Alum of the Month
New York Program
September 2010 Intake
: Business Manager for Musicians and Actors based between UK and US. I am responsible for advising creatives on all business, tax, accounting and financial aspects of their careers
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Prior to Mountbatten I had graduated from the University of Manchester where I studied Economics. I had completed work experience every summer throughout University (in banks, law firms, in Nightclubs! – to gain as much experience as possible)
What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?
Living and working in New York as a 21 year old had always been a dream of mine. Mountbatten facilitated that dream!
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I was placed at UBS in Stamford Connecticut, working in the Group Finance team as an operational risk analyst. I reported into the finance manager and the CFO. It was an incredibly friendly, supportive place to work. I was working at UBS shortly after the 2008 financial crash, and it was a time when banks urgently needed to regain control of their operational risk. It was a very interesting place to work. I look back on this experience fondly, and I am amazed that I was able to make the long commutes every morning as I am not a morning person!
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I absolutely loved the way the team worked with eachother and treated all holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) so seriously! I adopted some of these American work styles in my career now and has helped me as I work so closely with US clients and US professionals.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
There is no such thing as a stupid question. You can learn a lot from your older colleagues but young people bring so much to an organisation, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and share your ideas.
What happened after your Mountbatten year, what did you do next?
After Mountbatten, I missed New York a lot and so I decided to move to London which seemed at the time to be the next best City to live and work. When I arrived in London I did some temp work at banks in Canary Wharf whilst applying for full time graduate training programmes for the following September. I always knew I wanted to get my ACA qualification which I thought would give me a solid grounding in business. My Deloitte application was successful and so I moved there, and I’m pleased that I did.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
After Deloitte my first role in music was as Head of Finance at Boiler Room. Boiler Room taught me a great deal about music, events and entrepreneurial businesses. It was a challenging place to work, and it was night and day from my experience at Deloitte! My colleagues were some of the brightest creative minds I’ve ever met and I’m so pleased I have that experience as well as Deloitte.
I left Boiler Room to become a Business Manager for musicians and actors. I am now working with some of the brightest rappers, DJs, pop singers, managing their finances and businesses.
Please tell us about the Rising Star Award you have recently received.
My friends at Musicweek featured me as a Rising Star recently, to mark that I’m one of the few business managers under 30 working in London. A ‘business manager’ is an American term, and it covers everything from managing the client’s households, their new business ventures, to providing international tax and accounting advice (which is of course relevant to entertainers who work internationally.)
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I am always on the look out for bright people to come and work with me. I am currently looking for Finance Assistants (with accounting and music experience) and more experienced finance professionals that are interested in becoming Business Managers. If that is you, please email Sarah@symbol.business
Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
I’ve had a lot of help in my career – particularly from my parents who supported me in getting my place on Mountbatten and also by subsidising my rent when I first moved to London.
I’ve been really lucky to have access to these opportunities and parents who can help, so I think it’s important to share that without that help I may not have been able to have so many great experiences!