March 2016 Edition

Easter Treats!

It's that busy changeover time at the Mountbatten Institute with the March 2015 groups having just finished their tenure, and the new March 2016 groups have just had their Orientations and are set to start their year of international work experience, learning, living and adventure. So, with this in mind, our ever helpful alumni have been passing on great job opportunities for the returning groups, and Robert Walters are inviting anyone passing through London on April 14th to attend their registration & drinks reception. Our feature article this month is Lisa Vecchio's (London, March 2006) 10 Years On as she re-lives the journey she made 10 years ago when she first arrived for the London Programme and the impact her Mountbatten experience has had on her subsequent career and life choices. We also have 2 alumni entrepreneurs, and 2 fundraisers from the current London August 2015 intake. De'kaleigha Wells must be our first Miss London contestant from the Mountbatten Institute (whilst on the Programme) and she would welcome any sponsorship support.

So, enjoy your Easter Weekend and keep all your exciting updates/reunions/weddings/business ideas/further degree successes all coming in - we want to share in your celebrations.

10 Years On

Welcome to a new section of our newsletter where we highlight significant anniversaries since completing your Mountbatten year. This month we are delighted to start with Lisa Vecchio (London, March 2006) who recently wrote this incredible article on her blog to celebrate her 10 years since completing the London programme. See below for an exert from the article.

"On March 6, 2006 I boarded a flight from Philly to London not knowing what the opportunity would provide. Today is March 6,  2016 and I am writing this on a flight from Philly to London to return to my home now. Ten years later to the day and I am living my dream back in London after a few detours in NYC and Australia getting to know the world beyond Europe. I’m lucky that many of my friends in London today are former Mountbattens, and wherever I go "home" in the world…be it London, Australia or NYC, Mountbatten unifies us all. I feel extremely lucky and grateful for the opportunity... Being a Mountbatten alumni makes me so proud."

of the Month

John Noonan
London, Aug 2009

"I work as an Assistant State Attorney for State Attorney William Meggs in the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida. Our office handles nearly all criminal prosecutions in the counties surrounding Tallahassee, FL. I work on over one hundred Felony Domestic Violence cases at any given time. Most of our time is spent preparing discovery, talking to victims to get their input on their case, negotiating pleas with defense attorneys, attending pre-trial hearings, and trying cases in front of juries."

Read the full article


Thu 14 Apr 2016

Robert Walters is holding their bi-annual Mountbatten Registration Evening at Robert Walters Head Office in London on Thursday 14th April, 5.30 - 8.30pm.​ This is a fantastic chance to interview with a specialist consultant, network with your fellow Mountbattens' and discuss potential job opportunities over drinks and canapés. Register for the event and get all the details.

A Day In The Life

David Thorley (New York, September 2006), a graduate of the University of Lancaster.

What do you do? I work for GB Boxing as the England Talent Pathway Manager. My target is to deliver an effective and inclusive talent system that produces higher quality athletes at every level.

How did you get into this line of business? The majority of my roles have been in sport, so it was a natural fit into this one. I only started this role in September 2015 and there are a few differences to what I have done previously. This role has a focus on the performance side of sport and I have never worked in boxing previously. My previous role was at the International Cricket Council in Dubai, so I have had to adapt to a very different culture within the sport.

What's the best thing about your current job? The interaction with the coaches and boxers has been fantastic and I enjoy their passion for the sport. I'm looking forward to (hopefully) seeing some of our youth boxers progress in the years to come and represent Great Britain at the Olympics.

Who's the nicest personality you met have through your job? One of the coaches I manage is someone I would never have crossed paths with unless I had this role, and he is a legend! From stories about his boxing days (he was a national champion in the 1990s) to his positive approach to life, he is someone who has made my transition into this sport easier.

Let's talk about a typical day. What time do you get up? I am up quite early as we have two children under the age of three. Charlotte, our eldest, tends to get up at around 5:30am and I like to be up before her if possible. It used to be ok in Dubai, we would go for an hour's walk in the early morning sun but that isn't as nice an option in Sheffield! I leave the house at about 8:15 and walk a mile to the tram stop which then takes me to right outside the office. I am mostly in the office throughout the day, with time on the phone to coaches or some time in the gym watching coaching sessions.

Where do you have your lunch? Typically at my desk which isn't a great habit! I try to get out of the office for a break but can sometimes get stuck into a task that needs doing so eat as I go.

What time do you normally leave your workplace at the end of the working day? I leave more or less at 5pm each day, it's quite a relaxed culture here which is great.

How often do you travel for work? I travel to London once a month for meetings with UK Sport and occasional events around England. There will be some international travel but not much, which is good as my previous role involved a lot of international travel and that wasn't ideal with a young family.

What's the best thing about living in Sheffield? I had only visited Sheffield once before accepting the role so wasn't sure what to expect but we have been impressed with the city. It is very green with lots of parks and Peak District is very close so I am loving the contrast to the skyscrapers, seven lane motorways and deserts of Dubai!

Entrepreneurial Alumni

Jessica Mishu

London, March 2011

Jessica is a graduate of American University Washington DC.

Describe your business and your role.
I started my yoga studio the end of May 2015 in Knoxville, TN. My main goal was to create a conscious community in Knoxville, and after being opened 7 months I have almost 100 unlimited members. My students refer to Blue Ridge as their family, and it is my goal to make my studio a place where everyone is welcomed. Since I've opened I have brought the first advanced teacher training to Knoxville, I've helped fundraise for multiple local charities, and I have launched a "give back" campaign that will benefit our community.

How did you get into this line of business?
I studied at an ashram in India when I was living in Asia, and I knew I could only sustain a lifestyle/ job that I was truly passionate in- I had to create my own.

How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
Really learning as I went, which I don't recommend. I have now employed a business coach, and her expertise has helped me keep my systems in order.

What else is in the pipeline?
I am either going to expand by another 1000sq ft or start another studio in a different city. I also have plans of continuing my education by returning to India to study Ayurveda.

What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
Honestly I see results every time I have a full studio of happy people, every time someone refers to Blue Ridge Yoga as their home, and every time we are able to make a difference in our community.

What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
Always trying to do too much at once!

Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
Have faith in yourself, and have a team you can trust- even if it means having to fire multiple people until you find your team.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I healed myself from PTSD with yoga. The body has a beautiful capacity to self-heal if we give it the space.

Sona Stefkova

New York, August 2012

Sona is a graduate of Comenius University, Bratislava and ESCP Europe.

Describe your business and your role.
Currently, I am working as a country manager in Slovakia for an Austrian start-up called Bookgoodlook is the online home for health, beauty and wellness products. It also has comprehensive listings of the spas, salons and health centers throughout region - Slovakia.
Also, I am proud to say that I am the CEO and co-founder of an online directory and service for coaches, psychologists and psychotherapists in Slovakia. It is called called ("positive mind"). We are creating an online marketplace where people can find the best specialist, according to their individual criteria. The two individuals then work together, to solve personal problems and issues or to just pursue specific self-improvement initiatives. Moreover, this website and service endeavours to educate the Slovak society in the field of mental health, which, I feel is absolutely essential. In this way we are also contributing to happier and healthier society

How did you get into this line of business?
The year I spent in NYC with the Mountbatten Institute was, honestly, the best year of my life. I am so happy I had the chance to do it, and would do it again in a heartbeat. I had always been interested in start-ups and during my year at Mountbatten I was a board member of The Center for Entrepreneurship. Through this experience I gained a lot of knowledge about entrepreneurship and the start-up communities. I sought to create something similar on my own in Slovakia, but then, while analyzing the field I found out that bookgoodlook was entering the Slovak market. I started to work for them as I already had some understanding of this segment. This in turn allowed me to pursue the idea of My time at the Programme helped me identify this potential "problem" of a bookgoodlook competitor into multiple opportunities.

How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
With I have been able to apply all my experiences from directly to my own startup. Without it would have been much harder. It is great to see this synergy of both projects, even though sometimes prioritizing between the two is difficult. I often find myself asking: "Should I work more on or" In either case, its still a win-win for me!

Read the full article

Fundraising Alumni

The Mountbatten Institute is delighted to be sponsoring two of our current trainees from the August 2015 London intake at their various charitable/fundraising events this year:

De'Kaleigha Wells (Day Day)

London, August 2015

Day Day has made it to the top 20 finalists for the title of Miss London City! She is now currently Miss Highbury. The actual final pageant is in the summer, and Mountbatten is delighted to have contributed to Day Day's sponsorship fee. Day Day is a veteran of pageants, having competed back home for several years where she has won a few titles and lost a few. In her own words Day Day says "Overall, this experience has been and will continue to be amazing I know for sure as I have already met some great people! It allows me over the next few months to get out into the community and volunteer and give back."

Day Day will keep us posted of her schedule for the pageant and her progress. If you would like to contribute to Day Day's sponsor fee, visit her justgiving page.

Hannah Krone

London, August 2015

Hannah is raising funds for charity when she runs the London Marathon on Sunday 24th April, and again, The Mountbatten Institute is delighted to have made a contribution to her sponsorship. She explains: "On Sunday April 24th, London will host 38,000 runners, including myself, in the annual London Marathon. This year, I am supporting a local London based charity Caritas Anchor House. Caritas provides shelter and support for over 230 homeless persons every year. Through their Aspirations Programme, Caritas helps those in need learn from their past and grow for a better future. Please provide your support for this wonderful organisation, who is making a difference in our community, by donating through the link below. Any donation, small or large, makes a difference in the Caritas community. Thank you."
Visit Hannah's page for donations.

Universities in the Spotlight

This month's Alum of the Month, John Noonan (London, Aug 2009) is a graduate of Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska with which we have developed a relationship from that time. A fellow alum of the same intake and graduate of Creighton University is David Bogard. He currently holds the post of Global Head of Revenue Reporting at Convergex in New York.

Our Day in Life, David Thorley (NY, Sep 2006) graduated from the Lancaster University, UK in 2004. We have a long standing relationship with Lancaster University, which has been providing great candidates for us since 2001. Jennifer Coatesworth (NY, May 2005) featured as an entrepreneur a year ago in our March 2015 newsletter, has her own cake business (Yummy Cupcake Company) in Lancaster. Whilst more recently, Patrick Simpson (NY, Aug 2014) is currently working for Liquidnet (his Mountbatten sponsor company) in Hong Kong.


We have a number of job openings at present aimed especially at our March 2015 Leavers groups: eBECS Ltd, a Microsoft partner is looking for Business Consultants to be based in either London, Swindon or Chesterfield; SRi, an independent research centre is currently recruiting an Executive Assistant to the Global Managing Director Sports, media and entertainment; and, Funding Circle is one of the fastest growing startups in the world with a team in London and San Francisco. Funding Circle has several positions open at present due to their growth, including Communications Executive, Account Manager, Underwriter etc. All of these positions have been given to us by alumni for alumni, and you can get the full details from our alumni website.

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