Barbara Fubara-Ibekwe - Mountbatten Program

Barbara Fubara-Ibekwe

Barbara Fubara-Ibekwe

Alum Of The Month

Program: London

Intake: August 2015

Current Role: Financial Analyst at ExxonMobil


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Before Mountbatten, I studied Economics at The University of Texas, Austin, and graduated in May 2013.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?
After working for 2 years in a small Texas based company, I was seeking international work experience. I came across the Mountbatten program, and it was a perfect fit, offering both work experience and a Masters in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Global Business.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I interviewed with UBS and got offered a Risk Analyst position for my 12 month work placement. UBS is an investment bank that provides clients with a wide range of financial solutions for both individual and corporate needs. I supported the Counterparty Risk team to minimize financial losses to UBS by providing value-added risk intelligence based on information derived from operational systems and processes. The role also gave me an opportunity to learn in a fast paced environment, while working with managers to develop reports to assist them in providing more quality advice for clients.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Working in an investment bank at the onset of the Brexit vote was a very memorable experience. The day the vote was made for the UK to exit the EU, we had to get to work earlier than normal to run reports to assess the impact of the decision on client portfolios. This was a very exciting and challenging time for me, and I was happy to be a part of history through this experience.

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Being in London for a year gave me the opportunity to travel around Europe. I took a Girls Trip with friends I made during the year, to Italy- Venice, Florence, and Rome. I also took some personal trips to Cambridge, Bath and Wales. Each weekend, when no classes were scheduled, brought about new opportunities to explore. The plan for the weekends could be a trip out of the city, exploring London theater shows and other tourist attractions like Tower Bridge, London Eye, River Thames, Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus. Some weekends, we chose to either stay at the flats and have dinner and a game night or go out to a pub and experience the London night life.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
I learned to enjoy every moment and make the best of every experience. Being away from home, it’s sometimes hard to get used to the change in environment and culture. The opportunity to be in London for a year was a once in a lifetime experience, and if I had not immersed myself into all the program had to offer, I would have had regrets.

Would you have done anything differently, if you had your time over again?
I would take more trips around Europe.

What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
After completing the year, I moved back to the US and joined UBS in New York and Nashville, TN offices. It was really interesting to see the differences in working cultures between the US and UK. In the UK, we made sure to ask teammates if they wanted a cup of tea when each one of us was going to get a cup for ourselves. It was a fun way to learn about each teammates likes and dislikes. This tradition was not popular in the US. Overall, I enjoyed working at UBS.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I now work as a Financial Analyst at ExxonMobil. Growing up in Nigeria, it had always been a dream of mine to work in the Oil & Gas industry. I now have the opportunity to work across multiple finance functions and business lines at ExxonMobil. It has been very rewarding to provide valuable financial support for management to make strategic decisions.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise, & what are they (career & social)?
I am focused on developing my career to grow into a managerial role. I am also building my network to make sure I am surrounded by people that can help me grow professionally. I hope I get the chance to do some more traveling after the current pandemic (possibly visit Asia).

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I wrote short stories as a kid and almost became a published author

Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
I am glad I took the leap to join the Mountbatten Program. I made the best friends and made memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.