George Ampratwum ‘20 is the Career Development Manager at the African Leadership University (Rwanda) and the African Leadership College (Mauritius). He’s also part of the class of 2020, known as Umoja, that will be graduating soon! We were privileged to have a chat with George about his past 20 months as an ALUSB MBA student and his forthcoming graduation in March and his plans for the future.
George joined ALU with the purpose of building students’ professional development. Today, he is the manager of a strong team and department that is focused on helping ALU students find their footing in the professional world. In his role, he is tasked with students’ professional development, employer management with the different partners and managing the placement of students on both campuses.
His reasons for pursuing an MBA, despite already having a full plate, were twofold: “I was in the search for an MBA that would address my varied interests such as psychology, sociology, information systems, and human resources; all of which are intersected.” At the same time, George was looking for an MBA programme that would allow him to further build on his leadership and management skills to scale up the career development programme at ALU. All roads led to ALUSB.
Fast forward to today. George is at the end of his MBA journey and he looks back fondly at his time at ALUSB. The highlight of his experience? The ALUSB community! He reinforces that the people he has interacted with throughout the programme, including alumni and other cohorts, have played a considerable role in his professional and personal growth. George also notes that he enjoyed the process of learning and unlearning certain things that he thought he knew. “Breaking down my own leadership concepts and building new ones based on Leadership Lab has been a big highlight of my experience.”
“The programme has had a tremendous impact on my leadership trajectory.”
George believes that applying the skills learned through the programme have had a tremendous impact on his leadership trajectory; “I became the team’s manager while pursuing my MBA, and I have also been able to take up more leadership roles such as being part of ALU Rwanda’s leadership team,…” He credits this growth to the ALUSB curriculum with special mentions to Leadership Lab and the entrepreneurial-focused courses that allowed him to go beyond his current reality and anticipate future needs of his projects and his team.
Even though the past 20 months did not go by without any roadblocks, finding some type of balance between the MBA, his personal life, and his professional life has been a positive challenge for George. He is motivated by the intrinsic need to learn and gain new knowledge and skills. This enabled him to see challenging experiences as “functional challenges” that helped to push him out of his comfort zone. Moreover, George states the influence of the people around him, such as his spouse and classmates, were key players in overcoming any roadblocks throughout his ALUSB MBA journey.
“I feel like I’ve found a new family through the ALUSB MBA.”
George has built strong friendships with people he can trust to have his back when needed. While he acknowledges the fact that he had friends before, he points out that his friends from the programme have been a phenomenal addition to his life. “I feel like I’ve found a new family through the ALUSB MBA.” George is nostalgic about the experiences and adventures he has had with his classmates: a road trip to Uganda, a visit to Kenya, and an intensive in Mauritius, and definitely more to come.
“I could not do it alone; if I did not have my MBA classmates to support me and encourage me.”
Beyond having a good time together, his classmates taught him to be resilient and to have courage. “Seeing my classmates navigate through their own journeys, has really taught me the value of being resilient and pushing one’s self harder.” He believes that having each other to lean on, is one of the main reasons that they have gotten to the final stages of their MBA.
George also appreciates having a diverse pool of classmates. He is grateful for the opportunity to learn about different countries through a narrative that reflects the reality in those countries. “The biggest asset of the ALUSB MBA is the network. I feel like there’s someone I know in every African country that I visit.”
“I feel like there’s someone I know in every African country that I visit.”
“The future is limitless.”
“The future is limitless. I have unlocked potential I didn’t think I had. I discovered my ability to manage people and I’m now aware of my potential to be more than a domain master.”
George is optimistic about the new and exciting opportunities that may present themselves in the future. Moreover, he’s still passionate about building the capacity of the next generation of the African workforce through career development at ALU!