Alum of the Month

Kate Finburg

Kate Finburg

July 2011

New York Program

September 2005 Intake

What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I studied Film and English at the University of East Anglia and then worked on the chat show ‘Trisha’ for a year before substituting Norwich for New York.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I grew up watching New York in movies and on TV and was desperate to go and visit. When I finally did, it was like stepping into the silver screen so I knew I had to spend a stretch of time there. Mountbatten came to visit my university which was fortuitous so I knew this was my opportunity.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
For me, my sponsor company was perfect, it was a Production Company called Identity which made large scale big budget commercials for clients such as L’Oreal, American Express and Levis.  I was a Production Secretary/Office dogsbody type person which involved everything from booking taxis and photocopying, to writing treatments for the Directors and making their showreels.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Identity has to sell the Directors work to the advertising clients, so as part of the team, I got to go to some amazing nightspots. We spent a lot of time on the roof of Soho House as the production office was next door, and many nights at IT club of the time, Marquee (with our own bouncer!). My Mountbatten friends also reaped these perks! I think being given a pair of Penelope Cruz’s shoes that she wore on set in a commercial for L’Oreal was a particular highlight as was accidentally sitting in Yankee baseball star Derek Jeter’s special chair and being asked to move by his Manager.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Going to Las Vegas and staying the Presidential suite of the Bellagio hotel was amazing. Similarly, nights at local pub Dorians, especially during the World Cup were really fun times.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
It’s the city that never sleeps and neither will you…! I was lucky in that socialising was part of my job.
If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
I would have tried to meet more local people apart from my colleagues. It's all too easy to immerse yourself into work and then only socialise with other Mountbattens when there is every culture on the planet in Manhattan, I wish I had met more of them.
What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I ended up in completely the wrong field afterwards – in Digital online advertising. This was a misguided attempt to stay in the advertising industry. Whilst there, I started a part-time journalism course and applied for jobs back in Television. I managed to get a job at the BBC on Blue Peter as the Editor’s Assistant where I stayed for a year before going to work as a journalist on a local paper.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I was made redundant from the paper during the recession so went back to the beeb and became a Production Co-Ordinator for the film team on Blue Peter. This was an amazingly varied job, one day I would be setting up a shoot in the deepest ocean in the world in Micronesia and the other I would be dressing up as a banana and taking part in a world record attempt –
Children’s BBC has recently moved to Salford but I am still at the BBC in London , working in the Arts department on a programme about a stately home in Wiltshire, which is due to be on BBC1 in the autumn.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
I would love to return to work in New York (ideally working on one of the movies/TV shows that might inspire future Mountbattens to apply!). The programme is one of the best networks, both socially and professionally you can have and I am always trying to recruit people (boring people about my time there!)