While many of us were glued to our televisions in the early months of summer hoping to feel the energy of the South African World Cup through the screen, our very own Akua Nyame-Mensah ’10 is lucky enough to say she attended and worked the global event. Akua interned at a sports marketing company that held hospitality contracts with FIFA/World Cup.
Sports marketing is not necessarily a field Akua would like to work in for the rest of her life; a large part of her motivation to get this internship was to participate in the first World Cup in Africa. “I enjoy playing and watching sports, especially soccer, and thought that it would be interesting to learn about a new industry before going back to graduate school for planning.” Akua is a graduate student at PennDesign at the University of Pennsylvania where she expects to receive her M.A in City & Regional Planning in May 2011.
Due to the high-stress environment of the event, Akua explains that there were highs and lows throughout this exhilarating experience. One negative aspect was that there were times she had to work from 8:00 AM until 1:00 or 2:00 am! “I did not realize how time intensive hospitality/ marketing work could be,” she said. In the end, it seems as though the pros outweighed the cons as Akua had the ability to see as many World Cup games she desired during her time in South Africa. In addition to the games, Akua pointed out, “The food in South Africa is also really good.” Akua also enjoyed the company of her co-workers, and found them all to be interesting people.
She found that her time at Bryn Mawr helped to prepare her for this work experience. “At Bryn Mawr, just like in a real job, you interact with people who do not necessary share the same views as you,” she said, “you have to work in groups with teammates who do not necessarily put as much time and effort into a project as you.” The writing, research and problem solving skills she acquired through her coursework at Bryn Mawr were useful as well.
After an amazing summer in South Africa, Akua is back in Philadelphia to continue her studies at PennDesign. Her focus within City & Regional Planning is in land use/environmental planning, although she has a “strong interest in urban history, international development and design.” Akua considers her home to be Accra, Ghana, and would definitely want to live and work outside of the United States for an extended period of time. Upon graduation, Akua may choose to work with a firm where she can research and work on “connecting development and design to history.”