Alumni Profile – Jon Ostler

John Ostler

When were you at the University and what degree did you study?

I was at the University of Kent from 1993 to 1996 studying Communication Engineering. It was an amazing experience set to the soundtrack of Radiohead, Oasis and Blur! I ended up with a 1st and the final year project prize! 

How did your degree/experience at university help lead you into your current career?

Although my degree contained some very specific technical subjects, overall engineering taught me how to research a complex topic, analyse systems and run experiments, all of which are powerful skills in both marketing and business operations. I found engineering and life at Kent intellectually stimulating and it helped me develop very valuable critical thinking skills which I have used throughout my career. 

What drew you to Kent?

My sister was already studying at Kent and so I had been to visit and liked the campus. Kent’s engineering department also had a good reputation so Kent was an obvious choice when it came to apply to universities. Kent also was quite progressive for the times and recognised my BTEC qualification in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, which I took in place of A-levels. 

Can you tell us about your life after Kent?

While at University I was sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and so after graduating I went to work for MoD and spent a couple of years working for military intelligence! I then married my wife Claire who I had met at Kent during freshers week! We went travelling and ended up living in New Zealand and Australia where we stayed for 14 years starting a number of digital marketing businesses and bringing up our two daughters, Jess and Emily. After selling our businesses we ended up moving back to the UK and have launched a couple of Australian businesses into the UK market including where we now work. 

Tell us a bit about what you do now

I’m the UK CEO of Finder, a global personal finance comparison business that helps millions of people globally find better products from credit cards to investment apps. Each month a million people visit the UK site which I launched in 2017, we currently employ 30 staff in the UK and over 300 globally. We continue to grow rapidly in the UK and I oversee all aspects of the business from finance to marketing so there is never a dull day! 

What is your favourite memory from the University?

I enjoyed many aspects of the University, the campus environment is a real plus as is the historic city and cathedral. During my 3rd year I did enjoy living in a beachfront cottage in Whitstable, although it was more of a shed than a cottage and the north sea winds blowing through the property were quite bracing in winter! If I was to pick one thing it would have been the lab work, I did spend many hours industriously designing and fabricating microwave communication circuit boards.