Competitive Advantage Essay

629 words - 3 pages

One major setback occurred during my final year in Architectural school. I had developed an interest in traditional African building techniques involving mud blocks. After some research I believed that mud block technology would not only reduce the cost of construction considerably which currently relied on Portland cement but also go a long way to solve the housing deficit facing Ghana. Having chosen traditional African building techniques as my thesis topic I researched thoroughly into mud housing and how it could be used for modern housing across Ghana. After completing my thesis I had enough information to enable me liaise with the Building and road research institute to set up a company that would produce mud blocks to build houses. We were expecting partial funding from the government whom we assumed would be interested considering the huge deficit for housing being ...view middle of the document...

As a result of the initial rejection we came up with a better product and I learnt the valuable lesson of endurance.
Another setback occurred when I dealt with a team of building professionals as a young architect on a building project. I lacked experience and most of the builders were experienced seasoned professionals. The team of different professionals had different views that led to bickering and time wasting. My inexperience led me to give too much respect to the other professionals and instead of providing a strong and credible voice in interpreting our drawings I led from behind while desperately trying to build consensus. This however led to most of the drawings being misrepresented on site by the other team members and structural engineers. When my boss visited he was unhappy with how I had represented the firm on site and relieved me of my duties. It was a huge disappointment for me but I used it as an opportunity to reflect and build up my confidence.
My final setback is a personal story of transition from my native Ghana to the United States. I had worked as an architect back home and had thought the transition was going to be smooth and easy with high hopes. However once in the States I realized it was not going to be a smooth transition. The culture was different and my qualifications were not fully applicable because of different building codes coupled with the fact that the recession had hit the building industry. The setback was when I realized I would not be able to practice architecture because I lacked certification in the States. I had very little funds and needed work as soon as possible. My first job was at K’ Mart as an overnight stocker which was a bit of a different experience but I worked with dignity and pride. My next job was at Fedex Trade Networks as a data entry analyst. Despite the disappointment of not working in my chosen field I am proud of the fact that I worked with honor and pride and used both jobs to attain valuable lessons of American work ethics and organizational skills.

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