Akwasi then moved to the USA, gaining his MSc in Information Systems Management, followed by over 18 years of experience working for Fortune 500 ICT vendors such as NetApp, Citrix and Nutanix. His reputation as an instructor grew and he specializes in Nutanix and Check Point, as well as teaching Network+, Security+, Cloud+ and Linux+, and holding many certifications in NetApp, VMware, Citrix, CompTIA and Nutanix. Akwasi has been recognized as a top Instructor in NetApp, Nutanix and CompTIA courses, and has taught over 1000 students to achieve certifications all over the world. He has also been a certification writer for NetApp and Nutanix.
After spending 16 years working in the USA, Akwasi returned to Ghana to lead Technical Services for Nutanix across West, East and Central Africa, where he was instrumental in establishing the company over the region. His experience in ICT covers Security, Cloud, Storage and Virtualization.
Born into training
Akwasi describes himself as having been ‘teaching forever’. His parents were both teachers and ran an evening school for local students in their back yard in Ghana. As well as his extensive international corporate experience, he also spent six years lecturing at the Wake Technical College. While lecturing, Akwasi founded the Cloud and Storage program at the College, launching many of the top ICT Engineers in companies such as NetApp, Nutanix, Citrix, EMC, Google and Apple into their careers.
The ‘aha moment’
For Akwasi, the most exciting part of his job is what he calls the ‘aha moment’, that moment of sudden realization, recognition and comprehension when a student suddenly grasps an idea they’ve been trying to understand for a long time. He says he sees people shake their heads, then their faces light up and their mouths fall open, and that’s the moment when, as an instructor, he knows they’ve ‘got it’.
From his time as a university lecturer, Akwasi remembers one student in particular. She had been struggling with her studies while raising a child and working in a gas station for $12 an hour. Akwasi mentored his student and ensured that she finished her qualification when he says that other lecturers might have failed her. On graduating, the student got a good job with Nutanix and started a successful career.
A love of travel and new cultures
Teaching across the globe, Akwasi enjoys working out how to connect with students from different cultures. In many countries, he says, the students don’t ask questions, so he has to find new and culturally appropriate ways to engage with them. Even within one country, students can differ greatly. Teaching in California is very different from teaching in Texas, he says.
When he is not working, in common with many others from his homeland, Akwasi loves playing soccer. He enjoys watching movies from across the world, allowing him to learn more about different cultures. When he is back in Ghana, he likes to spend as much time as he can with family.
Changing lives with education
Many of Akwasi’s former students stay in touch with him, reaching out to tell him how he changed their lives. He is passionate about how education can transform futures. He sees the confidence his students gain from mastering the products he teaches them about. “What motivates me is touching and changing lives. That’s the most important thing. Because when you change your student, you learn as much from them as they learn from you,” he says.