One day at a time with the IMF's Dr Ramakrishnan

'Ms what you see is what you get'

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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Having served our beautiful little island for 4 years and 4 months, with travels surpassing 30 trips to this small part of the globe, This week's Q10 participant has proven to be as tough as steel having ruled with that iron fist, in setting our country back on a steady path of macroeconomic stability.

While serving in our country as mission chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), her primary duty was to ensure that Jamaica met all its targets under the precautionary stand-by agreement (whose expiry concluded her tenure on the island). This woman of strength and charisma is a walking power house; she justifiably epitomises the Jamaican saying “Likkle but tallawah”.

A committed family woman, with a very demanding job, which takes her all over the globe - Dr Uma Ramakrishnan, the former IMF mission chief to Jamaica and now assistant director in the Western Hemisphere Department at the IMF, shares with us about family, her fun time activities and what she loves about her job. She defines success as what you, and not others, define it to be and urges us to just keep life in perspective.

Q10. How would you describe yourself?

RAMAKRISHNAN: A hard-working, passionate, strong-willed, high-energy, organised, honest, and kind person. With me, what you see is what you get.

Q10. What is that one outstanding characteristic that you believe you possess?

RAMAKRISHNAN: I give my all to everything I do.

Q10. What do you love most about your job?

RAMAKRISHNAN: I get the opportunity to see global issues very closely. I also get the chance to interact with people from different countries each having multicultural and diverse institutions. There is also the ultimate gratification from seeing policy advice actually work — case in point — the partnership with Jamaica.

Q10. Where are you now and where do you see yourself in the next five years?

RAMAKRISHNAN: I am at a happy place. I have a demanding but very fulfilling job. I take every day as it comes, along with all its challenges, sacrifices, and rewards. Five-year plans don't work for me, so I am just taking it one day at a time.

Q10. If not this field of work, what would be secondary?

RAMAKRISHNAN: I always thought I would be a teacher. But for that, I would need to work on my patience a little bit more.

Q10. What does family life look like?

RAMAKRISHNAN: I have a loving and supportive husband who stands by me in everything I do. I also have two teenage sons.

Q10. If you had a chance for a 'do-over' in life, what would you do differently?

RAMAKRISHNAN: Absolutely nothing! Hmm…on second thought I would maybe migrate to Jamaica.

Q10. What do you do for fun?

RAMAKRISHNAN: To unwind and just relax when not working, I like to cook, undertake mind and body fitness in general, run, listen to music, dance, watch Netflix, read, spend some time outdoors when I can, and most importantly and also my favourite is hanging out with my boys.

Q10. List three things that you loved most about Jamaica?

RAMAKRISHNAN: There were several things that I loved about Jamaica but mainly:

1. the people — I was able to have made some strong friendships;

2. the food… I love anything spicy so bring on that scotch bonnet;

3. the music, reggae music is a gem.

I must also note my love for other aspects such as Usain Bolt, the beautiful Blue Mountains, the Pegasus Hotel (which was my second home), that's more than three. But what's not to like about Jamaica?

Q10. How do you plan to retire?

RAMAKRISHNAN: I am still too young to think that far.

— Compiled by Kellaray Miles


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