In September 2017, SFAN matched Prince Dogbe with GFA Consulting Ltd; a corporate finance boutique based in Accra, Ghana and specialized in fundraising advisory for companies that operate in West and Central Africa. We caught up with him recently to talk about his career journey and future plans.
Tell us about yourself and what made you choose this career path?
My name is Prince Ishmael Xorlali Dogbe, and I am a leader with a keen interest in entrepreneurship and socioeconomic development. I am currently a Junior Analyst at GFA Consulting Limited. In my spare time, I contribute to the work of a technology start-up that specializes in branding and advertising and a non-governmental organization that is focused on youth empowerment through career development.
I have a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Ghana, Legon and a certificate in entrepreneurship from EQWIP HUBS (a Canadian youth development organization based in Ghana). My vision is to become an international leader in entrepreneurship and socioeconomic development. Ultimately, I aim to make transformational impacts in the lives of people in Africa and the world at large.
This vision influenced my choice for a career in advisory and consulting. I believe that this career will give me the opportunity to build a credible level of experience and expertise in research and innovations. Also, it will help me gain knowledge in strategy and leadership across diverse sectors so as to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of Africa and the world.
What were your experiences before your employment?
Briefly, I would say that my experiences prior to my employment were more of building the needed capacity to thrive in business and any corporate environment. Therefore, prior to joining GFA Consulting Limited, I enrolled in several pieces of training and capacity building seminars. Prominent among these was the EQWIP HUBS skills development and entrepreneurship training program, where I got the opportunity to develop exceptional interpersonal relationship skills and strong business acumen. It was during this training program that I got to know about Stars From All Nations (SFAN) and participated in the Quantum Leap Career Fair which they organized in collaboration with the British Council in April 2017. I must say that this has been one of the greatest opportunities in my life so far because my current position at GFA Consulting Limited came as a result of a recommendation from SFAN to the Managing Director of GFA Consulting Limited. I would, therefore, want to use this opportunity to once again express my heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Tom-Chris Emewulu and the entire SFAN team for the opportunity and their support and confidence in me right from the beginning up until now. I am grateful.
I started off in this new position as an intern with three other colleagues who were equally good and academically more qualified than I was. And so to me, the major challenge so far has been working with these colleagues as a team and at the same time competing with each other for the ultimate position as a full-time junior analyst.
What has been your major achievement(s), challenges, and major responsibilities in your current position?
I started off in this new position as an intern with three other colleagues who were equally good and more academically qualified than I was. And so to me, the major challenge so far has been working with these colleagues as a team and at the same time competing with each other for the ultimate position as a full-time Junior Analyst. The major achievement is becoming the first full-time employee in the fundraising advisory and business support unit of the Company. I see this as a major achievement because of the level of expertise required to be in such a position.
The major responsibilities for me as a Junior Analyst include attending client meetings, building financial models, conducting various research and writing investment proposals. Other responsibilities include helping in the organization of the Company’s monthly events and training of interns.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
This question is an interesting one. Simply put my motivation to get out of bed every morning is my vision. Becoming an accomplished and robust leader in our time and in our part of the world requires discipline and tenacity in character. Life should become better in Africa for all and not just some! But, it must not be at the expense of integrity. This is what drives all my decisions and actions at any point in time. My vision is also the reason I know that my current position is the best fit for me, and that is why I can get out of my bed every morning and head to the office knowing that it is an opportunity for me to work towards making that vision a reality.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself as a well-rounded global leader with a high understanding and competence in research and innovation, strategy, and leadership across diverse sectors and industries. This I intend to accomplish through continuous learning and research, applying myself and building good strategic relationships.
Who are your heroes and why?
Dr. Chris Oyakhilome, Dr. David Oyedepo, Dr. Bill Winston and Dr. Mensah Otabil; these are my heroes. They are international leaders and ministers of The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. From Africa, they have made lasting and transformational impacts in the lives of many in the world through their work in Christian ministry, business, and socioeconomic development among others. They are my heroes because of their love for God, leadership traits, sense of vision and purpose, and their level of wisdom and understanding of life.
Brian Tracy and John C. Maxwell are also my heroes. They are my heroes because of the impact of their lives and words in the area of business and leadership.
Demos Shakarian (late), an American businessman of Armenian origin from Los Angeles who founded the Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International (FGBMFI) is also my hero. He is my hero because of the love he had for God and the character of his words which are expressed in his books like “The Happiest People on Earth”.
He is the author of the quote below which has become a part of me ever since I came across it:
“What is the difference between the ones who seem to do great things and those who do not? The difference is in their passion and in their vision. With their passion, they will break down any wall, climb any mountain and swim in shark-infested waters. With their vision, they will keep going when those around them tell them to give up, your dreams are dead!”
Advice for job seekers and students.
My advice to job seekers and students is this: commit to a personal development plan and build excellent interpersonal skills! It is the foundation of any successful business relationship. The reality is that there are so many roles out there that need to be filled, yet employers are still unable to match skills to these roles primarily because of this one thing: attitude! Your attitude is what determines whether your skills or qualifications are relevant to an employer or not. It is not taught in lecture rooms but cultivated and developed through the daily interactions we have with the many people that come our way in life.
To students: take advantage of the leadership, capacity building and entrepreneurship opportunities that come to your way whiles in school and even after school with all diligence. Trust me, it gives you an exposure beyond the lecture room. Above all and the most important is that you need God at the center of it all in order to actually experience real success in life!
If you need assistance in your career or finding a job, reach out to us to request a meeting with one of our coaches via info (at) sfanonline.org. Get our bi-weekly email of inspiration, career and business insights. Subscribe here.
Image: Supplied by Prince Dogbe