What is your name?
Lakshmanan Ravindran (You can call me Ravi for short ).
Where do you live?
Do you have a family, kids or pets?
Family. Wife Madhu, kids Ishita ( age 9 ) and Rahul
( age 6 ).
Tell us a little about your hobbies, interests and favourite activities.
1. Cooking dishes from different cultures. I like collecting recipe books from different cultures and preparing dishes.
2. Learning about ancient history. I am fascinated with how us humans have evolved from the beginning of time and the fact that down the long road, someone will be learning about our current times and consider us ancient!!!.
Can you tell us about the AU Courses you are taking at the moment, or a favourite course?
I have enrolled for the BSc. Computing and Information Systems program.
Currently taking my first course( Comp200 ) which I started on the 1st of Feb 2003.
How long have you been a student?
What do you think of your courses/ the AU experience/ distance education?
Before joining the program at Athabasca University, I did a lot of research into the offerings from AU and I was impressed with the way distance education is being offered by the university. My initial experience, from the point of enrolling as a student, seeking a student loan to the point of receiving my first courseware has been wonderful. I am sure that AU will provide me with the rich academic experience that I am looking for.
Do you work? What do you do?
Yes I do work. I currently work as a Network Administrator with a plastics injection moulding company based at Whitby in Ontario. My company employs around 300 people. I am responsible for support of the company’s 70 computers, LAN and WAN.
I also support 3 NT servers and 1 Novell server. I love my job as it provides me with the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people and learn from these experiences. Also the job is challenging when it comes to migrating and upgrading infrastructure.
How is AU helping you toward your goals?
The most immediate benefit of my course with AU is that I am able to pursue my undergraduate course whilst working. I cannot stop working as I need to support my family. My other goal is to complete my undergraduate degree (which I could not do when I was in India) and if all goes well pursue a masters degree from AU.
What are your future goals?
Learn! Learn! and Learn!. There is so much that the world has to offer. More so in my area of Computer networking where technology changes/ advancement are so frequent. Isn’t it fascinating to learn about technologies like Wireless and Voice over IP and how the benefits of these could be passed down to the end user. I hope to pursue my Phd. in a relevant field when the time comes.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for other students?
As I mentioned above, Learn! Learn! and Learn!. My advice is that one should effectively use his or her time to learn as much as possible. Eventually this knowledge will benefit society.
Anything else we should know? Funny stories about the dog eating your laptop/ praise for AU, a friend or a tutor?
My family and myself immigrated to Canada from India in 2000. Prior to coming over to Canada, I was working as an IT manager for Motorola in India. My wife and children have adapted well to life in Canada particularly the weather. My daughter has a goldfish for a pet. She is very keen to have a Golden Retriever as a pet, which should happen soon. Before coming over to Canada, we had to leave our pet Dalmatian back in India which was very sad for us specially Ishita and Rahul. We did think of bringing him along with us, but we thought that settling in a new country had its challenges.
We enjoy travelling and seeing the beauty that is Canada. We have visited Ottawa, Niagara falls and Gatineau in Quebec. We hope to visit a province a year for holidays so that we have the opportunity to see as much of Canada. I am looking forward to my convocation at Athabasca in Alberta in 3 to 4 years time ( though I am sure we will be visiting Alberta before that ).
Thanks Ravi! It’s great to hear from someone who is so new to the school. Best of luck.