'I turned my biggest weakness into my greatest strength'

After a rough start with public speaking, Michael Mprah learnt the importance of practice, diligence and being prepared.

Date: 28 July 2020

For Michael Jojo Mprah, who has just graduated with a first-class BA (Hons) Business Management, going to University was an opportunity to gain new perspectives on the world.

“The university experience is more than just what you study, it’s also about who you study with and share ideas with,” he explained. “My course was full of students from all walks of life with different perspectives. Working in a group with different people with similar mentality, sharing ideas, inspiring and helping each other to be better was one of my best experiences at London Met.”

Part of this can be attributed to the vibrancy and diversity of studying and living in the capital itself. “The people in London are open-minded and I made lot of amazing friends throughout my journey,” he said. “On top of that, the best resources are available at your disposal and there is always something to do from going to the library during the week, to museums, parks and pubs over the weekend. Sometimes the days move so fast that you wish they would slow down just to enjoy every moment a bit longer.”

One thing that has made his university experience particularly unique has been overcoming his fears of public speaking. When he first started his undergraduate studies, he describes his presentation skills as “not particularly good… all the worst traits you can imagine were evidence in my first presentation; shyness, lack of confidence, unable to look at my audience, unable to speak up, signs of unpreparedness. 

“It was a terrible feeling and I did not want to feel that way again. So, I did something about it. I learnt from others, got prepared in advance, practice my slides several times, developed a passion for my topic and anticipated questions and how to answer them. Once you feel very prepared and are passionate about your topic, you automatically feel confident since you know what you are talking about and everything just falls into place. Eventually, I turned what appeared to be one of my weaknesses to one of my greatest strengths.”

For those about to start their academic journeys at London Met, or thinking about it in the future, Michael’s advice is to take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you, and to be determined.

“London Met offers some of the best resources a university has to offer. The lecturers are exemplary and extremely helpful when approached. More importantly, to succeed, you should be prepared, be determined and be willing. Be prepared to take whatever you know a step further by being proactive and getting engaged. Be determined about what you want to achieve from your time at the university because those three years would pass before you realise. Be willing to go the extra mile to achieve your goals.

“It might not always be ideal but sometimes spending one weekend on your studies or staying slightly late in the library could go a long way to help you get the excellent grades everyone dreams of.”