Alumna Profiled: Marisa Melliou
Graduated: DEREE ’90
Lives in: Athens, Greece
Current Position: Group Head of Internal Audit Team, OPAP SA
“Think positive, be yourself, be prepared, and be passionate about everything you do.”
Marisa Melliou, graduated from Deree in 1990 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Computer Information Systems, and holds an MSc in Information Management from the University of Sheffield, UK.
As Group Head of Internal Audit Team at OPAP SA, Marisa is leading the risk assessment and assurance activities in Greece and Cyprus. She was the first woman in the history of the Internal Audit and Inspections Unit of the National Bank of Greece (NBG) to be appointed to the position of Associate Director. From this post, she led the digital transformation of the NBG Group Audit function in 11 countries and 17 business entities.
Previously, she worked as Chief Internal Auditor at the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, and Enterprise Risk & Assurance Services Senior Manager at Deloitte Greece. The Deree alumna is a member of the Global Board Ready Women club and has contributed as a member of Hellenic Corporate Governance Council working team that revised the governance code for the Listed Companies in the Athens Stock Exchange, as a member of ENISA Cyber insurance policy working team, and as a board member of the Athens Chapter of ISACA.
Marisa occasionally gives lectures at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Athens University of Economics and Business, The American College of Greece, as well as at the Central Bank of Greece and the Central Bank of Egypt, while she is often invited as a speaker to professional conferences and international summit meetings.
Q.: What are three enduring values Deree has taught you?
- Persistence to achieve your goals
- Excellence in everything you do
- Sharing of results, and framing of why and how you got them
Q.: Describe Deree in three words.
Knowledge, Exploration, Inspiration
Q.: Which is your fondest memory from your time at Deree?
Unforgettable are the all-weather sailing club activities and the countless hours of serving students at the computer labs.
Q.: What do you miss most from your days at Deree?
Gone are the days of long summer holidays and eating fast food without gaining weight!
Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?
The computer labs on the 4th level.
Q.: Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Dr. Vertis, with his unique sense of humor and high expectations that made us stretch our limits even further.
Q.: After graduation, have you maintained a relationship with your school and classmates?
I have attended reunion meetings, career and business days, and cultural events. I have also taught Information Technology Management courses at Deree.
I have established lifetime relationships with Deree classmates: I got married with a classmate, our best man was a classmate, the godmothers of our two sons are both Deree alumnae, and I was maid of honor for a close friend of mine, also a Deree alumna! Other than that, I feel that Deree alumni are everywhere and connected in multiple ways.
In the near future, I would certainly like to explore collaboration with regard to the internship program and be further involved in the College’s business or academic initiatives.
Q.: Looking back, how did your time at Deree help you become the person you are today?
During my studies at Deree, I realized that learning is a lifelong activity. I learned how to become solution-focused in order to provide value-adding deliverables. The knowledge and skills I acquired from the courses I attended played a vital role in my professional career. My interaction with students and professors at Deree added significant elements to my personality and taught me that, at the end of the day, “it is all about people,” and that we should remember to “enjoy the ride.”
Q.: What advice would you give a new Deree student?
Enjoy the learning experience to the fullest extent; look for opportunities offered by Deree and take advantage of them; feel free to express your concerns; manage your time effectively; be actively engaged in clubs and societies; share with and serve your fellow classmates.
Q.: Where do you get your inspiration from?
From the beauty of nature, my family, art, accumulated life experiences, and technological innovations.
Q.: What is your motto in life?
Think positive, be yourself, be prepared, and be passionate about everything you do.
ACG Alumni: We Stay Connected!