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Head Learners Talk – Michael Amakye

Michael Amakye is Ghanaian and an old student of The British School of Lomé. He was at the school between 1996 and 2000 when he finished his IB Diploma Course. He was Head Boy (head learner) in the 1998/99 school year.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to interview him recently and get his opinion about the school and how his experiences here have impacted his life so far. Here is a transcript of our conversation.

Richman Meto: Good morning and welcome Michael.

Michael Amakye: Thank you very much for considering me for this interview…I’m truly honoured.

RM: The pleasure is all mine. Let us get started. How long were you at BSL for?

MA: Four years… covering my IGCSE and 2 years of IB

RM: What was IB like for you?

MA: IB was challenging. I particularly enjoyed writing my extended essay on a takeover related subject (finance). The IB course provided strong foundations for university – it was really tough as I remember it and I think it’s important that during those formative years you expose yourself to challenges.

RM: Which universities did you attend and which courses did you study?

MA: Manchester University…Economics, and King’s College, London- MSc International Management.

RM: What do you do now, career-wise, any landmark achievements?

MA: The job title is Head of Sales – CDSClear. CDSClear is a clearing house that processes the clearing of Credit Default Swaps. I’m tasked with growing the revenue and client footprint of the business globally.

RM: Where are you based? Do you have a family?

MA: I’m based in London with my wife and we are yet to have kids – one for the future.

RM: What would you say to learners who want to follow in your line of work and IB learners in particular?

MA: Focus, hard work, do your homework/research, challenge yourself, and be open to learning new things. Plus, even though you may not be the smartest person in the room just always think of how you can add value – it’s important.

RM: How did you manage your time between the hectic IB course and the Head Learner responsibilities?

MA: I had to manage my time wisely. It was imperative that I got the balance between school work and duties right, and school work and leisure. Being Head learner was an honour and privilege. It did not distract from my studies but incentivised me to find the additional capacity to fulfill my responsibilities without impacting my primary goal of successfully completing my studies.

RM: Thank you very much Michael! I appreciate you making the time to answer all my questions considering that you’re quite a busy man. I am sure this will benefit the learners as much as it has me.

MA: You are welcome Richman. Take care and keep working hard.

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