- University of Ghana, Legon alumnus, Jennifer Appiah-Danquah, chose to start a hair business right after completing Labone Senior High School
- She joggled being a university student and owning a business very well, which led to graduating with a first-class and opening two other branches in Oyarifa and Pantang
- Jennifer has a Mphil in Industrial Psychology from the University of Ghana and a master's degree in Corporate Social Responsibility in Energy at Rober Gordon University in Scotland Aberdeen
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Most often than not, people who pursue higher degrees such as master's or PhD are perceived as ambitious individuals who seek elevation in their field of work or perhaps wish to pick up a career in academia.
Yes, Jennifer Appiah-Danquah holds a bachelor's degree and two master's degrees, but she is not a corporate woman nor a lecturer in any tertiary institution. The boss lady makes ladies look and feel good for a living; she is a proud owner of several beauty salons.
One may ask, "what is the big deal about a business woman having two master's degrees?". You see, in the Ghanaian community, it is very rare to see even a university graduate with just their first-degree venture into hairdressing, let alone those with postgraduate degrees. The familiar venture is usually undertaken by either a JSS or SHS graduate.
Despite Jennifer's numerous career options, thanks to her degrees, she still chose to operate beauty salons. YEN.com.gh interviewed her to find out why, how it commenced and how business has been.
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Like many Ghanaian children, Jennifer grew up wanting to wear white coats to save lives someday, but life had other plans for her. She started her secondary education at Mfantsiman Girls' Senior High School on the path to realise her dreams, but an ailment she contracted changed everything.
" I fell very ill and went on to continue at Labone Senior High School as a day student to help my mother monitor my health. There, I read General Art with Geography, Elective Maths and Economics", she told YEN.com.gh.
She fought through her sickness, successfully completed secondary school and gained admission at the University of Ghana, Legon, where she pursued a degree in Philosophy, Religion and Psychology. According to her, she ended up majoring in psychology, and she loved it.
Establishing her first beauty salon before entering the University of Ghana, Legon
Jennifer experienced a major loss just before she started her university education; she sadly lost her father. Around the same time, her mother had to undergo surgery and could no longer work. In an effort to make the best out of a bad situation, Jennifer birthed the idea to start a hair business. She shared how that happened with YEN.com.gh;
"After my father's funeral, I got some cash gifts from friends and loved ones. Also, because my mother was ill, she could not go back to manage the shop she owned at East Legon, so I convinced her to hand the space over to me, and I used the money I had acquired to purchase wigs, cosmetics and other items from Makola to sell", she said.
Business took off successfully, and the young lady started making good money. In the process, another need arose; clients wanted her to install the wigs for them, but she had no hairdressing skills. Thankfully, a cousin of hers was a hairdresser. She spoke to her and agreed to join the business.
After working together for some time, the demand became very high, and the business-minded lady took advantage of a piece of land close to the shop. She set up a container there and expanded the business.
She continued with her salon business until she was successfully admitted to the University of Ghana, where she joggled the two. She shared an example of how some of her days were as a business owner who was also a student;
"I remember when I was in school, there were times I had to go make people up early in the morning, then quickly run to campus and write exams. Sometimes right after lectures, I had to quickly rush to Accra Central and get things to restock the shop", she said.
Jennifer was very driven and determined to succeed both as a businesswoman and a student. She managed her time well, which saw her excelling academically while building her business to the point where she opened branches in Oyarifa and Pantang.
One may ask what the need for two master's degrees was if the business was booming and she kept expanding.
Starting a Mphil at the University of Ghana and Traveling to the UK for a master's degree
You see, brilliant Jennifer graduated from university with first-class honours in her program because she loved it, and it came easily to her. Based on that, she chose to pursue a Mphil in Industrial Psychology right after her mandatory one-year national service as a teaching assistant.
She completed one year of classroom work, but just when the second year of fieldwork commenced, she won a scholarship to pursue a master's degree in Corporate Social Responsibility in Energy at Rober Gordon University in Scotland Aberdeen.
Although she was almost done with her Mphil, Jennifer saw her latest offer as an opportunity she had to grab firmly as it may never happen again. She explained what she did next;
"I quickly had to defer the last year of fieldwork in Industrial Psychology at the University of Ghana, which was my thesis and left for the UK for the master's. The original goal was a Mphil, but I saw studying abroad as an added advantage to acquire extra knowledge and get exposed to the outside world", Jennifer told YEN.com.gh.
The smart boss lady believes that the knowledge she acquired in Industrial Psychology at the university has helped her understand human relations and helped her know exactly when to bring necessary interventions for workers and clients.
Currently, Jennifer's typical day involves assisting her employees where needed, receiving calls for bookings, sharing workloads, managing sales and taking feedback from clients. She believes making the decision to go into business at one of her lowest points in life is something that has served her well and she will cherish forever.
Ghanaian Lady Matilda Naa Bags 2 Degrees From 2 Universities In 5 Years
Still on women with multiple degrees, YEN.com.gh earlier reported that numerous social media users celebrated a brilliant University of Ghana graduate for achieving a rare academic feat by bagging two degrees within the space of five years.
Revealing how it happened on her LinkedIn bio, the intelligent graduate known as Matilda Naa indicated that she got enrolled at the University of Ghana in 2016 to study Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
In 2019, however, she decided to take a short break from her programme and pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language, which lasted only a year, ending in 2020.
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