James Nyomakwa–Obimpeh

Nationality: Ghana
Program: Mundus MAPP
Graduated: 2009
Current job: Marie Curie ITN Researcher on EU External Policies at University of Cologne
Location: Cologne, Germany

Beyond Work

+1. Which Hungarian words do you still remember?

Köszönöm szépen [thank you very much]! And that is the only Hungarian sentence I learned.

+2. What was your dream job when you were ten years old?

I didn't have one. I only dreamed of chasing after the little birds in the neighborhood.

+3. Who is your role model?

I have several people who inspire me as role models. Chiefly among them is Ghana's first President Kwame Nkrumah, whose determination and mantra of "self-government now" made the country the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve self-government. The stories of Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and President Barack Obama equally are great sources of inspiration for me.

+4. What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day at work?

Playing with my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. She is learning to speak, which is fascinating. It's fun to play with her after a long day of work.

1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?

I was chosen to study public policy at CEU when I was selected for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship program of the European Commission. That scholarship enabled me to obtain the Erasmus Mundus MA in Public Policy (Mundus MAPP).

2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?

I have many fond memories of my time at CEU. Generally, I remember the great assortment of students from diverse nationalities who gathered at CEU in pursuit of superior knowledge, competencies, and skills. I especially remember the lively and passionate debates in our public policy classes, which were sometimes enriched by the various national experiences of the students – a phenomenon that illustrates the complexities of formulating global and international public policies. I have similarly great memories of the excellent alignment of academic schedules with exceptional socio-cultural activities geared towards reenergizing graduates and making them well-rounded.

3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?

I have been working as one of 12 Marie Curie Research Fellows selected globally for a Europe-wide research program on European Union (EU) External Action under the EU-sponsored Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) program, which permits the attainment of a joint PhD degree from two European universities. As part of the program, I worked and underwent training with two European policy think tanks, the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht (Netherlands) in 2011 and with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) in Brussels (Belgium) in 2012. My research interest is EU trade and development cooperation with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States.

4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?

Studying public policy at CEU through the two-year Mundus MAPP program and choosing EU development aid and trade policies as my thesis topics equipped me with the knowledge, research, and analytical skills that prepared me for my current position.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I like to think that the sky is the limit in terms of possible opportunities based on my strong analytical skills, knowledge of public policy, unique research abilities in international relations and European Union studies, and extensive intercultural experiences.

6. Do you have any advice for current students?

Students should carefully choose thesis topics in line with their professional aspirations. The benefits of appropriate expertise combined with academic excellence and interpersonal skills obtained through extracurricular activities are enormous.

7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?

I mostly enjoyed spending time in the thermal baths.

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