The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) named a Ghanaian student as the overall best performer in the Organisational Behaviour Programme at its graduation ceremony in 2013.
Nana Yaa Antwi-Gyamfi, 26, beat 25 other students in her programme to receive the prize from the prestigious university, where she had been studying for her masterâ€™s degree on a Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) scholarship.
No stranger to academic success, Ms Antwi-Gyamfi, who graduated from LSE with distinction, has a long history of scholastic achievements dating back to her days in junior high school, where she obtained 10 As.
From there, she only grew, placing second in Ghana in the 2005 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and being named the best candidate in General Arts.
At the University of Ghana, she majored in Accounting and graduated with First Class honours in the Business Administration programme.
Ms Antwi-Gyamfi, who plans to stay within the realm of academia and hopes to pursue a Ph.D in the near future, said her early love for reading had really been beneficial to her studies and advised other students that reading was key.
“It not only gives you a strong grasp of the English language but also opens your mind to different angles,” she said.
She advised students against the mindset that particular subjects were “off base” for some people and stressed the importance of focus and determination in overcoming challenges.
“I really didn’t like Mathematics, but I kept working at it and got better. I would just like to tell people that it isn’t true that some people are not good at certain things,” she explained.
Finding a balance so that one did not become single-focused was also very important, according to Ms Antwi-Gyamfi, who is heavily involved in her Accra church’s drama group and is also an aspiring poet and writer on the side.
Above all, she said she believed that it was by the grace of God that she was able to achieve so much.
On what was next, Ms Antwi-Gyamfi said she hoped to use her skills to help bridge the gap between academia and the real business world, ensuring that academic theories translated into functioning business practices here in Ghana.
“While I can definitely see the attraction of remaining abroad, I think this is where most of the skills and knowledge are needed. Ghana will always be home,” she said.