Alumni Newsletter

April 2015

Welcome to our spring issue, bursting with interesting and varied content. Although April itself has been a month of disasters and unfortunate events on an international scale, Mountbatten Institute alumni continue to achieve new career heights, participate in charity fundraising endeavours, and even give birth. Indeed, Sunday 25th April was the London Marathon in which we had at least 4 alumni taking part. We would love to hear how you all got on, so please do contact us to share your experiences of this incredible event. This month we feature two London Programme Entrepreneurs, one of whom, photographer Joseph Roybal, kindly gave us permission to display one of his superb photos in our header.

Mountbatten Baby!

After previously celebrating their wedding, James Kyllonen (August 2013 MBA - London) and Judy Yi (March 2013 - London) recently announced the birth of their first child, a baby girl, Grace Lynn Kyllonen (Chinese name is Yi Ru Xue, which means snow). Grace was born in Shanghai, China on March 27th at 8.45am, weighing 4.05kg (8.9lbs) and measuring 51cm/20inches. We would like to convey big congratulations, and wish them all well.

Fundraising Alumni

On 17th May, Lee Malam (March 2014 - New York), a graduate of the University of Liverpool, is running the Lima Half Marathon to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, a charity that helps provide housing for the less fortunate. Lee has set up a supporter page and set himself the target of raising £625. All donations made through the website go directly to Habitat for Humanity.

Lee explains, "I would greatly appreciate it if you are able to support my run by kindly donating, or perhaps asking others if they could do the same. Anything that can be offered is going towards a wonderful charity and it would be great to have your support as I train for my big run in just under a month!". We would like to wish Lee the very best of luck with his endeavours, and hope to hear how he has got on next month.


Update Your Details

We would like you all to give us your current details update, as it helps us to know where you are for future events and various alumni activities as well as update your email subscription. Update your details now.

Alum of the month

Mihaela Breg
August 2013 MBA - New York

"Getting to attend and participate in teleconferences with people from New York, Hong Kong, London and Brazil, on a daily basis, really established that international factor that I loved about working in such a prestigious corporation like JP Morgan. When I arrived in NY I already had professional experience in various countries in Europe but working in an international setting like JP Morgan can be overwhelming. The lessons I learned over the course of the year were extremely valuable and helped me gain further confidence and an ability to form and express my ideas and opinions in a more professional manner."
Read full story

In Memorium

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the recent tragic passing away of two of our Alumni. Nishant (Nish) Khajuria (May 2008 - New York) died on Thursday 26 March 2015 in a scuba diving accident whilst in Sri Lanka.

Andrew McKeevar (May 2007 - New York) also tragically passed away this month. His brother Steve remembers Andrew's Mountbatten year as being "one of his happiest times" and is keen for anyone who knew Andrew to get in touch.

We are sure you, as alumni, would like to join us all in sending our condolences and thoughts to both families and friends at these very sad times. Full In Memoriums will be sent out soon.

A Day in the life of...

Gillian Currie (September 2003 - New York), graduate of Heriot Watt University, last year, left the bright lights of Aberdeen city and the Oil and Gas sector (where she had worked as Group FC for a number of years) for a move to the countryside and, with a greater appreciation of all things rural joined a large Estate with numerous agricultural and residential properties, from which it runs various trainee and scholarship programmes. For someone with an accountancy background, I am very lucky as a typical day doesn't involve too much time in front of spreadsheets, although just enough time that I don't miss them too much...

Morning: I typically get into the office about 9AM (which still feels like the middle of the day after years of 60+ hour weeks!). We are currently undergoing a major renovation programme for one of our properties, Douneside House. Upon re-opening Douneside House will be used as a luxury country house hotel with all profits gift aided back to the Trust for distribution to charities. Today's meeting involved discussions with the Project Manager, Interior Designers and Architects to ensure the project is going to plan. After that, I grabbed my wellies to head out on our Estate to evaluate one of our agricultural properties as I'll later prepare a business case to propose a redevelopment of a farm building at the next meeting of our Board of Trustees.

Lunchtime: I may take my dog for a walk around the Estate (as she sometimes accompanies me to the office), or if I'm feeling particularly energetic, a session at our on-site gym.

Afternoon: It's time to review the charitable applications we have received for the next distribution of funds through our grant giving programme. This is particularly difficult as we all always receive a far higher level of applications from charities than we can support. My particular focus is on the financial sustainability of the charity to ensure our donation will be put to good use.

For more information on the Trust, visit (although high up on my to-do list is a revamp of the current website!) For any alumni looking for a unique and private conference in beautiful Aberdeenshire, our fully renovated Douneside House will be re-opened with limited availability to the public next year - it could also be available for any future Mountbatten weddings! I'd be happy to discuss with any MB alumni who would like more information.

Entrepreneurial Alumni

Joseph Roybal (August 2008 - London), a graduate of Colorado State University, is a professional photographer with his own business, Joseph Roybal Photography in Denver, Colorado. Here, he gives an account of the motivation behind setting up and developing his business, plus some tips that have served him well so far.

"During my time in London I had the great opportunity to work within a small team at Hogan Lovells LLP, under the direction of a great director and mentor to me. One afternoon while speaking with this gentleman he began asking me what I wanted to do upon completing the program. Of course I had thought about this for years, but had never anyone follow up this question with a story that really got me thinking. In brief, 'Don't be concerned about what you do, be happy everyday that you are doing it and try to blend passion and work.' This was the impetus for me to travel as much as I could while living in London while studying photographs from some of my favorites. Joseph Roybal Photography was born upon my return to Colorado in January 2010." Read full story.

Elizabeth Dusch (August 2005 - London), a graduate of Wake Forest University, North Carolina, also has her own company...

What your company is/does, and your role in it?
Brazil Business Reports is a boutique media firm, specializing in producing country-focused business and education reports for Brazil. Our reports were traditionally published in print for major business magazines in Brazil; they are now published online. Their goal is to raise the profile of international businesses and educational institutions in the Brazilian market, while promoting study, investment, and partnership opportunities with Brazil. We have produced reports on the US, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Australia in collaboration with the respective embassies and chambers of commerce.

What inspired you to set it up?
After interning in London, I wanted to continue living abroad and moved to China to diversify my work experience. While in China, I got involved in the media industry and worked with a Hong Kong publication for several years before starting BBR with my business partner, Michelle Titus. The experience with Mountbatten in London enabled me to have a more global business outlook and gave me the confidence to seek business opportunities outside the US. Read full story.

Universities in the Spotlight

The University of Sussex in the UK continues to foster strong relations with our New York programme, having produced 23 graduates since taking the first group in September 2002. We endeavour, through our programme of presentations and career fairs, in cooperation with the university's careers service to continue to attract a good number of Sussex graduates. Therefore if you a graduate of Sussex, and still have strong connections there, please do get in touch about how you maybe able to assist in our programme recruitment and marketing.

Colorado State University on the other hand, sent us their first trainee for the London Programme in August 2008. Since then, the institute has seen 5 of their graduates complete our London programme, including Joseph Roybal, one of our Entrepreneurial Alumni. We intend to continue to build on this relationship over the future months, so if you would like to assist in spreading the word amongst the university community about the benefits of the Programme and what it can do for your career, please get in touch.


The recruitment companies are coming out in full force to coincide with the completion of the March 2014 group. Bruin Financial, Prospect 33 and Bain & Gray have all been in contact with suitable positions for that first post-programme opening so it may be worth a look. Our alumni website has the details and connections to these, as well as a variety of other roles.

Jo Harvey:
Vicki McCordall: