Agata Bak | Alumni | Mountbatten Program

Agata Bak

Agata Bak

Alum Of The Month

Program:  New York

Intake:  March 2018

Current RoleCampus Recruiter and Development Coordinator at an Investment Bank

What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?

I studied BA(Hons) Events Management at Bournemouth University.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?

I was looking for a job after graduating from Bournemouth University and came across a job advert for Mountbatten on LinkedIn. The post said something along the lines of ‘Would you like to work and study in New York for a year’ and my answer was obviously ‘Yes’. I decided to apply as I saw that as a great new adventure and going to New York was one of my dreams at the time.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.

I worked for TD Securities, a Canadian Investment Bank as a Campus Recruitment Coordinator. I worked on recruitment of students for summer internships for groups including Investment Banking, Sales & Trading, as well as, Technology.

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

Eight months into my internship I had to solely manage the Campus Recruitment team in respect of a two months leave on the team. This experience allowed me to build on everything I had learnt since starting the internship. In addition, I gained exposure to the senior stakeholders within the company. Overall, my internship allowed me to grow professionally but also personally, for which I am very grateful.

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?

The whole year was filled with so many amazing memories. I met many brilliant people both on the programme as well as on my placement. It is difficult to pick just one highlight as there are just too many. Some of my highlights must be The Royal Wedding Party in New York, having breakfast at Tiffany’s and all the Broadway shows I have managed to see – I saw 12 shows in 12 months!

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

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Going out of your comfort zone and doing things that scare you, bring great rewards. I went to New York to start a new chapter of my life, even though, I’ve never been to US before. The decision of going into the unknown was scary but I gained so much from it.

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

I would make it longer! It would be great if I could have stayed for at least 6 more months or forever! I had an amazing opportunity of working and getting to know many great people over the year who I truly miss seeing every day.

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

Towards the end of my year in New York I connected with an alumna of the program who had worked with the same team as me a couple of years earlier. I needed some advice on what to do to and how to position myself after completing the program. I shared my CV (resume) with the person and they then shared it with someone else within their network (also another Mountbatten alumna). After completing a phone interview whilst still in New York and then face to face interview once I returned to England, I was offered the job. This showcases the power of networking and the fact that Mountbattens are always willing to help one another.  I would like to encourage everyone to make the most of the tools like LinkedIn and build their professional network as you never know where it can lead and it definitely worked for me.

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

I’ve been working in London since beginning of April, therefore, I am still quite new to the role. However, I am really enjoying learning about the differences in Campus Recruitment between US and UK. My current role is very similar to the one I held whilst in US, however, I am now gaining more exposure to different fields of recruitment as well as HR which allows me to gain new skills and broaden my horizons.

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

I cannot wait to visit New York again and see all of my friends there. Also, there are still plenty of Broadway shows I didn’t get a chance to see which are still on my list.  In terms of my career I would love to explore different areas of HR in the coming years.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I love music festivals and everything about them. Glastonbury must be my favourite festival – I have been twice, and I can’t wait to go again.

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

Going out of your comfort zone and doing things that scare you, bring great rewards. I went to New York to start a new chapter of my life, even though, I’ve never been to US before. The decision of going into the unknown was scary but I gained so much from it.