Buzz Archer - Mountbatten Program

Buzz Archer

Buzz Archer

Alum Of The Month

Program:  London

Intake:  March 2008

Current Role: Director of Product Management, Atom Tickets


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten placement?
I studied Political Science and Economics at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten Program?
I spent some time in London as a sophomore in college and absolutely loved the city. I knew I wanted to work there after I graduated. I had heard great things about the Mountbatten Program and it looked like the perfect program to help me with my dream of working in London.

Describe your host company and your role within it.
I worked for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as a front-office analyst with their Project Finance deal team, focused on underwriting social infrastructure (health and education) initiatives across EMEA countries.

What was the most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Working on financing an extension of the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi. We spent three months working on negotiations and numerous deal revisions and, after the deal closed, we ended up winning the Middle Eastern PPP Deal of the Year from Project Finance Magazine.

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
There were a number of social / memorable moments during my time in London, especially with such an awesome cohort of fun friends on our program. If I had to choose just one, it would be flying out to the Austrian Alps with some of my Mountbatten friends to go to Snowbombing, a week-long snowboarding / music festival.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your placement.
Once you are comfortable in your role, do not be afraid to reach out and meet with members of other teams in your office to learn about roles you are interested in and opportunities to develop desired skills.

If you could change anything about your year in London, what would it be?
While I definitely took advantage of numerous EasyJet / RyanAir flights out to various countries (and loved it!). I wish I had spent a bit more time traveling locally. Having said that, a year flies by really fast and there is only so much you can do within that time.

What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
I moved out to Shanghai, China with a few of my Mountbatten friends and accepted a role at a Venture Capital-funded tech startup. I spent several years in Shanghai working in startups and VC, as well as co-founding a non-profit company, before going to Los Angeles for grad school. I was also able to get back to London briefly during a consulting project with Universal Music Group and catch up with a few Mountbatten friends. I also met the love of my life (Sara) in Los Angeles and married her in 2017!

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am currently a Director of Product Management for a Growth-stage startup called Atom Tickets, based out of Santa Monica, CA.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realize & what are they?
Career-wise, I would like to take on more of a mentor role and advise other people who are interested in entering Product Management. Socially, I would love to snowboard in Hokkaido, Japan!

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Aside from my full-time job in Product Management, I am currently studying for a Diploma in Wine Business and Winemaking (WSET Diploma).