Adrian Benjamin | Alumni | Mountbatten Program

Adrian Benjamin

Adrian Benjamin

Alum Of The Month

Program:  New York

Intake:  September 2009

Current Role:  Relationship Manager at Deloitte


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?

I did a four year Business Studies degree with a placement year working in HR for Bosch in Worcester. I studied at Birmingham City University.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?

I had always wanted to live and work in New York. After my placement year I knew I wanted to work in banking and I worked for Natwest and Barclays before my final year at university. Mountbatten was a great opportunity to continue studying and working full time in Investment Banking. I knew working for a large bank in New York would improve my employment opportunities when I came back to England.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.

I was placed with UBS primarily in New Jersey so I was one of the lucky interns who did not have to wake up early and do the long commute to Stamford Connecticut as I had a 10 minute walk to work to Jersey City. My team were very helpful and supportive during my time working with them, especially my manager Lemmy Ndegwa who always made time to speak to me about doing well in the workplace; he also gave me an excellent final year review which helped me get a job when I came back to England.

I worked as a Mortgage Security Analyst and I was in charge of making sure all government backed securities were delivered and received to the appropriate clients. The trades ranged from $25,000 to $50,000,000.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?

My highlight was leading a project to improve communication between branches of the Investment Bank that dealt with government backed securities. I conducted a presentation to senior directors on how there were discrepancies with trades due to a lack of communication and training. I created a document to improve the communication between branches and this was implemented to all branches across America and impacted over 5,000 employees. The project and document has saved time, reduced errors and saved the bank money.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship

Make sure you network and maintain as many relationships as possible with your company, other Mountbattens and people in general as you never know how you can help each other in the future.

If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?

I would have travelled to other states more often. One Mountbatten visited over 40 states during his time on the internship and it is rare to get that opportunity again; so make sure you make the most of your time while you are over there.

What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?

When I finished Mountbatten I went to Manchester where I am from and got a job in recruitment for the financial sector. After eighteen months in Manchester I moved to Reading and worked for RBS and then I moved to London shortly after working in the financial technology (fintech) sector.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?

I am now a contractor and I work for Deloitte as a Relationship Manager for their biggest client HSBC. I have to make sure I get management information and financial analysis from all the Lead Client Services Partners globally. The role requires a lot of stakeholder management and creating power point presentations for senior partners for their monthly meetings. I also have to make sure over 130 global projects for HSBC are running smoothly.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?

I would like to contract for a few more years before I work full time for my customised basketball merchandise company Sporch Sporch allows grassroots basketball clubs to create their own basketball uniforms, t-shirts, hoodies and caps. We create an online store where all players, friends and family can buy the basketball merchandise. We do all the marketing, production and deliveries. The clubs can generate income by promoting and buying their own merchandise.

I am also on the committee for Black Young Professionals (BYP) and I would like to work with Mountbatten and other companies in working with our amazing young talent.

BYP focuses exclusively on black talent because we believe that in order to improve diversity across the board we must have specialist organisations. We recognise that diversity is incredibly broad and nuanced and that we do not have all the answers, but by focusing on the black community, which we have an intimate understanding of we can achieve better results.

Our network has a unique mix as it’s equally split between students, recent graduates and experienced hires. This is because we are passionate about building a pipeline of talent, sharing experience and mentoring. Our network is also 70% female and has representation from STEM, finance, law, construction and the creative industry.

Is there any other information that you would like to be included?

If you are unsure or worried about Mountbatten just go for it. You will grow so much as a person working and living in another country. You will also meet so many great people from many different backgrounds. It really is a life changing experience and I would encourage anyone to do it.