As the winner of Frontieri 2019 partial scholarship opportunity, we interviewed the PHD candidate and winner Gebrekiros Welegebriel Asfaw on his personal and professional Journey.
Frontieri: please introduce us Gebrekiros Welegebriel
Gebrekiros : My name is Gebrekiros Welegebriel Asfaw. I was born and raised in Tembien, in Tigray region from a proud agrarian family. Tembien is a place of honey, the birth place of Ras Alula Aba Nega, Atse Yohannes IV and is also remembered for its authentic traditional dance called “Awris”. I completed my elementary, secondary and preparatory schoolings there in Tembien being one of the top performing students.
In 2007, I joined Gondar University, Department of Tourism Management and pursued my undergraduate education. Having enjoyed my three year stay in the university, I graduated in 2009 ranking among of the two top scorers students from my department. Right after my graduation, I joined Aksum University as an academic staff and after two years of service at progressive academic ranks, I continued my postgraduate study in Tourism and Heritage Management at University of Gondar and completed my study in 2013 with an outstanding educational performance.. I joined Mekelle University in July 2015, as an academic staff and is currently pursuing my PhD study in “Heritage Studies” at the University. I have also earned Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism Management in 2018 from Salzburg Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Austria.
Frontieri: How did you hear about Frontieri’s partial scholarship opportunity?
Gebrekiros : The announcement of the opportunity came through an official letter sent from Frontieri Consult to all public universities in Ethiopia. I visited the website of the institution and the profile of staff, the achievements and the testimonials of the institution really persuaded me to apply in addition to my pressing need for financial and technical supports to my PHD project.
Frontieri: Please tell us in brief about the project that gives you a win of the partial scholarship ?
Gebrekiros : My project is about “Tourism Supply/Value Chain Management in Tigray Regional State, Northern Ethiopia”. Tigray is endowed with various cultural and natural tourism resources that are almost exceptional in the world.
However, the region had not been benefited much from the tourism sector for years due to various factors. The sector is still fragmented, unsustainable, less integrated and monopolized by few individuals focusing on short-term benefits. Thus, the primary objective of my project is to examine the overall tourism supply/value chain management in Tigray region. It will cover the tourism supply/value chain management practices, the actors involved in the chains, the bottlenecks in the chains, main determining factors at the chains, sustainability of the chain interactions and recommend the appropriate tourism supply/value chain framework/model for Tigray.
Frontieri: How did you find the selection process?
Gebrekiros: The overall selection process was professional enough. The communications from the Human resources Department of Frontieri Consult were excellent. The final selection process (the presentation) was also up to the standard and reputation of the institution with very highly profiled examining team. In the future, it will be great if the appropriate dates for the different levels of screening, presentations and award are clearly stated in the website of the company and/or circular letters.
Frontieri: How are you planning to make use of the scholarship opportunity?
Gebrekiros: Throughout my studentship and professional journeys, I am always trying to deepen my knowledge in my area and contribute something feasible in the ground. I believe this partial scholarship from Frontieri Consult will add more strength and commitment on me, and will benefit me technically, financially and through the various supports I obtain from being part of a dynamic and professional environment. Being involved in this partial scholarship will be supporting my dream of becoming prominent academician, researcher and expert in the tourism, hospitality and heritage areas.
Frontieri: Any Final points of reflection
Gebrekiros: Thank you for becoming pioneers by involving yourself in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities specifically in academics.
- I am thankful to the whole Frontieri family for this invaluable opportunity. In addition to the technical and financial supports, I will be receiving for pursuing my project, the professional inputs from the selection committee was really a plus. I hope such supports will continue.
- My sincere appreciation also specifically goes to the HR Department team of Frontieri Consult for their warm hospitality and professional communications throughout the process.
Now, I am a proud member of Frontieri family!
Thank you very much!