When Vincent Ramos enrolled at Trinity in 1997, little did he know the decision would lead to 10-plus years of employment at the College, a fulfilling career in tertiary education – and even a marriage!
Vincent Ramos remembers the exact date he started Foundation Studies: 17 February 1997. The day he entered the Trinity College gates for the first time was fateful, given he was about to meet his now-wife, Michelle Lim, who would share an identical timetable. And the connections he was about to make on campus would soon lead to a range of professional roles at the College over a decade-long tenure.
Vincent has fond memories of those early days settling into Melbourne, and in particular, getting to know the city’s vibrant arts scene. He spent his first month in Melbourne going to literary and short film festivals, signing up for writing courses, and spending many days immersed in Lygon Street’s iconic Cinema Nova. He also looks back on his Foundation Studies year with immense appreciation, recalling it as a formative period of independence and self-discovery.
‘It was a fantastic year,’ he says. ‘I cannot point to another time where I felt both so young and full of potential, and also so adult and ready for responsibility.’
After completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts at university, Vincent was offered a role at Trinity as Project Officer of Student Services, which was then followed by a variety of positions within the College, including Academic Director of Creative Programs, Director of Summer Schools, and Associate Director of Community Relations.
‘I worked directly with students in most of these jobs, which was both enjoyable and professionally meaningful,’ he says. ‘And because I was relatively young, I think a lot of students related to me.’
In 2011, a job opportunity for Michelle saw Vincent pack up his life in Melbourne and make the move with her to St. Louis, Missouri, where he landed a role as a fundraiser at Washington University – a position that drew greatly on his experience working in the advancement team at Trinity.
‘I was the only foreigner in a team of 250, and they gave me the role of going to New York, Washington DC, Boston and Philadelphia just about every other week to ask people if they'd make contributions to the university,’ he recalls. ‘It was an incredible experience and was a lot of fun.’
Now living back in Australia, Vincent is the Director of Advancement at the Holmesglen Foundation, a role that involves establishing philanthropy and alumni relations operations from scratch – and which kept him busy during the COVID-19 crisis as the institution strived to assist students struggling financially.
‘It's been very fulfilling,’ he says. ‘Advancement is a road that I didn't necessarily plan to go down, but here I am.’
Although no longer working at Trinity, Vincent says that after so many years immersed in the fabric of the College, it continues to play an ongoing and significant role in his life.
‘Over the years, I've had so many wonderful and different involvements with Trinity – it's a place that will always be a part of me,’ he says. ‘When I was in the US, I connected with Trinity’s American friends. And when I first got back to Australia, I was often on campus, so in a sense I've never really left, I've always felt connected.’
Throughout his time at Trinity, what Vincent found to be his biggest source of pride was being able to assist young people to grow and find their place in the world, and is delighted to watch many he’s stayed in touch with reach life’s big milestones with confidence and capability.
‘You have this short, brief touch-point to make an impact on someone’s life. And watching that unfold – when they receive a scholarship or connect with an alumni mentor, reach their thirtieth birthday, have children, build their careers – all of that is not directly related to what we do as educators, yet it's the stuff that I feel makes the richness of what we do deeper. And that’s massively rewarding.’
By Juliet Mentor