Alum Of The Month
Intake: August 2008
Current Role: Business Professor, Department Chair at Canada College, Redwood City, California
When we graduated, I returned home during a very difficult time after the global financial crisis. Having my MBA opened many doors for me when I returned, even during such a tough time. I re-entered the workplace as a director of marketing communications at a not-for-profit organization and later shifted into a career as a professor of business in higher education.
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Prior to moving to London for the Mountbatten MBA program with American International College, I had earned my bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing at San Jose State University in northern California.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?
I had been working in a marketing communications role for a small business program at NASA Ames Research Center. While I had been tasked to do the work of a vacant position above mine, I did not have a master’s degree to qualify to apply for the position formally. So, I began researching Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programs with an international component, when a friend recommended I met with one of her contacts who hired interns through Mountbatten in London.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked for a telecommunications firm named IPC which made specialized phone units for floor traders. Originally, I was supposed to support the training team across the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, however, with the global financial crisis of 2008 I needed to adapt to the change in the needs of the business I was hired to work with. I ended up supporting the marketing and sales team running weekly sales forecast reports and supporting a team of six sales reps.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience a different culture’s attitude toward work-life balance. In the United States, we are constantly filling our time with work. In London, I learned that while people worked hard, they also socialized throughout the company and made time for more important things in life.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Thanks to the Mountbatten program, I have made several life-long friends from both the MBA program and the certificate program. Fifteen years later, I am still in frequent contact with my friends from Mountbatten.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Make the most of every opportunity, both professional and socially. Think about what you can do during your time abroad to learn more about the culture and make long-lasting relations that last a lifetime, both professional and personal.
Would you have done anything differently, if you had your time over again?
I wish I had kept in contact with more of my colleagues and British locals that I met along the way.
What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
After completing the year in London, my MBA cohort and I went on to live in Bangkok, Thailand to finish our studies. When we graduated, I returned home during a very difficult time after the global financial crisis. Having my MBA opened many doors for me when I returned, even during such a tough time. I re-entered the workplace as a director of marketing communications at a not-for-profit organization and later shifted into a career as a professor of business in higher education.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
After living in Europe and living a different work-life balance, I decided to transition into higher education where I could have more time off during the winter and summer breaks. I am now a business professor and department chair for a local community college where I can focus on teaching and making a difference in students’ lives.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I am in the final year of my doctorate in education. Upon graduation this coming May, I plan to celebrate my achievements with some well-earned relaxation time before levelling up my career into becoming an academic dean.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
People are usually surprised to find out that I am a private pilot, but lately, after the purchase of my recent orange and black Kawasaki Vulcan S, people seem surprised to learn that I know how to ride a motorcycle. When I was around twenty years old, a friend had wanted to get her motorcycle license, so I took the safety class with her. Because I knew how to drive a stick shift, I passed the class and unfortunately, she did not. I went on to get my motorcycle license and even rented a motorbike in London a few times to visit friends in Cambridge and ride to a motorbike show. I never got back into riding when I returned home to the States, however, now that I have a need to commute to work since we moved further away to buy our first home, I wanted to get my own set of wheels. I loved the challenges of driving both a car and a motorbike in England and can’t wait until I can get back to England to visit friends and continue my exploration of the countryside.
Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
The Mountbatten experience is truly a unique experience in my lifetime that I continue to cherish to this day. I am so grateful for the opportunity the program gave me to walk the world in someone else’s shoes and see life through a difference lens.