were available, managing the internal web portal and liaising with various team members to ensure requests were taken care of.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Winning the William S. Ball Award for Entrepreneurship, which resulted from taking part in a business strategy and ethics simulation competition to executively manage a failing $40m company. As CEO, I helped turn a failing company into a highly profitable market leader, generating a 35% return on equity and raised the company’s market capitalisation from $22MM to $287MM. Our team beat top international schools, including Harvard Business School, NYU, Concordia and Cornell University.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Attending the Burns Night Gala Dinner at the University Club.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
Be adaptable. Living and working abroad especially in New York requires a shift in perspective, which is why I found being highly adaptable most beneficial. Opening your mind, learning about the abundant opportunities, taking part in the social activities, and doing road trips across the USA, all contribute to making the experience highly fulfilling.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
It would have been great to be able to rotate roles/companies during the internship to get a better sense of the opportunities available, especially for someone coming straight out of university.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
After Mountbatten, I went on to work as a consultant initially for Barclays Capital and then for Goldman Sachs. After Goldman Sachs, I decided to change career tracks by following my long-term ambitions to work in the space sector, by pursuing a MSc in Space Studies at the International Space University in Strasbourg. The university has its roots at MIT, where it was initially founded and has strong links with NASA and ESA. Its current Chancellor is Buzz Aldrin -- the 2nd man on the moon!
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
Until recently, I was working at Inmarsat, a satellite communications company providing services to a variety of sectors in remote and unconnected regions, including ships at sea, WiFi on planes and disaster response. My role involved working with the various teams carrying out financial analysis, supporting cross-functional strategic business development activities, including analysis of potential partnerships, product positioning along the value chain, and commercial analysis of novel space concepts. I have recently joined Bryce Space & Technology as the new UK Head of Analytics, leading consulting engagements for government and commercial clients. When I'm not working, I am also a volunteer on the Strategy & Finance team for the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), a non-governmental organisation and professional network in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. Its aim is to bring the views of students and young space professionals to the United Nations (UN), space industry and other organisations.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
My long-term ambition is to make a tangible impact towards the expansion of the space economy. This means both in terms of the size of the economy (currently over $300bn) and to expand humanity's sphere of influence in our solar system out to cis-lunar space and beyond. Along the way, I hope to inspire others to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects) as I am particularly fond of public outreach and education.
Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
You are only limited by your imagination, so I recommend anyone who has ambitions that might deviate from the "typical" Mountbatten path of working in the finance sector that it can be done. Mountbatten provided me with a fantastic springboard from which I was able to make further leaps into ever more challenging and interesting avenues in pursuit of my dreams. Go for it!
Mansoor is happy to be contacted via his LinkedIn account:-