December 2016 Edition

Season's Greetings

Here at Mountbatten Institute Alumni Association, we would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season this December, which sees the culmination of another busy and interesting year both globally, and at the Mountbatten Institute. This particular issue marks the 5th Anniversary of our alumni newsletter, and we are delighted to say that this has grown from strength to strength and is largely generated by your own contributions, articles and material. You can read more about this below.

Dr Paul Beresford-Hill (Director General) has a seasonal message of his own, "On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the staff of The Mountbatten Institute I wish everyone the very best for the festive season. I hope that 2017 will be a productive and safe year for all of you and for your families and friends. I am so proud of all we have accomplished together and wish all of you a very happy holiday season and the most wonderful things for 2017".

One other thing, for those of you who are still struggling with those Secret Santa budget gifts for your boss/work colleagues/family/friends, one of our alumni has recently set up a business (November 2016) with just that in mind. Robynne Hammer (New York, March 2010) established Secret Santa Hub, inspiring fast and fantastic Secret Santa gift ideas (and as it turns out, great stocking fillers). Read on for Robynne's full account of how she set this up and browse her website for those gifts.

It's hard to believe but it's true, our alumni newsletter has been going for 5 years! During this time we have featured over 70 Alums of the Month, and developed regular slots for Entrepreneurial Alumni and Day in Life Ofs. During its' lifecycle we have celebrated such significant events as the 30th Anniversary of the Mountbatten Institute and Dr Paul Beresford-Hill receiving a CBE in recognition of his work on behalf of British American Educational and Cultural Exchange and for his contribution to international education. We have witnessed and heard accounts of London 2012 and Brazil 2016 Olympics; the Queen of England's Golden Jubilee and 90th birthday celebrations; and many other global political events of significance. Against this backdrop, Mountbatten Institute alumni have continued to launch their own businesses; raise big sums of money for charity with ever more demanding endeavours; celebrate their Mountbatten weddings; share their career successes and tips with us, and generally be extremely supportive. Alumni have also assisted in the recruitment of candidates for the programme, and some have even become sponsor companies hosting their own Mountbatten interns.

The newsletter has developed over these 5 years and now has a more modern, sleeker look, which we think better reflects our alumni and Institute today. The team are extremely grateful to all those alumni who have contributed to its success, and hope you continue to share your news in the future. We are always open to suggestions, so if you would like to see a feature focus on a particular subject area; or you have an idea for a new regular slot, please get in touch. See our archive of all the previous issues.

Exciting New Alumni Platform in the New Year!

We are delighted to announce that we are almost ready to launch Mountbatten Connect - our new Alumni platform, which will include an app, ability to post jobs, get immediate news etc! So please look out for an email in January with instructions on how to sign up.

of the Month

Ashley Robertson
London, Mar 2010

"Not only did I love my job, but I also loved the company. After graduating from the MBA program, it took me years to find a job that even came close to M&G Investments. They take great care of their employees and yes, even their interns. We were treated like regular employees and were invited to all the fun activities including Christmas parties, softball games, karaoke nights, sailing, etc. They even threw me a birthday party with champagne, sparklers and all. I'm still in touch with most of my former colleagues."

Read the full article

Fundraising Alumni

James Gregory, Emma Clarke and Steven Garratt (New York, January 2008) took part in this year's Turkey Trot in Prospect Park on Thanksgiving and were among over 2500 runners to complete a 5 mile circuit (some in fancy dress). James completed in 49:06, Steven in 49:33 and Emma 57:26. James did fundraising for a local charity based in Sheffield that aims to help women with depression, for which he raised a fantastic £3200. Well done for your fundraising efforts. James is looking to organise a Turkey Trot in the UK next year, will keep you posted.

A Day In The Life

Billy Dosanjh (New York, September 2003), a graduate of the London School of Economics, makes documentary films and artist films. His most recent film was on BBC4 and called Sikhs of Smethwick, and focused on how the Sikh community is maintaining tradition whilst adapting to British life. Read the review published by The Guardian newspaper.

How did you get into this line of business?
Blind luck, reckless gambling and experiments! Mountbatten can also work as random forays into possible futures. Michael Billett once said something that stuck with me through my 20s - that really, this is your decade to explore. It appealed to my vanity; to a persona of not fitting in.

Let's talk about a typical day. What time do you get up?
A typical day does not exist. If I am on a shoot, I’m out early to search for landscapes. Then it’s a day of filming working off a fluid script. On the other hand, if I am in between work I block my day into two hours of reading, an hour of guitar, two hours exercise, and the rest of the time procrastinating / planning. This time is important as when you are on a film, all your energy is taken up by the project and very little time is left for you or anybody else.

What tasks and projects do you have on the go at present?
I'm doing press for my most recent film on BBC4 Sikhs of Smethwick and editing a surrealist film shot with the Arts Council, about the early days of a marriage of a newly arrived migrant from the Punjab in 1950s Birmingham.

What time do you normally leave your workplace at the end of the working day?
I'm switched on every waking moment - the only way I switch off is walking into a pub!

Entrepreneurial Alumni

Jeremy Slater

New York, August 2013

Social enterprise developer Jeremy, a graduate of The University of Leeds works for Pollinate Energy, a social business operating in 4 cities throughout India. Founded in 2012, Pollinate Energy is an award-winning company that brings life-changing products to people who need them most, namely the residents of India's millions of urban slums. The company endeavours to have an impact on widespread usage of kerosene by providing clean, durable and affordable alternatives, principally solar lights. Jeremy's role in this Bangalore-based social start-up is to help Pollinate Energy expand their business across India by establishing and building operations in a new city, their fourth in so many years. Read on to find out how Jeremy took a leap from Equity Fund Managers' Assistant to working for social start-up Pollinate Energy in his fascinating and insightful account below. (Pollinate Energy takes applications for their programmes all year round). Read the full article.

Ziba Sidrys

London, March 2015

Ziba, a graduate of the Saint Louis University, OH "took an unconventional turn" and started her own dance company, upon her return home to Chicago after completing the London programme. The company Confidance Chicago, "fuses together hip hop classes and group chats that allow women to be more confident and proud of their unique bodies and personalities". Ziba teaches classes and facilitates the discussions in the studio, as well as writing for numerous start-ups during the working day. In her account below, Ziba describes how she had never considered being an entrepreneur because she thought it sounded like an "independent, lonely and harrowing endeavor", but to her surprise, starting a program was “quite organic, communal and exciting” once she just put herself out there. Ziba advises "there will never be an ideal time and you'll never do it if you're waiting for everything to be perfectly planned" Read the full article.

Universities & Recruitment

Over the past year at Mountbatten we have continued to utilise a variety of methods to attract the best candidates on the market and alumni engagement with us at events or online has been a priceless tool in promoting the benefits of the Mountbatten Programmes. Campus recruitment is consistently one of the most effective channels for raising and reinforcing our brand at target universities across the US and the UK. This year the Mountbatten team visited over 50 universities world wide and many members from our alumni community joined us at these events to talk about their experience of being on the Mountbatten Programme. Having our alumni with us really brings the programme to life and helps prospective candidates see themselves in New York, London and Bangkok. In 2016, we leveraged the support of our alumni network even further in the form of online webinars. In a digital age of tech-savvy millennials, our marketing strategy is increasingly adopting additional online channels to interact with our target demographic. The introduction of webinars to educate and inform prospective candidates has been a very successful and cost-effective way of allowing candidates based in rural or international locations to learn more about what Mountbatten can offer them. Again, having previous participants on these webinars makes Mountbatten Programmes much more of a reality for prospective candidates. Hearing alumni stories about where they came from, what they did on Mountbatten and how it has affected their personal and professional lives is hugely beneficial in helping candidates make the big decision of applying to Mountbatten. Finally, we must mention the outstanding support we get from the entire alumni community in spreading the word to your wider networks. As a source of candidates, 'Word of Mouth' has continued to provide 30-40% of candidate applications in 2016, which is testament to the quality of experience you gained during your time with Mountbatten and the ambassadorial effort you are doing to promote the programme. From myself and the Mountbatten team we thank you for all the effort you put in and we wish you a fantastic holiday season. Paul Sutherland (Global Marketing & Recruitment Director)

To find out about current employment opportunities, please go to our alumni website.

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