(Original post by rachelsays)
Hi Meow, I'll answer your questions from my perspective:
1. I have found having the PGC qualification slightly useful in that it's a talking point at interview, but I don't work in the corporate sector so it's not actually that relevant to my job. Others who do work in the corporate sector may have found it more useful. Yes you can transfer credits to other St Mary's degree courses. Yes it's easy to understand - my degree is in English Lit too and I found it very simple - it's common sense really!
2. You can't switch into the MBA mid course, no - they learn double what we do and have weekend lectures so you wouldn't be able to catch up. I would NOT advise doing the Mountbatten MBA - it is not well respected and the teaching is not of a sufficient quality to make it recognised by employers. Many of the MBA students do not feel they made a good choice by doing theirs with Mountbatten. MBAs are all about the university you got them from - and St Mary's is not exactly stellar for business. Wait until you're older, have a real job with managerial responsibility, and your employer is willing to pay for it.
3. I am in the unusual position of having lived in both New Jersey and Harlem so I can give you a view of both. The New Jersey accommodation varies as to which apartment block you get placed in. Two of the blocks have bigger apartments than the others, but neither are small. New Jersey accommodation is quite run down, with the same furniture that has been there since the 90's, and the fixtures and fittings do look tired and dated. However, it's spacious and you do get plenty of privacy if you need it. The downside with the spaciousness though is that these apartments get FREEZING cold in the winter and the heaters aren't adequate enough to keep them warm. In the summer they are BAKING hot and likewise with the air conditioning - hard to keep cool. But you don't spend a lot of time at home anyway so it's not a hugely big deal. In Harlem the apartments are brand new and very swish - they're designed for professionals. BUT they are very small - that's the main difference - and you will feel more like you are living on top of each other there. The air con is also not so great so in the summer you will struggle to sleep.
New Jersey is like toytown - Newport is purpose built and very safe, with everything you need on your doorstep and FANTASTIC views of Manhattan across the river. It's lovely but it's not New York. Harlem is pretty gritty but very rapidly gentrifying - I never felt unsafe there but you do have to be more cautious, especially about walking home at night.
Harlem apartments are only given to people who have to commute for work by the way so you don't get to choose where you live. The vast majority got placed in Newport and most people love it there - it's easy to go in and out of each other's apartments etc. However I loved living in Harlem because I loved being in Manhattan and feeling more like I was an actual independent New Yorker rather than a 'Mountbatten' - I didn't really hang out with that crowd and preferred to make American friends.
4. If your job genuinely isn't working out, Mountbatten will try and help you, but they offer no guarantees and if they can't find you another placement you will just get sent home. So no, there isn't a huge amount of flexibility. Only one or two people on each intake switch placements. I didn't love my job but you just get on with it - you're not there for the job really, you're there for New York.
Hope that helps! I will add the caveat that I ONLY did Mountbatten for New York - not for the job, not for the qualification. I had a fantastic time because I made amazing friends and got to live in a place I love and had dreamed of living in since I was a teenager. If I HAD gone for the career prospects, I would have been disappointed - most jobs are totally entry level and offer little opportunity. So do bear that in mind - if you just want to live in New York, then the experience is priceless - but if you only want to go to get a great job out of it then I'd think more carefully about whether you want to spend £6k on this. The career prospects are not as good as they claim.