Alumni Newsletter

June 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of the alumni newsletter, which is again packed full of alumni news, achievements, business ventures and other enterprises. Also, we spotlight Evaluate Ltd in the Jobs section, so if you are looking for an HR Manager role in London, it is worth checking out the details on our alumni website.

Secondly, we are excited to soon be launching our new alumni engagement site, in partnership with Graduway. The site will include additional features, opportunities to drive more events, as well as posting jobs so they are flagged to you immediately. There will be a mobile feature, which will be explained later. We expect to launch in a couple of weeks, and you will be able to sign up using your LinkedIn account, so please take time now to make sure your LinkedIn profiles are up to date.

Lastly, we would like to extend a big thank you to Martin Corrigan (September 2010 - New York) who recently helped us on a stand at the Graduate Recruitment Fair at the University of Manchester. It was good of you to give up your time and it's always invaluable to have an alum on hand to share their real experience of the programme. Thank you.

Fundraising Alumni Update

Chris Chilton (March 2013 - New York) updates us with his London Marathon experience: "I completed the marathon in 5:26:43 and it was an amazing (but very exhausting) day! The atmosphere throughout was fantastic, with street parties, people cheering, children high-fiving the runners and everyone handing out sweets by the hundreds! It was great that my family and friends were there to cheer me on and I got a huge sense of achievement when I finally crossed the finish line and received my medal. The training had all paid off in the end and I also raised £2,200 for St John Ambulance, which will go towards vital first aid training and equipment." Congratulations Chris!


Update Your Details

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Alum of the month

Padric Gleason
August 2010 MBA - London

"After finishing the MBA portion of the programme in Thailand, I moved to Silicon Valley, where I worked as a recruiter for a tech company. I was awarded a Fulbright scholarship soon after, and I moved to Mexico City to work for the United Nations for 2 years."
Read full story

Entrepreneurial Alumni

Becky Kubu (May 2007 - New York), graduate of Sheffield Hallam University, recently set up her own online clothing business:

What your company is/does, and your role in it?
Summer Fashion is an online fashion retailer that specialises in providing Spring/Summer clothing all year round. It was borne to solve the problem that whilst many of us enjoy summer abroad, an increasing number of us also choose to travel in 'winter' months whether that's for full moon parties in Ko Pha Ngan or Christmas day BBQs on Bondi beach. In essence, Summer Fashion enables the global traveller to access summer clothing when it suits them and when the rest of the fashion industry is replacing summer lines with jackets, jeans and woolly jumpers.

Our strapline is 'Always Summer Somewhere' and it's for this very reason that we exist; to provide people with summer fashion whenever they need it. My roles at Summer Fashion have evolved with the growth of the business. Initially I focused on building the brand's content strategy and social media engagement, which was fascinating. It really helped re-affirm just how much we all love summer and crave those days away from the day-to-day grind. Today, I am overseeing the product management and buying processes. This includes testing new lines and product types which is fun. For instance, this summer we are expanding into summer accessories with a new line from Hammamas. These towels are perfect for Summer Fashion customers as not only are they great beach towels, they also double up as sarongs, throws, picnic blankets, baby wraps and so much more.

What inspired you to set it up?
When I first started working towards making Summer Fashion a reality, it instantly pulled me in with how our travel, buying, and general life behaviours continue to change. My time in New York on the programme played a massive part in adjusting my own outlook on life. It certainly advanced me professionally and the business/managing information modules equipped me with many new skills. Mountbatten also provided me with experiences, memories and friendships that will stay with me forever. I certainly think that partaking in Mountbatten helped broaden my horizons and helped me to become a more well rounded individual both professionally and personally. Read Full Story.

Offer: Mountbatten Alumni members can benefit from an exclusive 20% discount (applicable to everything on the site! with this code at check out: IGALG1092.

Nykia Wright (October 2001 - London), graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, owns Franchise Brokers International, she explains: "My inspiration for establishing my company was a direct result of combining my past experiences to create less contested market space for a new company. The Mountbatten programme provided me with real world opportunities and knowledge of international business, cultures, and cultural competencies. Directly after the programme, I worked in the franchise industry for five years, analyzing the financial statements of hundreds of concepts, went on to get an MBA from Dartmouth College, and even studied franchising at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India. The Mountbatten Programme was the platform upon which these subsequent opportunities were built.

I established my business by becoming a certified franchise broker and then becoming a subject matter expert in the franchising business model, both domestic and international. By focusing on becoming a subject matter expert, I have been able to weave in and out of conversations that lead to countless other opportunities. I am now focusing on building an international network that expands my brand in multiple countries

Words of wisdom: A lot of people think they have to immediately quit their jobs and become full-time entrepreneurs. This model doesn't work for everyone. It's OK to ease into the newfound lifestyle, all the while continuing to ensure that you have a quality of life and capital to continue to fund your venture. I have met many entreprenuers who regret having left their previous jobs too early. Make the decision that allows you to sleep best at night."

A Day in the life of...

Kawika Solidum (September 2005 - London), was an undergraduate at University of Texas Austin, MSc at LSE, is the new Chief Executive of BeyondMe, a UK-based charity spearheading a movement of professionals and businesses joining together with charities and social enterprises to make a meaningful impact by giving time, skills and money to causes that need it most.

Morning: My day starts very early. My two-year-old son rises with the sun, which at this time of the year can we well before 5:30am. He keeps me on my toes because his routine is as important as mine! After I drop him off at his nursery, I jump on a call with the Chair of my Board at 8:15am. It's a great conversation centered on the key tenets of the new strategy we're crafting. We don't rush to make decisions, instead we keep an open-mind on all our ideas.

By 9:30am I'm on a train and I get half an hour to check emails. I'm heading to a meeting with the Global Head of People and Talent at one of the leading accountancy firms, to give her an update on our multi-year partnership. The best conversations are when I speak to business leaders like her who understand that millennials - people born in the 80s and 90s - have a strong desire to lead puposeful lives and expect their employers to be ever-more socially responsible corporate citizens.

Lunchtime: I take 20 minutes to call my Head of Partnerships to give her an update on my meeting. Then I grab a sandwich with a participant of BeyondMe's programme. He tells me about the latest project his team completed and his team's dynamic. He also asks me about what he can do to position himself to be a future charity board member. It's fantastic when individuals want to work directly with non-profits long after our 12-month programme; that's success to me!

Afternoon: When I get back to my desk I spend a couple of hours reviewing my meeting notes. In my first 90 days I've spent a lot of time meeting our stakeholders. My goal is to find the best way to bring together our ambitions, supporters and resources to provide even greater value to the charities in our portfolio. My last meeting is a brainstorm session with my whole team. The teakettle is on and there are scattered stacks of Post-its. My team is incredibly dedicated, energetic and fun - and they are always poised to deliver their best every day!

The question we're tackling is the one that keeps me awake at night: what parts of our work must we keep the same or innovate, in order to enable more professionals to convene to give their best? I believe that by continually asking this question we will always be creating a better network of teams and professionals that will have a greater social impact than it already does. And that's how BeyoneMe will succeed in empowering our generation to be the most generous generation yet.

If you'd like to get involved in giving to a charity or social enterprise in the best way possible, visit BeyondMe.Org, follow @BeyondMeOrg. You can also drop me an email.

Universities in the Spotlight

Sheffield Hallam University has sent us over 30 graduates for our New York programme since September 2003. One of our Entrepreneurial Alumni above, Becky Kubu, is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam. Other illustrious alumni include Charlie Smedley (September 2008 - New York), founder of A Space For Art Inc, Amanda Boyd (September 2010 MBA - New York) who currently works as a Senior Strategy Manager at Unilever; and Kristopher Palmer (September 2013 - New York), a Credit Specialist at Citi Private Bank in London. Congratulations to all these successful Sheffield Hallam graduates and we hope to continue our connections with the university and its careers staff for future programme intakes.

The University of Texas has sent us candidates since August 2005, of which our "A Day in the life of..." Kawika Solidum was one. Since then the university has continued to supply a steady flow of graduates, the most recent being Kellye McDade (August 2013) who now works at Invesco in Houston. Other successful alumni of the university and Mountbatten include Caroline Adams (August 2011), a Bespoke Style Advisor at Knot Standard in New York and Jack Tsai (September 2009), who is now Director for My Macy's Strategy in LA.


A company we would like to draw your attention to is Evaluate Limited, a well-established international provider of outstanding market intelligence services to the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industries. An alum of our New York programme holds a senior position in the company, which continues to experience a steady growth. They are currently looking to hire an HR Manager, for which they will be interviewing shortly. Our contact informed us that they recently had one of our alumni in the final 3 of a Services Associate position and although they were not hired in the end, she assures us that when Mountbatten alumni applicants come through, they tend to get an interview! The company also hired a programme alum in 2010 for a contract position.

Evaluate particularly favours our alumni for the "key skill... savvy. To uproot your life to live and work abroad, adapt to a new city, new role and make a significant impact in the space of 1 year takes savvy. The ability to pick things up quickly and make a success of them through hard work, drive and ambition tend to be key skills that Mountbatten alumni have in plentiful supply." Lucy Ralph (September 2007 - New York) - Head of HR & Corporate Services at Evaluate.

For full details of the HR Manager position, plus all other vacancies we have at the moment, please go to our alumni website.

Jo Harvey:
Vicki McCordall: