An important part of my successful and enjoyable career

After a number of years in the chemical industry both in Australia and the UK and following a recent two year World Bank financed industrial development study, in Pakistan, I came to Perth in 1989 to take up a senior position with the Dept of State Development. I had previously graduated in chemical engineering and mathematics in South Australia and with my recent experience I was looking to further my education in the resources area. A work colleague recommended a particular course so in 1990 I commenced a Post Graduate Diploma in Natural Resources at Curtin. My wife also looked to further her studies and commenced a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management at Curtin.

In 1992 my wife’s sister arrived from Kenya and commenced an MBA at Curtin as an international student. Meanwhile I had recently taken up a position as General Manager with a chemical manufacturing company and with that background and after seeing what my wife’s sister was studying I realised that an MBA was the preferred option to support my career development – so on completion of the PGrad Dip I commenced an MBA at Curtin.

By 1997 I had completed the MBA and had moved on from my industrial position to take up a position with equity in a local consulting firm. My wife and her sister had also completed their studies and her sister had returned to Kenya. However the good word about Curtin had obviously spread as about that time another of my wife’s sisters, who had trained as a primary teacher in Kenya, arrived and commenced postgraduate studies in education at Curtin. This sister later took up residency in Australia, completed a Masters in Humanities at Curtin and is currently studying for her PhD, also at Curtin. Meanwhile the sister who had completed an MBA worked in several African countries and obtained the position of Marketing Director (Africa) for a multinational Swedish communications company.

I looked to broaden my skills however and on completing the MBA I commenced an MSc in Mineral Economics at Curtin’s School of Mines. During 1999 I worked on an LPG project in Indonesia and in 2000 – 2001 I was Project Director for a downstream processing Masterplan Study for the Government of Brunei. These absences overseas cut into my studies somewhat but by 2002 I had completed the MSc.

Some of my consulting assignments had been on projects with one of Australia’s largest engineering development companies and following an excellent offer I joined this company as a Senior Project Manager in Jan 03 and over the next eight years completed a most successful period in senior positions. This involved three years in WA, then two years in the UAE followed by three years in Angola working on ammonia and urea fertiliser production, aluminium smelting and offshore oilfield development.

Since returning to Perth I’ve continued my consulting work including three years as a Sessional Lecturer in Project Economics at Curtin. Also the family have maintained the Curtin connection with my wife’s brother completing an MCom as an international student in 2013 and our niece (the daughter of my wife’s sister who completed her MBA at Curtin) recently completing her BCom and is soon to return to Kenya. My daughter also completed a BCom at Curtin in 2015 and now has an excellent position in events management in Perth.

Study at Curtin has proven to be an important part of my successful and enjoyable career in a number of countries. Currently I am also enjoying my role as Treasurer of the Graduate School of Business Alumni Committee and was honoured to receive the Alumni Volunteer Leadership Award for 2016, which I shared with other members of the Curtin GSB Alumni Committee. Study at Curtin has also been a rewarding experience for six members of my extended family where all have achieved or are moving into rewarding positions – including the sister of my wife who is completing a PhD, the sister who was appointed Marketing Director (Africa) and her brother, who recently returned to Kenya, now involved in the development of a private hospital as part of the family’s equity and management input.

Ian Williams