Friday, December 2, 2011

This Day in History v.25

I can't believe I never thought to blog about this particular topic before. As some of you know, I spent a year working in London while doing a programme called Mountbatten. While this programme has some disadvantages (hello, actually SHARING a bedroom with someone while in your 20s and pretending to give a shit about writing a paper for this program) but there were plenty more advantages like um, hello living in London for a year and working and ALL of the travelling. It didn't matter that we were essentially poor...well, our rent money was taken out of our paychecks before we ever saw it, which left us around 600 pounds a month. Yikes. But you can make do just fine and with all of the low cost airlines and staying in hostels, I've seen some pretty cool places such as Croatia, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, etc. It might be scary thinking of moving to another country not knowing anyone or really knowing anything about the job you are taking. But you're moving with so many other Americans (literally there was like 100 of us) that you create your own little home away from home.

So what's the deal with the programme? Well, a bit might have changed since I moved in 2007, but I'll try to summarize:
  • There are two intakes: March and August (in my opinion August is way better! Bigger class and just is)
  • There are two programmes: The Postgraduate Certification (I did this) and the MBA programme. I don't really understand the validity of the MBA programme, but you actually get your MBA but this does require you to spend more time in class and then 4 months after your year in London in Thailand.
  • Jobs: There was a large number of us placed in Investment Banks, some in law firms, some in really really small and unique companies, one girl I knew worked in a chocolate company (weird!)
  • Job Locations: Most of them were directly in the city, some were in Canary Wharf, and some were really far out (not many)
  • Housing: You do share a room (no exceptions), some are 4 person flats (2 rooms) and some are 6 person flats (3 rooms)
  • Hosing Locations: From what I know, there are still places in Maida Vale (near Pattington tube station), Islington (near Angel tube station) and I now think they have a place near Canary Wharf after so many of us complained it took over an hour to get to work. You do have an opportunity to move after the first 6 months.
  • Pay: You get 615 pounds a month (625 if you are the "house leader"), and depending on where you worked/lived, you might have to fork over the 100 pound metro fee while there are others who could walk to work and pocket that extra poundage.
  • Visa: You will have to apply for and pay for a student visa that allows you to work (I think that was around $400 to apply)
  • Fees: Its kind of pricey now and I don't remember it being this much of a cost...perhaps we got some of the fees back?
  • Course work: For the certificate, we did 2 papers and I think sat through a couple of all day courses throughout the year. I think its probably more now since the fees have increased.
  • Requirements: You have to have a college degree and be the areas of 21-28.

Mountbatten also has the opportunity for English/Australian/Indian (I think) students to work in NYC for a year.

Now they actually have a professional website and do college fairs. They did not when I was applying. Let me just tell you about my experience and no wonder why I was so apprehensive about going. I had my interview in NYC, so I did a whirlwind 1 day trip up to NYC. I had some extra Delta miles so I cashed them in. This meant I had to fly from NN to Atlanta to NYC on both the trip up and back. That alone was exhausting...it was also my finals week in grad school. That sucked. Well I flew into NYC with no problem (nowadays I'd have a late flight each time...but that's besides the point) and took a cab into the city and was dropped off at this building across the street from Grand Central. There is construction all over this building and really noisey. I go up in this teeny tiny little elevator that probably could only fit 2 people to get off on a floor with only 2 doors and no window and only a little paper sign for Mountbatten. Cue in the scary movie music and I thought I was going to walk into my death right then and there. Anyways, I walk in and have my interviews. I do remember the director had actually heard of Old Dominion...which I was impressed with. I didn't think many people knew about the school, only people in VA would know of it. Anyways, I had my interview and all went well. I had to dart out of there and back to the airport. I was so naive that when I tried to take a taxi back to the airport, the driver refused to take me. Thankfully a police officer saw the cab do it and flagged down the next one and forced them to take me. I flew back home with no problems to have my exams the next day.

I still had no idea if this was a legit program or not so when I was leaving to go to London I was totally scared I'd get there and realize it was a hoax and they took all my money and now have no where to live. Now that was scary! Thankfully there was a fb group that I joined and eased my fears but still was a bit apprehensive. In my good fortune, Hannah was moving there a week after I got there to go to grad school. Neither of us knew we were both going until we had already agreed to our programs. Having her there totally made my experience that much better! Doing this programme was probably the BEST decision of my life. I gained so much personally and professionally from doing this! I'd recommend it to anyone. If you have any questions about the programme or experience, please shoot me a comment!

Anyways, I've had so many amazing experiences in London, here are the 24 I've written so far. Enjoy!
This Day in History v.1
This Day in History v.2
This Day in History v.3
This Day in History v.4
This Day in History v.5
This Day in History v.6
This Day in History v.7
This Day in History v.8
This Day in History v.9
This Day in History v.10
This Day in History v.11
This Day in History v.12
This Day in History v.13
This Day in History v.14
This Day in History v.15
This Day in History v.16
This Day in History v.17
This Day in History v.18
This Day in History v.19
This Day in History v.20
This Day in History v.21
This Day in History v.22
This Day in History v.23
This Day in History v.24

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