Alaxandar Anandhan

Alaxandar Anandhan

Australian National University
Associate Professional: Project Management
Alaxandar studied Master of Project Management & Master of Engineering at Australian National University

What's your job about?

DXC Technology is the world's leading independent, end-to-end IT services and solutions company and I am part of the delivery team managing projects at different levels. Being a Project manager, I make sure that DXC deliver the projects to its clients on schedule, on budget and within the agreed scope. Most projects are challenging to handle due to various factors which include stakeholder management, unforeseen risks & issues and resources management. I discuss the project with experts and try to predict these risks before they even arise. Once these challenges arise, I interact with vendors and other stakeholders to minimise the impact of the issues on the project. Some of the cool stuff about being the graduate in project management team is that you get to handle small to medium size projects. You are responsible for the project and you assign tasks to people in your team and they report to you.

What's your background?

I was born in the southern part of India and moved to Australia in 2011 for my higher studies. I did my schooling in my hometown and moved to a different city for my Bachelors. This was a major shock to me as I was moving away from my home for the first time in my life. But this helped to learn how to manage difficulties and sustain life without the support of my parents. This was much more helpful when I moved to Australia as I had already learned to be independent. I worked in India for 3 years as a software engineer for EDS and then decided to pursue my higher studies in Management since I felt that my skills and passion are more about the business approach rather than technical approach. Once I completed my higher studies here in Australia, I applied for various management roles to different organisations and some of them declined stating that I didn’t have previous management experience. After many interviews and rejections, as for any graduate, I got the golden opportunity (and I really mean it) to work for DXC, the number one IT services company in Australia. It has been about a year and 4 months now and I enjoy every day as I am continuously learning. One of the best decisions of my life was to move to Australia and complete my higher studies as it has opened doors in my life which has helped me to learn and improve myself in various categories.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, people with different backgrounds can take up the role as a project manager. In our intake, we had indivduals with finance degrees and other disciplines who applied for a role in Project management.  Project management is more about having the skill to manage people and related work. The theory that I learnt through my master’s degree in project management is about the learning the processes to be followed and tools that help me follow those processes. The primary skills that are needed to be a project manager are people skills – understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your team and being able to utilise the strengths and overcome the weaknesses. Other skills include learning quickly, ability to ask questions and understand financials.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

As a project manager, you have to network with lots of people. This includes vendors, clients, project sponsors, internal and external stakeholders. Larger networks increase the chance of encountering a new challenge every day. Challenges include client needing a change in scope, vendor not able to deliver on time or resources not being available and many more. When you solve those challenges, it motivates you to look for more. It gives you the sense of achievement every time you help someone in trouble or you contribute positively to the project. At DXC, there is always someone behind you, ready to tell you that you are doing a great job when you achieve something.

What are the limitations of your job?

The biggest difficulty and motivation for me as being a Project manager is the responsibility that comes with the territory. You are responsible for your project and I treat each project as my own. You might have resources working from all over the world and due to time difference; you might have to get up in the middle of the night to support your team facing issues or even just to have your regular team meeting. It’s not just about taking responsibility for the work you do, but you are made liable for the work done by other people.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • The first one would be to research and expand your learning on what was taught in class. There is always multiple ways to solve an issue and all of them cannot be taught in a 3 hour class. The things that are taught are just a pathway set to expand your knowledge.
  • The second piece of advice is to be innovative. Always try and improve the surroundings and the tools you work with. This will push you to learn new skills outside you comfort zone. 
  • The third one would be “don’t settle for where you are and what you have”. Set a goal and always attach a timeline to it, as you won’t be pushing yourself to the limit. Once you reach the desired goal, appreciate yourself and without slacking, set the new goal immediately so that you are always doing your best.