Grad feels like Olympic winner

October 06, 2005, vol. 34, no. 3
By Diane Luckow

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Charles Achampong feels like he's already a winner in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The MBA grad has just started a plum job with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic winter games. He's charged with helping to identify Lower Mainland venues for the Olympics' non-competitive operations, including sites such as the main accreditation centre for the media and volunteers.

Better still, after just two weeks on the job he has been selected for a three-month secondment to the Torino 2006 Olympic winter games, where he'll work in the Olympic village to get a taste and feel for what really happens during the games. He'll also be working on the Torino observer program where he'll introduce many of his Vancouver colleagues to key stakeholders in Torino and help them understand the process as well.

The new job is an indirect result of Achampong's applied MBA project which he completed over the summer for the B.C. Olympic and Paralympic winter games secretariat.

“I put together a strategic plan to help B.C. and the federal government increase foreign economic investment into Canada as a result of the Olympics,” he explains. A visit to SFU business' career management centre, coupled with references from his applied project, helped to land the job which continues through 2010.

Achampong's previous job experience includes a year abroad working as an information technology analyst on a joint UN/government of Canada project in Uganda where he assisted Uganda's human rights commission to develop its information technology infrastructure. He followed that up with a year as a business analyst with the International Development Research centre in Ottawa.

A keen interest in international business led Achampong, who is from Ottawa, to SFU in 2004 to take the one-year specialist MBA with a concentration in international business. “It was a perfect fit,” he says.

He just returned from a trip to Japan where he was one of 500 students selected from 2000 applicants to attend the three-day Harvard Asia business conference. SFU MBA student Kelly Frankson also attended. “All of the theory in class was a good segué to Japan and the people I met there,” says Achampong. “It was a good chance to meet people from different cultures and help put things into perspective.”

His ultimate goal is a senior level position in the federal government, working with either the department of foreign affairs or the Canadian International Development Agency.

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