August 2017

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Ric Alston

Computer Studies 1990

1.  Tell us about yourself. 

At home it’s the family first and when we get a chance we love a game of chess. I love my family because they put up with me and my completely mad vegan diet. Save the planet! We all go on our annual pilgrimage to the Glastonbury Festival where I play bit of piano. At work I'm a "do the right thing" computer person. My business at Cambridge Computer Support is working on deploying tools created by a spin-off from the Department of Defense (DoD) to help organisations protect themselves from these kinds of threats.

2.  What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?

There was a time when the grand piano was kept unlocked just along the corridor from the canteen. I would improvise my jazz. It was a great way to meet girls.

3.  What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate? 

Don’t put it off 'til tomorrow. You’ll find you have other things to do tomorrow. Pay attention in your lectures and make good notes. It might seem like a shocking idea now but you’ll find the answers you’re going to need to succeed at university are handed out at the lectures! 

4.  What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst you were studying?

Things that married life teaches you that have no place being elaborated here. And the questions on the exam papers of course.

5.  How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you? 

In many diverse ways. Socially and academically. Even, and this is coming from the least gifted sportsman, with healthy activity. Oh yes, I learnt how to drink as well…

6.  What did you love about your chosen course?

The content was inspiringly diverse. Subjects were in one example broad and another mathematically precise. The opportunity to stand up and present was enjoyable for me.

7.  What would you tell someone thinking of studying at ARU? 

Absolutely go for it. If you are in any doubt and have a sense of humour you should read Tom Sharpe’s Wilt. That should clinch the deal!

8.  In one word how would you describe Anglia Ruskin?

I don’t think I would use one word. But maybe a short phrase “Well placed” on many levels.

9.  Who was the biggest influence on your career?

The man who introduced me to computers before I went to Anglia Ruskin. And Oscar Peterson (jazz pianist).

10.  What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Helping kids straight out of college into the job market. With my experience I know the gulf between working as a student and working in a profession. I’m proud of the kids who’ve come out of college to work for me and gone on to great things.

11.  What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t lounge about too much. It’s dull and you might very well regret it not too far down the road.

12.  What drives you?

Feeling a bit clever about myself. Making people happy. And the pay packet of course.

13.  What’s next?

Working with my wife doing business with Japan for the Tokyo Olympics.