My Life After Uni shares life hacks from some of Ghana’s brightest business professionals about succeeding in your career after the University.
In the first edition, we share with you a phenomenal story of Akosua Gyamfua Awumee, a young vibrant, and bodacious entrepreneur contributing to the country’s economy by providing job opportunities for people through her small industry, Trudie Art and Craft. Trudie Art and Craft is a Ghanaian based business into the production of handcrafted bags of all kinds and other accessories.
Gertrude Akosua Gyamfua Awumee is the Creative Director and CEO of Trudie Art and Craft. She is a first-class graduate of the Takoradi Technical University. Whiles in school, she served as the Electoral Commissioner for her faculty, Faculty of Applied Art and Technology where she contributed her knowledge immensely.
- Current Role: Creative Director and CEO
- Location: Mamobi, Accra
- University Attended: Takoradi Technical University
- Program Studied: Textile Design and Technology
- One word to describe your experience of Life after University: Interesting
How will you briefly describe your University life and its impact on your life currently?
Well, I would say my university life was one anybody at all should experience. This is because right from the word go, I kept taking up the first position in my class. This actually drew a lot of attention from people and so I was always on the lookout to strive and achieve the best in life. I use to stay up all night to finish assignments and research in order to be on top of my game and so I learned a lot of skills in a hard way. This has had an impact on my life in the sense that I still stay up all night and research on my business and product so I could always come up with the best goods for the Ghanaian market. I really appreciate all the experiences I went through back in school.
What influenced your choice of program studied in the University and it the choice still relevant in your career today?
Oh yeah. I completed my second cycle education at the Mfantseman Girls School in the Central Region where I read Visual Art. Interestingly, I had textile, leather works, and Elective Mathematics as my options. Truth be told, I have always wanted something related to art because when I was growing up, I was the only artistic person in the house. I was the only one who could sketch and mum and dad were really supportive. I remember the days where dad will take me to the mall just to get me sketch pads and Crayola for me to try some drawing and designing at home. Those days these things were pretty expensive but my dad would still get them for me. So I would say I have a very supportive parents in the whole wide world. (hahaaha)
Because I read an Art in Mfantseman, there was already germination of interest. Besides I was awarded the Best Textile Student during my batch. So when I got to Takoradi I wanted to read Leather Works but there was no full option for leather works so I decided to do Textile. This is a pure definition of how to come about with bringing life into fabrics, decoration of fibers, and yarns to make a fabric and many more. So I would say it is a thrill from Mfantseman all the way to Takoradi Technical University.
How were your National Service days, what skills did you learn on the job?
I had my National Service at Ghana Textile Limited as a Data Entry Clerk and an Administrative Officer for one of the plants there. Over there, my job was to enter all kinds of data into the system. I did a lot of administrative work and I had all my training on the job. Amazingly, I would say, I had the opportunity to see most of the machines used in textile production that I had learned in school physically during my National Service days. One of the major skills I learned that is helping me currently in my field of work is human relations. Aside from that, I learned some skills on Safety at work.
How did you transition into the work world after school?
Actually, I graduated as the Best Graduating Female Student in my Faculty. This is to say that I was really determined and wanted a good job for myself and also make the people around me proud. I actually started Trudie Art and Craft some months before I left campus.
What are the skills and tools you think matters the most in your current work?
The first skill is a good attitude. With the work I do, you need a lot of comportment. Well, I know someone would say the first skill is sewing. However, to me, I think anybody can sew after watching a few videos on YouTube. Again, human relations is also needed because one must know the best way to interact with clients in order to sustain a business. Some basic tools include a sewing machine, hammer, tape measure, and scissors.
What advice do you have for students/ fresh graduates about Life after University?
Well back in school I was a victim of hearing the preaching on “life after school is not easy” and I used to wonder if it was true. But when I came out, I realized it takes only the grace of God and perseverance. So I would advise that students should focus more on their education and pray to God to direct their path. Tell yourself, I will make the best wherever I find myself. There is no need to be anxious. Just work hard and you will make it.
Who would you like to hear their story about Life after University?
Forster Semabia Tetteh.