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Catching up with... Jean-Paul Wafo

We catch up with Jean-Paul Wafo, CEO of the Globalebridge Company, on his life at Kingston and what he's working on now.

Why did you choose Kingston?

AJean-Paul Wafofter my LLM in French corporate law I wanted to pursue my further education in accounting and finance in the UK, and Kingston Business School gave me the opportunity. They were among the few universities who could see my versatility thanks to their skilful course leaders. It also had a very balanced admission process.

I was pleased to discover that, owing to their reputation and quality education, many national and international students studied there.

What do you remember about your time at Kingston? In three words. 

Hard work, resilience, achievement.

Have you been back since graduation? If so when and what for?

I recommended Kingston to my partner and in January 2010 I came back to attend her graduation ceremony. She graduated in journalism.  

Are you still in touch with anyone from your Kingston days?

At first I kept in contact with most of them; I was one of the student reps for the Accounting and Finance MA class. However I have been a bit laid back in keeping in contact with my friends of late, but I am now resolved to be part of the Kingston global network!

What did you expect to do after graduating, and are you doing it?

In fact after my postgraduate study at Kingston Business School I worked for a short while in the banking and management consulting fields. Having already had some professional experience in corporate law I thought it was time to embrace the challenge of setting up my own business. I am currently the CEO of the Globalebridge Company and just set up asecond company, The Bridge Magazine in the media industry as a co-founder.

Who was your favourite lecturer and why?

This is a difficult one. Three really caught my attention:

  • Dr Stuart Archbold the Associate Dean and Head of the Business School who supervised my dissertation. He was a great help – very patient but strict and fair when it came to deadlines.
  • Dr Ayo Salami, who was an amazing finance lecturer. He had the skill to teach complex concepts in a simple manner. 
  • Mrs Maurine Felix, our course administrator – a dynamic lady, extremely helpful, and friendly. She always encourages new students. Her magic phrase struck a chord – "Don't worry, you can do it!"

What's your greatest achievement?

Two greatest achievements up to now:

  • My graduation ceremony in the British academic system. The French system is less ceremonial. I was thrilled to graduate in the Barbican Centre in London. 
  • My second greatest achievement is to have managed to set up my own company and being able to talk about profit instead of a salary.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Hard work pays off but sometimes it's not always what you know, it's who you know. Be ambitious but get a grip on reality.

What last made you laugh?

Last week when I stumbled on a French report about 'celebrities and their true faces'. Celebrities who lie about having plastic surgery and then don't recognise their own faces in magazines. Well we all love them, so who cares!

What's your ideal weekend?

A weekend in Venice with my family; a bit of walking along the canals and window shopping in town before flying back to London.

Tell us something we would never guess about you.

I describe myself as an introvert. Because I really enjoy interactions with close friends, even with strangers sometimes, and people tend to think that I am over confident.

You are to live out your final days on a desert island…

Who would you take with you and why? (One person only)

My daughter even at her young age, she is very creative and intuitive. She is my little star.

What book would you take and why?

Saharan Survival by Dean King about an American captain and his crew in great difficulties. It shows what a human being is capable of when facing extreme difficulties, such as surviving with very little food and water. A very inspiring book – I learnt some great survival tips!

What movie would you take and why?

The Pelican Brief. I really liked the plot and the stars who played the characters.

What food item would you take and why?

My bible along with a bit of date palm and Magaria fruits. I know that I will be more resilient with a strong spirit.

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