2012 Scholarship winner and finalists

David Scollon, winner Sixth Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship, 2012

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David Scollon – winner, Sixth Scholarship, 2012

Business Protection Specialist, National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB)

David works within the NAB Business Bank, providing specialist succession advice for business clients.  He has been in the banking industry for 8 years.  David started his career in funds management at MLC/Lend Lease under the Lend Lease Olympic Athlete Programme whilst he pursued a career in athletics.  David holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney and a Foundation Diploma of Financial Planning from Deakin University. 

David is involved in a number of community initiatives that have led to him to work in Africa, India and with indigenous communities and Sydney’s homeless.  He is also sits on a charity board which supports various underprivileged groups. David is a sports enthusiast with involvement in cycling, life saving, ocean swimming, surf boating and the next available adventure.  He is married with his first child on the way.  

David said “I am very much looking forward to immersing myself into the world class Cranfield MBA and feel deeply honoured to be the recipient of the Cranfield Scholarship. I look forward to building on my knowledge and experience through the MBA and to then contributing back to Australian business and society.”


Benjamin Elias

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Benjamin Elias – Cranfield 2012 Scholarship awardee

Associate Director, National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) 

Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (honours) and a Bachelor of Science, and then joined the graduate programme at NAB in 2005. Ben has spent over 6 years in the project finance team at NAB, focusing on originating and executing high profile infrastructure transactions. He has also completed a Master of Applied Finance.

Ben has recently undertaken two half marathons in a team raising money for the Royal Women’s Hospital. The Cranfield MBA program will consolidate Ben’s diverse educational and professional experience, accelerating his career towards running a business. Ben sees the Cranfield MBA programme as a “once in a lifetime personal development opportunity.”

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View Aashlesha Venkatachalam's profile on LinkedIn


Aashlesha Venkatachalam – Cranfield 2012 Scholarship Awardee

Operational Risk Analyst, Banking and Financial Services Division, Macquarie Bank  Limited 

Aashlesha completed a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, then gained professional experience as a financial services audit professional at Ernst and Young and successfully qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2008.

For the past 18 months, she has worked for Macquarie Bank as an Operational Risk Analyst within the Banking and Financial Services division. This role involves proactively working with business stakeholders to identify material risks, implement control/process improvements and ensure appropriate risks mitigation and management within each product channel. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and taking on new challenges – whether it be as a volunteer reader at a primary school or learning something new such as painting, Salsa or a new language.

Aashlesha is looking forward to developing her leadership and management skills by completing the Cranfield MBA program, particularly given its practical, teamwork centered format (which would also be the perfect opportunity meet many more fellow students!) Post MBA, she intends to apply these skills to strategy consulting or financial services product management roles, with a long term goal to assist with strategy development for the not-for-profit sector.