Alumni Update | Issue Eight 2014
UniSA breeds Oxford thinking
From left: Ramesh Chander and Dan Ryan
Ramesh Chander
MBA student at University of Oxford
Master of Information & Communications Technology Management

Dan Ryan
MBA Recruitment Manager (Asia Pacific) at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Bachelor of Management (Marketing)

Rubbing shoulders with President Barrack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron is all in a day’s work for two UniSA graduates who have taken their place at the University of Oxford.

After graduating from UniSA with a Masters in ICT Management, Ramesh Chander joined a consulting firm in Adelaide as a telecommunications consultant. Working alongside various corporate and government organisations in South Australia, Ramesh advised them on their telecommunications strategy and IT needs. He moved on to India soon after to work on a start-up company within the hi-tech telecoms field.

“All along, I knew that I wanted to do an MBA, and Oxford’s brand is so renowned that it was an easy choice. I came to Oxford for an interview and immediately loved the city and business school – and luckily they liked me too and offered me a place.

“My favourite thing about being at the Saïd Business School at Oxford is getting to know my fellow students. There is an amazing amount of diversity here – my class consists of 250 students from 45 different nationalities, and from professions as varied as doctors, engineers and opera singers. One day I asked a classmate how his day was, and he replied ‘not bad, seeing as I just met the Prime Minister of England, David Cameron’. This could only happen at Oxford!”

Ramesh recognised fellow UniSA graduate, Dan Ryan, at an Aussie Youth Meet Up social event. After discovering that he was from Adelaide and had studied at UniSA, Ramesh realised that he had seen Dan in an alumni newsletter feature.

“Never under-estimate the power of the UniSA network,” says alumnus Dan Ryan, who graduated with a Bachelor in Management (Marketing).

Dan moved to Oxford to be with his girlfriend who was embarking on a Master’s degree at Oxford Brookes University. Soon after arriving, Dan was contacted by a head hunter who had seen his CV on an online job site, and he was offered the role of MBA Recruitment Manager (Asia Pacific) for the University of Oxford.

“Since leaving UniSA, I’ve sought out a career where I could make a difference and play a role in solving world-scale problems. I worked in international development for Austraining International, on government funded projects, and started to get an idea of what young people are capable of and what social change could look like. That fuelled my ambition and I later became the first Adelaidean to serve as the UN Youth Representative for Australia.”

Dan’s year-long journey with the UN culminated in New York at the UN General Assembly, where he met his girlfriend, fellow UN Youth Representative for Slovakia, and gave a speech in the same forum as world leaders including US President Barrack Obama.

“Giving that speech in the UN General Assembly was a real high point, and after that I worried nothing would match it. But now, coming here to Oxford, I definitely have a sense that I’m in the room with the great minds of tomorrow – the future Obamas and David Camerons.

“One thing about Oxford is that everyone that comes here is exceptional in one way or other, and that includes all the staff. My favourite thing is that you don’t feel like you’re contained within one school of thought or one way of thinking; you feel like you’re learning how to think. I see a lot of common ground between my experience here and my experience in the UN.”

Ramesh, whose achievements in Adelaide include raising funds for homeless people and spreading awareness of climate change, credits his education at UniSA for preparing him to study alongside the distinguished minds of Oxford.

“Taking my place at Oxford is definitely one of my greatest achievements, and my education at UniSA and experiences in Adelaide played a big part in preparing me for this. UniSA is a good brand and I’m proud to wear it on my sleeve.

“After completing my MBA I hope to work for an innovative start-up company in the technology sector. In the long-term, I’d definitely like to come back to SA to work in a role that brings new industries to South Australia to help the state diversify and grow at a faster pace.”

Dan agrees that South Australia will play a role in his future plans. “I’m a massive advocate for South Australia and my family is there, so my long term plans are closely connected with SA. I want to have an impact in a corporate social responsibility space; businesses have a long way to go in achieving the positive impact they should be making on society. I have a few ideas up my sleeve, but leveraging my business degree from UniSA, and other experiences, to get something off the ground would be an awesome way to do that.”

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