Alumni Newsletter

November 2015

November has been a very busy month at the Mountbatten Institute. The London recruitment campaign has harnessed the power of the alumni to great effect in terms of increasing our candidate numbers (and we are grateful for this), whilst our New York office has seen the appointment of Mr Dennis Lovaglio as Managing Director of the New York Regional Office of the Mountbatten Institute.

Dennis is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo, New York, where he majored in Sociology. His early experience in financial services was with Citibank and Bear Stearns Securities, among others. He was appointed Director of North American Settlement Operations at Credit Suisse, a position he held for almost a decade. Most recently he was Director, Head of Client Relationship Management with Deutsche Bank. It was during his years at DB that Dennis was first introduced to Mountbatten. In addition to being a manager of Mountbatten Trainees himself, he became well acquainted with the goals and objectives of the programme through his interaction with Deutsche Bank Young Leaders initiative as well as with other graduate recruitment programs.

Dennis will bring solid management and administrative experience to the post, and is enthusiastic about the unique mission statement of Mountbatten and our commitment in providing international opportunities for interns and trainees.

We thought it only right to ask Dennis some very serious questions on your behalf, as part of his welcome and introduction to you! A big thanks to the London current trainees who produce their newsletter - we borrowed heavily from their 'Humans of Mountbatten' questions!


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Alum of the month

Kersti Niebruegge
August 2004 - London

"I returned to New York in 2014 for the start of Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC. I am the only clip researcher. I also write comedic novels. Mistake, Wisconsin, a satire of the Northwoods, was published last year. The Zonderling, a comedy about NYC, will be published on 23 Nov 2015"
Read full story

What didn't you get a chance to include in your resume?
Avid runner, Athlete and Jets / Mets fan.

You are stuck on a deserted island and can only bring 3 things. What are they and Why?
Bottle of wine, Beach Chair, Cooler full of food - Why? You have to make the best out of a bad situation!

If we asked your friends to describe you what 3 words would they choose?
Loyal, Thoughtful and Inquisitive.

If your life was a movie what would it be titled and who would play you?
You Only Live Once - James Bond.

What is your favorite thing about NY, and what is your least favorite thing?
Favorite - the diversity. Least favorite - the traffic.

If you had one sentence of advice for alumni/trainees what would it be?
If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!

Thanks Dennis - Welcome to Mountbatten!

We hope that those of you in NY will drop by and meet Dennis - if only to weigh in on which James Bond he would be! Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

Mountbatten Halloween Party

It had promised to be a fun, spooky event and it certainly lived up to its reputation. Mainly attended by London interns, with some alumni and London office staff, our Halloween Party was a big hit. Guests had really bothered with their costumes, and although it was hard to decide, 3 prize winners were chosen from the amazing array, and you can see them in the photo. Robin Patni (March 2015 - London) "The Mummy", Day Day Wells "Leopardskin Girl" (March 2015 - London) and David Garfinkel "Sexy/YMCA Cop" (August 2015 - London).

The DJ hit just the right tone for the soundtrack mixing up a varied playlist from Brit pop songs, classic Americana through to Bollywood tracks, and had a full dancefloor for most of the evening. Everybody agreed, Gilgamesh in Camden is a great venue for a party, and that they had done a really good job of hosting. Plans are already being made for next year!

View all the fantastic photos from the evening!

Entrepreneurial Alumni

Ward Viaene (August 2011 - New York) is the co-founder of in4it, a webhosting business specialising in working effectively and efficiently with (Big) data using state of the art Machine Learning techniques. He is based in Brussels, Belgium.

Ward gives the following account: "In May this year I moved from London to Brussels to start my own company. I was pretty happy working in London, but I always wanted to build something myself. Our company is still in the bootstrapping phase. We don't use external capital, only internal cash flows and savings, hence the reason why I moved to Brussels. Our company focusses on improving software delivery using cloud computing. I also deliver training courses to companies all around the world, thanks to my contacts in London. I think having done the New York Mountbatten program really prepared me to take my career to an international level. I'm now very comfortable travelling to different countries and places like Romania, San Francisco, Seoul, Doha, to give specialised IT training. Eventually, our goal is to build our own software product and get funded, but that doesn't happen overnight. There is still a long way to go. The most difficult step to get started is to quit your job and start building something yourself. Starting a business is in some way the same as joining Mountbatten, you have to give up some security, but afterwards you will see it was worthwhile. For anyone thinking about setting up a business themselves, think about when you gave your notice while not even being sure you will get into the program, but afterwards, it was all worth it." Check out Ward's website at

Tahlia Gray (March 2011 - New York) is a graduate of International Business from the University of Birmingham and now lives in London. She is currently launching her own business, Sheer Chemistry, an exciting new hosiery brand, specialising in tights for women of all shades of brown that are "made to blend in so you can stand out!"

What your company or product is/does, and your role in it. As Director and Founder, I am involved in all aspects of the business, from product development, sourcing, finance and marketing. As a born creative with a background in Human Resources, I have found branding to be the most exciting part of establishing this new business as it has allowed me to differentiate Sheer Chemistry in the crowded hosiery market. I have greatly enjoyed bringing together a team of talented people to create a brand that is designed for the confident, radiant and ambitious woman who wants tights that compliment her fashion choices and celebrates the diverse beauty of women of all shades of brown.

What inspired you to set it up?
Sheer Chemistry came about as a result of becoming frustrated by the inability to find tights that matched my skin tone. As a Mountbatten intern living in New York during a blisteringly cold winter and dissatisfied with wearing black opaque tights and the beige coloured tones labelled 'nude', Sheer Chemistry was established to provide tights for women of all shades of brown. Founded one year after my return to London in 2013, Sheer Chemistry is driven by a mission to create a more diverse perception of beauty. By giving women the opportunity to find their perfect match, we empower them to feel confident and gorgeous in their own skin... Read Full Story.

A Day in the life of...

Annabelle Cuthbert (March 2009 - New York), graduate of Reading University, UK continued to work within post-production for facilities such as Work Editorial and The Mill in London after completing Mountbatten. She lived in south-west London before returning to New York earlier this year, fulfilling her dream to go back. She now works at Hogarth, an international marketing implementation agency. She lives in the East Village in Manhattan.

"I get up at around 7:30am and most mornings go for a run along the water down to the Williamsburg Bridge. I'm lucky to be a late-starter as I start work at 10am, and gone are the stresses of an arduous commute as I'm fortunate enough to live close to work, so I have a 20 minute walk to my office instead. I usually call family or a friend on my way to work so I can make sure I'm keeping in touch with people back home, it's a careful balance living abroad and I never want to lose touch.

I'm a post-producer for Hogarth, a marketing agency that not only has its own clients but also facilitates advertising agencies including Ogilvy, Grey and JWT. My team facilitates JWT. Having prepared the evening before what my projects are for the day ahead, I begin my day going over emails and attending edit, voiceover, animation and/or audio sessions. I work closely with the creatives and broadcast producers at JWT and generally cover the preliminary phases of campaigns, including pitches, test scripts, animatics, and being a part of the concepts for commercials. Each day varies depending on what I'm working on. I make estimates to clients and have to budget for each job as a whole, I take each project through from beginning to end, and maintain relationships with the artists and engineers on each job as well as the account and production teams at JWT. Whilst I do manage to take a break most days, I'm again very fortunate that I have a company Seamless account and have lunch provided each day, certainly a perk of the job! It gives me a bit of freedom to try new places and satisfy my passion for food.

Depending on whether we're in the midst of a project or shipping that day, I'm in charge of quality control on all video and audio exported, making sure it's to specification and submitted to the deadline set. It's a busy environment, but working on huge advertising campaigns and seeing the development from concept to execution is really exciting. I work the odd late night, but normally finish between 6pm and 7pm and usually go to meet friends for drinks or dinner. As everything is so close by, I rarely stay in and generally just love making the most out of living in New York once again"

You can email Annabelle at

Universities in the Spotlight

We are nearing the end of our recruitment cycle for this year at the university careers fairs and presentations, and for the first time we have asked for assistance from our alumni. This has been really successful and we would like to thank all of the following alumni from the New York programme for giving their time, sharing their experiences and generally contributing to making it a successful recruitment cycle. Raaj Parmar & Marcus Jordan (Sep 05), Paul Sykes (Jan 06), Donal Kerr (May 06), Sarah Leahy & Daniel Brown (Sep 06), Rebecca Evans (May 08), Rosie Duffield (Sep 08), Devi Shelat (Mar 10), Jo Hughes & Amy Kelly (Mar 11), Vimal Kansara (Aug 12) & Corey Francis (Aug 12), Chris Chilton (Mar 13), Holly O'Mahony, Mark Davies, Avni Dave & Ajmal Choudry (Aug 13), Dami Apampa & Simon Jenkinson (Mar 14) and Shamaila Bhatti, Tom Mullee & Jack Robertson (Aug 14).

Check out our upcoming recruitment events. If you would like to assist with any of them, please contact Vicki as soon as possible.

Jobs, who have placed a number of our alumni in recent years, currently have the following vacancies: Office Manager at a Leading Sports Brand company £30-35K, PA to Executive in a small Financial Advisory firm £35K pro rata, and, Travel Sales Executive £23-25K. There is also a part time vacancy in Sydney for a Sydney Location Coordinator for Global Experiences. The details of all of these posts are on our alumni website.

In addition, we have an interesting opportunity given to us by alum Alex Lee (Aug 2012 MBA - New York), who is the co-founder of Plu&M. He explains: "I am looking for someone to give up their time for two weeks to help test the website for the start up that I am throwing my absolute everything into at the moment. The Plum Guide is a collection of the world's most professional, creative and inspiring spaces that hosts will be recognised for. We aspire to be The Michelin Guide for rental accommodation. We have launched our landing page where you can view a short video of what we are trying to achieve at". If this is something you would like to do, Alex would love to hear from you. Contact details and full job description are on our alumni website.

Jo Harvey:
Vicki McCordall: