Alumni Stories - Oliver John Ralph

Name: Oliver John Ralph
Job: Assistant Vice President, Internal Audit, Credit Suisse
Degree:BSc Computer Science 1998

Career experiences

Upon graduating from Birmingham University I joined KPMG in Birmingham as an Information Risk Management Specialist. At KPMG I worked with a wide range of clients across the UK in many industries including Banking & Finance, Internet and e-commerce, Local government and Telecommunications. After working with KPMG Birmingham for 4 years I decided that I wanted to work abroad. Through KPMG I was allowed to go on a 2 year secondment to their Singapore office. Working for KPMG Singapore gave me significant exposure to many international companies, including, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, MCI Worldcom and Nestle. After a year with KPMG Singapore I was approached by Credit Suisse to join their Asia Pacific Internal Audit department as an IT Auditor.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

I have now been working with Credit Suisse since October 2003 in a role that covers the whole of the Asia Pacific. The most enjoyable and interesting aspect of my job now is that I get to travel all around Asia for work (Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul and Jakarta) business class! The exposure to so many different cultures makes my life really exciting and truly international. I have also just completed a 3 month secondment to our New York office which was a fantastic opportunity to meet some of my colleagues I only ever normally get to speak to over the phone.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?

I have many great memories of studying at Birmingham. I got involved in so many aspects of student life including; Student Advice (Advice and Representation Centre in the Guild), Guild Council, BURN FM and Bar Manager of Chamberlain Hall bar. The whole experience was amazing and is something I always look back on fondly.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?

My degree course was really interesting and the staff in the department were really supportive and gave great advice. Living in Birmingham was great and so dynamic! I still can't believe how the city changed while I was there and how it continues to evolve. I feel that it has everything to offer that a big city like London but is more accessible and easy to get around. Birmingham is a truly multicultural city.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

Your degree can take you anywhere. Your future career is up to you and you will only get out what you put into it. Time at uni goes so quickly make the most of it and above all enjoy it!