Ashesi University comes to the Bay Area:
Berkeley Haas and the IBD program hosted a group of 12 undergraduate students from Ashesi University on Thursday, March 7, 2019. Ashesi Faculty Advisor to the Ashesi Venture Accelerator, Associate Professor Gordon Adomdza, brought this group of inspiring students from Ghana to the Bay Area for a Silicon Valley study tour. Professor Adomdza also said that part of the reason for the Bay Area trip was to connect with Ashesi founder (and Haas alum) Patrick Awuah’s Berkeley Haas roots.
Patrick Awuah graduated from Berkeley Haas in ‘99, and as an MBA student in the IBD program, he developed the idea for Ashesi University. Mr. Auwah launched Ashesi University in 2002 as the first Ivy League-style school in his native country of Ghana. Ashesi’s mission is to educate ethical entrepreneurial leaders who transform Africa. Mr. Auwah and Ashesi University have won numerous awards throughout the years and have been recognized for their impact on leadership, education, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Africa. After meeting these exceptional students, one can see clearly why Ashesi and Mr. Auwah have been honored for their work.
Ashesi and the IBD Program:
IBD has had the privilege of partnering with Ashesi on numerous IBD projects, including most recently projects with an Evening & Weekend MBA Team in 2014 and a Full-time MBA Team in 2016. This spring semester, IBD is fortunate to work again with Ashesi again on another IBD project. The 2019 IBD Team Ashesi, comprised of five MBA students (Team Lead Joe Bird, and Team Members Carolyn Henderson, Nicole Quinty, Jessica Slocovich and Nicholas Meyer), will travel to Ghana in May to work in-country for three weeks. It is a rare opportunity for an IBD Student Team to meet its project client in Berkeley before the in-country IBD experience, so we were thrilled with the opportunity of welcoming Ashesi Venture Accelerator students to Berkeley Haas on March 7. In addition to hosting a walking tour of UC Berkeley campus, IBD staff and the Ashesi IBD Student Team put together a program of speakers to talk about entrepreneurship and the MBA program at Berkeley Haas. IBD Team Member Carolyn Henderson was able to spend time with the students from Ashesi and shared the following.
“It was so fun meeting and talking with the undergraduate students from Ashesi. We were impressed to hear that many of them have already started companies, and in fact, one student has started two companies! Discussing entrepreneurship, the value of education and their visions for the future made our IBD project feel very real and made us even more excited to work with Ashesi this summer.”
Berkeley Haas and Ashesi values:
Upon their return to Ghana, Ashesi Associate Professor Adomdza shared that after meeting with different companies, universities and groups of people in Silicon Valley, his students “talked about how special it was that Haas was the only place with an Ashesi story embedded in the presentation and a poster of Patrick on the wall.” The connection between Ashesi and Berkeley Haas is very special, and was reflected in this additional comment from Carolyn Henderson:
“The values of Ashesi University are very much in alignment with Berkeley Haas’ Defining Leadership Principles, and it was fun to see that even though [Ashesi Founder and Berkeley Haas alumnus] Patrick Awuah was here before Haas formally adopted these principles, there is a recognizable similarity between the two places. This made for an easy connection with the students, and we can’t wait to experience this again when we go to Ghana and spend time at Ashesi. “
What’s Next For IBD Team Ashesi:
IBD students Joe, Nicolas, Nicole, Jessica and Carolyn will continue to work here at Berkeley Haas for the remainder of the spring semester before they depart for Berekuso, Ghana to work on-site at Ashesi University. The IBD program is excited for this year’s student team to experience all that Patrick Awuah and Ashesi University have to offer.