Alum Of The Month
Program: New York
Intake: August 2017
Current Role: Marketing manager at Slater Menswear
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Aberdeen University: 2008 – 2012
Harvard Summer School: 2011
What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?
I’d wanted to do the Mountbatten Program for quite some years following a placement I had at Harvard Summer School in 2011. America is ambition on steroids, and being around some of the smartest, most hardworking people that summer, made me look for opportunities to get back Stateside. Whilst I’d always wanted to do Mountbatten – moving to London in 2012, starting in the working world etc., made it look like it wasn’t going to happen. Then I quit my job at the start of 2017 to go travelling for 6 months, and once that was over – Mountbatten was the perfect jump start for me back into the “working world”.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
Liquidnet was a great company – you can’t really argue against somewhere that gives you free lunch on Fridays, and cake days once a month. Plus, the owner Seth, was the soundest (and only) billionaire I’ve met – first week in, he invited all the newbies to have pizza with him so he could meet them. He’d also always be chatty when we’d bump into each other in the breakout area: 10/10.
My role as a Client Service Representative was quite entry level (me being one of the older cohorts, with most being straight out of Uni or having left a year previously), and was mostly looking at trade documents on Excel to find discrepancies between trades.
Bonus: I can tell everyone about the time I was a finance guy in New York!
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Realising finance wasn’t quite for me, I attended a lot of Marketing/Entrepreneurial events – Gary Vee was really taking off around this time and, upon discovering him at one of these events (my team won copies of one of his books), I emailed him asking to work in VaynerMedia for a day. I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but he actually emailed back, and I went in for the day, got to sit with his team, meet him etc. That’s where my awareness of Content and Social really took off. Whilst I’ve ‘grown out’ of his content – that day will always be something special.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
East Coast Road tripping around Miami, Savannah, Charleston and Myrtle beach. There were many great social events – but the best part being Stateside was getting to visit so many different places, in fairly close proximity to one another. Different people, food, drinks, cultures – across just a few hundred miles.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
Get out of you bubble. Even on Mountbatten I had a bubble, I made some amazing friends, who I still see regularly to this day – some of them feel like family. But after 4 months, I realised time was slipping away and I had to take advantage of the city I was in. You’re only in some countries/cities/circles for so long in your life – meet locals, get involved in the culture. Don’t focus entirely on what you know – check out Meetup.com, Eventbrite and get out there. You don’t have to hustle 100% of the time, but don’t just kick back on a couch and watch TV – comfort is a killer.
What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
With all the Marketing based book reading and events I’d done in New York, I took that knowledge back to the family business. A chain of men’s retail stores across the UK. Preaching the value of Social Media and Video Content, they trusted me (and were already stuck paying me) to run with it. I took it from theory to execution and have been running that for the last 5 years. From basic tailoring based content, to slightly more experimental stuff (thanks to the pandemic for opening up that creativity), [aid Social, organic Social, Upgrading the brand image for modern times].
Basically, being a classic 3rd generation Millennial moving into a family business.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
Currently still at Slaters as the Marketing Manager, but have also started using Freelance resources like Upwork and Fiver during the pandemic – giving me experience working with other brands on their Content and Social. So, I have a freelance business on the side called The Social Recipe, where I help businesses with execution and strategy in those areas.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I’ll be building on my own personal content – my Podcast (I did say classic millennial) ‘The Story Club’ is doing well and a great pillar of content for me to grow. I’ll also be moving more into the Freelance side for 2 major reasons. 1 – being in an office full time is a complete waste of everybody’s time, energy and resources. 2 – It will give me my time back, allowing me to learn new things, create more, focus on growing my own clients and build up the brand on a product I’m working on.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I hate being on camera. If you see any of my Social Pages, follow me on LinkedIn etc. you’ll see I do a lot of video content – but a video that took off for me was a compilation of video clips where I have this blinking twitch (only happens when I’m staring into the camera). I find it completely unnatural, but I know the rewards and reach of creating video content are huge (and have helped me land 70% of my clients) so I push out that comfort zone.
Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
I am always looking to connect with like-minded people. If you’re working on any fun/interesting projects, I’d always be happy to get involved, advise where I can and just be part of something with a good team, who I can learn from and share some knowledge too.