Alumni Feature: Theo Braimah Awanzam

Name: Theo Braimah Awanzam

Year of Graduation: 2012

Q: Where do you work?

A: I work as an economist at the World Bank in Accra, Ghana.

Q: What do you do at your job?

A: Working as a young economist at the World Bank, I conduct independent research and analyze a wide variety of specific economic, financial and sector topics related to macroeconomic and fiscal management. I provide substantive research, analytical and statistical assistance to senior economists and managers. In support of data needs of different sectors. I participate in missions to collect, analyze and evaluate data, and exchange information with top government and private sector officials. I also contribute to the writing of routine reports (country economic briefs), drafting technical working papers (sector reports) and formulation of conclusions and recommendations for wider circulation.

Q: What is your favorite memory at the Brandt School?

A: Every now and then it is great for me to unwind and reminisce the past, when I was a student at the Willy Brandt School (WBS). I arrived at the WBS determined and eager to leave my mark. With this in mind, I quickly attempted to display my leadership skills and competed for the position of student leader in what is now my ‘first international election’. After ‘intense campaigning and strategic lobbying’, I lost narrowly (indeed painfully by a single vote!), but the experience showed me how we can deal with diversity in a very democratic way, respecting all differences and considering it as an advantage, not as a negative thing and using to build the global network of friends that I met at the Brandt School.

Q: Anything else you want to share with us?

A: The Brandt School gave me a new, unique and valuable learning experience. The MPP is truly multidisciplinary; combining core coursework in different perspectives of public policy with numerous electives in areas such as economics, political science, law and international relations. Having entered the programme as an economics major, I left the programme with not only increased economics knowledge but also critical skills to conduct multidisciplinary research. It’s opened more doors for me by helping me to understand how different disciplines combine to solve public policy problems. I have applied knowledge from the courses I took at WBS time and again in my career.