Business Alumni Update | 2015

Mike Hopkins, Boarding Call competition winner

Jetting to his home city of London to celebrate UniSA's 25th birthday

Mike on business trip to India 2010

The winner of University of South Australia’s Boarding Call competition is Mike Hopkins from South Australia whose name was randomly drawn from thousands of entries. He will be flying business class to his former home town of London to attend UniSA’s 25th birthday celebrations in 2016.

Mike undertook a Master of Business Administration degree at UniSA, completing it in two years while holding down a full-time job. He achieved a distinction and won the Alex Ramsay prize for most outstanding student on the MBA course in 1991.

Born in Hammersmith, London of Irish parents, Mike has forged a successful professional career in IT and consultancy spanning several countries.

Mike obtained an honours degree in Economics from the University of London, and joined the British Steel Corporation as a management trainee in Cardiff. He moved into the IT world as a trainee programmer on IBM mainframes and worked in Ireland in the late 70s for a company distributing mini-computers. He helped establish their Zimbabwe operation and spent four years in Africa as their General Manager. After returning to an economically depressed Ireland, Mike moved to Adelaide in 1988 and became a senior consultant with Australian IT company, Computer Power Group.

In the early ‘90s, Mike established his own IT consultancy company, Australian Management Systems, working predominantly in the government sector.

Among his career highlights Mike counts two pro bono projects under Business SA's 100 hours project: one for an Aboriginal employment network, Turkindi, and one for an aged care home, Alwyndor.

"A more recent highlight was project managing, for the SA Cervix Screening Program, the migration of hundreds of thousands of records from an obsolete database to a modern, secure, sophisticated database which will help provide a far better service to South Australian women," says Mike.

When we asked Mike what he was most looking forward to about returning to his home town of London courtesy of UniSA and Phil Hoffman Travel, he said attending a football match was on the agenda.

Mike recalls one of his fondest memories of London childhood was going to his first big football match, Fulham versus Tottenham Hotspur, when he was 10 years old.

"Standing in a crowd of 40,000 people, the beautiful old stadium (Craven Cottage), the deafening noise, being so close to the pitch and the players, the smells, the excitement. Fulham won 4-1, so I was a Fulham supporter from then on (and it's been mostly downhill since then for Fulham)," he says.

"(Next year) I'll probably take my 19 year old son Kieran with me - he is a University of South Australia business undergraduate, and is aiming to do a semester in the UK in 2016, hopefully at Lancaster University, early next year. If the dates fit, we'll go over together, rent a couple of dinner jackets, and make the most of Mr Downer's (the Australian High Commissioner) hospitality - and maybe attend a couple of football matches together."

Thank you to all those alumni who updated their details and shared their career journeys with us. The prize of two return business class flights is supported by Phil Hoffman Travel.

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