November 12, 2018
In his final year at Ashesi, Chris Ampadu worked as part of a team to develop an e-commerce solution for connecting music enthusiasts to hard-to-find music genres. While the Management Information Systems major was largely responsible for the programming end of the project, Chris was keen on engaging directly with the end-users and figuring out the right way to connect them to the product.
In fact, this was the part he enjoyed the most.
“Directly interfacing with stakeholders to understand their pain points and figuring out how to provide solutions to them got me excited,” he said. “For me, building the solution is perhaps the least critical part of the project: the integral aspect of the work is in empathizing with the user and working with them through the right channels. I knew this is what I wanted to be doing for a career.”
Since graduating, Chris has been doing just that, helping to connect brands to their end-users.
Joining VR & C, a local marketing company in Ghana, Chris worked as Project Lead for the firm’s marketing campaigns. In a few months, he was driving some of the company’s key clients and key projects, including starting an office in Sierra Leone, from ground-up.
“Leaving Accra, where I had lived all my life to a place I know very little about was unsettling, yet exciting,” he shared. “Having to work in communities where people had so much taken from them, from the civil war to the 2015 Ebola crisis, I was not sure what to expect. Nevertheless, I was excited to help build something completely new in a foreign country.”
In a year, Chris traveled the breadth of the country’s rural areas helping leading brands such as Sierra-Leone Brewery Limited and Cordaid connect with their customers. Besides setting up an office to provide marketing consulting for leading brands in the country, he took the greatest pride in the work they did in helping small and medium scale enterprises to scale-up.
“Ashesi was one of the places that helped shape where I am as an individual right now,” he said. “Coming to Ashesi helped me appreciate that making it in life was a lot more than just living a comfortable life for my family and me. Your being in a privileged place should be an opportunity for you to empower others. Ashesi taught me that regardless of where you find yourself at any given moment, you can always help.”
After over a year in Sierra Leone, Chris came back home to Ghana, looking to further grow his experience in marketing. So when Uber came around looking to help spread the word about them in Ghana, Chris was the perfect fit. “Previously I’ve been involved in working to help individual businesses grow, but as an external contractor there’s only so much you can do,” he shared. “People making the most impact are usually within the team. As part of the team, you can make decisions that directly impact the country. I wanted to be part of a team that directly impacts consumers. Working with a global group raises the bar and exposes you to a lot of help because you can learn from others tackling similar problems all around the world.”
Working as the Marketing Coordinator for Uber Ghana, Chris is responsible for driving campaigns that scale Uber’s presence in the country. Daily, he interfaces with teams across the sub-region and the world, helping to make sure that Uber Ghana is providing world-class services to its customers.
Ultimately, following Chris’ experience working across Africa, he hopes to turn some of these skills into connecting people with opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
“Currently, my role at Uber puts together all the insights and learning I have collected over the years as part of a team making a global impact,” he shares. “In the same way, the exposure I have gained working across the continent has made me aware of the fact that we’re supposed to be helping each other. Regardless of how we excel individually, our impact is really limited until our teams in other countries are also working well.”
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