Connecting across the world
Macarena Fuentes González (GDipLegPrac '13, LLM '17) and John Stanner (BEc '88, BSc(Hons) '90)
29 Nov 2022
ANU is a university with global reach. That's how I connected with John Stanner to work for his mining company in Chile.
I was doing a double degree in law and business at Edith Cowan University in Perth. Then I had to move to Canberra for work and that's how I discovered the Australian National University (ANU). ANU is considered the best university for law in Australia, so I ended doing my Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at ANU and then followed it up with a Master of Laws.
My degree at ANU was very practical and the professors were excellent. Because the students were of really high quality, I didn't have any of those experiences you hear about with group assignments being very painful. At ANU, everybody was very focused on what they wanted to achieve. That was a really good experience that prepared me for the workplace in which you interact with diverse people.
The University's reputation has since opened a lot of doors for me in my career. Even here in Chile, I have always worked with Australians who have all heard of ANU.
While studying, I went to an event organised by the Australian Embassy in Chile for the Alumni of the Top 8 Australian Universities. That is where I met John Stanner who worked in the mining sector. I was looking for work at the time and had some exposure to the mining industry, so John and I had a long chat and exchanged cards.
I later emailed John asking if he knew of any work going in my area of interest, which was business development. John was super helpful coming up with ideas to help me find work and about who he could introduce me to. He introduced me to the Chilean club and to his business partner, who I ended up working for.
John and I got to know each other while working together. I discovered that he is the son of W.E.H. Stanner, one of the professors who was invited to set up ANU back in the 50s. There are a number of buildings on campus named after him. John also studied at ANU after his father passed away, because it was a condition of his father's will that John get a university degree in order to inherit money. John studied a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Science specialising in geology. We still share an office today.
One thing I love about ANU is the alumni events. I'm also an alumnus of two other universities, but ANU holds more alumni events and on a bigger international scale. It's awesome that they do these events so you can meet other people across the world with similar experiences. ANU is not just an experience while you are studying, it continues beyond your time at university too.