Sebastian Arango - Mountbatten Program

Sebastian Arango

Sebastian Arango

Alum Of The Month

Program: London

Intake: August 2019

Current Role: Banking Product Specialist at Citi Private Bank


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Prior to moving to London for the Mountbatten program with the University of Chester, I had earned my Master’s Degree in Project Management as well as my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at EAFIT University in Colombia.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?
I applied because I had lived all my life in Colombia and wanted an international experience. After analysing all the options, I concluded that Mountbatten was the only program offering both work experience and a Master’s Degree. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to put my foot in the door and make new connections.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
Citi Private Bank looks after wealthy individuals around the world and helps families achieve their goals by offering a wide range of products.

During my year as a Mountbatten, I interned for the Banking and Custody team, and the following were some of my main responsibilities:
1) Collaborated with banker, product and control partners on sales generating activities, strategic initiatives, and process reviews.
2) Regularly performed data analysis to evaluate transaction flows, operational proceedures and client trends.
3) Facilitated one-to-one banker meetings across EMEA markets to better understand client needs and formulate account strategies.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
When I found out that I could stay and finish the program. Let me tell you the whole story, I started in August 2019 and in March 2020, because of Covid, Citi and Mountbatten decided that the best thing for us was to go home. However, I couldn’t fly back to Colombia because it was literally closed and they were not allowing anyone in, so my boss spoke to HR, and they allowed me to stay until the end of my program, and not only did they allow me to stay, but also managed to add me to a list of employees that could still go the bank and work from there. This happened because we had to complete a few processes that could only be done from the actual building. So, in general terms, I’d say I was one of the lucky ones that could complete the program in the middle of a global pandemic.

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
There were so many good moments, multiple trips, crazy nights out, birthday parties, etc. But if I had to pick one, it would definitely be my graduation. I know it was not exactly during my year as a Mountbatten (it was postponed because of Covid), but it was just the perfect way to conclude our program and this incredible journey.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
Meet as many people as possible! share time with your fellow Mountbattens, but also meet local people, make new friends, be a volunteer or join a local sports team. There are plenty of opportunities out there and you never know where you will meet the next person that’s going to take you to your next big adventure. In an office environment, I’d suggest having at least one coffee every week with a new person from a different team to talk about what they do and how they connect to your team.

Would you have done anything differently, if you had your time over again?
I would’ve had more coffees with more people! I feel that it took me a while to understand the culture and the way they interact with each other. I remember that for the first three-four months I would only have lunch with my team or the other Mountbattens, and then I started to ask people if they wanted to have lunch and that’s how I built my network.

What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
That was in August 2020, my team couldn’t offer me a permanent position, so I had to leave the UK, but Colombia was still closed, so I spent three months visiting all my friends in the rest of Europe, while waiting for Colombia to open their borders. Once I got back, I found a job at a Proptech (real estate + technology) and in September 2021 (one year later), my CPB team opened a permanent position, I applied, got the job and came back to the UK in February 2022. I’m now working for the same person who was my boss during my internship and sitting at the exact same desk, but this time as a permanent employee.

Bonus: we are still having Mountbattens in the team so I’m now helping them understand their roles and suggesting activities/opportunities that they should take advantage of, to meet new people and have a better chance of securing a position post program.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I work for the Banking and Custody team of Citi Private Bank as a Banking Product Specialist.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I want to enjoy the UK and this new position, as I’ve been here only for 5 months so I think there are so many things I need to do and discover before I can start thinking about my next adventure.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I had already married when I was a Mountbatten and that my partner managed to win a scholarship for that very same year (2019-2020) so we were both here in the UK at the same time. We planned this trip together and made sure we could both be here together.

Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
I had no banking experience before my year as a Mountbatten and still got a permanent position in this industry, so it is possible to change careers and have a new life, if that’s what you really want.