The Acting Director of the Centre for Management Development (CMD) – the executive training wing at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) – Dr Mrs Jemima Nunoo, has advised Ghanaians aiming to be successful never to give up on their goals and also stop making excuses.
Speaking on the Business Excellence segment of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Thursday, 27 April, she noted that determination was key in the journey to success in whatever endeavour one desired to pursue.
The learned biochemist, speaking about her driving force, said: “I always admit I’m incredibly blessed but coupled with that I’m a determined person. I don’t get swayed easily. You’ll have obstacles but I’m not somebody who will moan over obstacles, you just face it and get over it. And that is one of the key drivers. I’m an ambitious person. There is more to life than surviving. I want to live to my fullest so I like to explore, I like to push myself…”
To be able to reach one’s full potential, Dr Nunoo advised that people write down their short- and long-term goals and with time, check to see if those goals have been achieved or not. “When I was doing my first degree, I wrote down where I wanted to be in five and 10 years,” she recalled.
Born and raised in Manchester, UK, as an only child to Ghanaian parents, Dr Nunoo said her parents never had to tell her to study as “I was one of those who would always learn”.
She was quick to add that she was not a typical geek but “I liked chilling and I still like chilling and going out”.
She holds a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK, an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, a Research MA from the University of Nottingham, UK, and a PhD from the same institution. Her doctoral research investigated the politics and governance of genetically modified (GM) agriculture in Africa.
Dr Nunoo has written on GM agriculture in Africa, transparency and accountability issues within the oil and gas sector in Ghana, and small-scale agriculture in Africa. She is also the current board chair of energy think tank Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).
She disclosed that while growing up in the UK, she worked at Old Trafford, the home ground of English Premiership club Manchester United, as a waitress at the VIP lounge. According to her, working as a waitress taught her a skill she continues to use today in her career.
“I was a glorified waitress and I loved it. It taught me skills that I’m using now – that is, I have to be polite. You’re serving these people that have paid how many thousands of pounds to be in a box, you cannot be rude. That is the same way when my students come and they’ve got a concern I cannot be rude. It is the same principle,” Dr Nunoo added.
Among her many job experiences, she worked as a sales assistant on Oxford Street in the UK in a shop called House of Fraser while in school. She also worked as a lab technician at a school in Southwold, outside London.
Dr Nunoo, who said she thought she would be a career diplomat rather than a lecturer, agreed with those who say teaching is a calling.
“I think it’s something I would do naturally. Even students that are not my students come to me and I mentor a lot of people. It energises me and I like to think that’s my way of giving back and that’s my way of using my God-given talent.”
Dr Nunoo, prior to heading GIMPA’s CMD, taught business ethics and corporate social responsibility at GIMPA’s Business School and lectured in politics, international relations and ethical leadership at the School of Public Service and Governance.
She is a fan of Manchester United.