“Both of my parents have been a huge inspiration. I was able to go through the Metro College program because of them. I remember how my family and I migrated to the United States in 2007, knowing we were coming to a land with nothing and to be where I am today is because of them,” said Alain Kagaba, who graduated from the University of Louisville (UofL) in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with Information Security concentration.
Originally from Kigali, Rwanda, Alain joined the Metropolitan College program in Fall 2016 and first attended Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC). Driven to succeed, Alain’s dedication to academic studies led to two associate degrees and a business certificate from JCTC.
This spring, Alain received a nomination for the 2021 Outstanding Metropolitan College Student Award, an award that recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership, work-life balance, and academic success.
Following graduation, Alain completed a co-op at UPS this spring which involved coding and developing software solutions to improve the overall user experience. This co-op experience led to the acceptance of a full-time job offer with the company as an Application Developer . Alain is excited about this new opportunity and is looking forward to learning new skills and making meaningful contributions to the team.
Outside of work and school, Alain enjoys fixing cars, playing soccer, and staying active and working out.
As for next steps, Alain has been accepted into UofL’s MBA program for the upcoming fall semester.
Alain’s advice for students who are thinking of joining the Metro College program, “Trust me you can do it; I really encourage you all to do it. I still can't believe I graduated with no student debt to my name.”
Learn more about Alain Kagaba in this Metropolitan College Spotlight Q&A Interview and Video
Video produced by Renecia Griffie Davis, a Metropolitan College staff member.
Music in this video:
Song Artist: Scott Holmes Music
Song Title: Corporate Success
Why did you decided to participate in the MC program?
I decided to participate in the Metro College program because I wanted to pay off my school and help my parents out. My main goal throughout high school was to get a full ride scholarship to college and make sure my parents did not have to pay a chunk of money for my studies. When I didn't receive the scholarships I wanted, this was my best alternative plan.
What has been your involvement with co-curricular activities, co-ops or internships, volunteer experience, community service, undergraduate research, etc.?
I have been involved in a lot of different activities. For instance, at my local church I help with youth group, retreats and mission trips . I have been volunteering with Hand in Hand Ministry since freshmen year of college. I also still attend Campus Outreach at University of Louisville to keep my faith in check and to meet people my age that are on that same journey as me, to either help them out or for them to help me with different aspects.
What has been your biggest challenge as a MC participant and how did you overcome this challenge?
My biggest challenge as a Metro College participant was definitely having to adjust to a different schedule depending on the semester. Having to find different times to study or do assignments. I definitely overcame it by being positive and doing things early on so that if I needed to make corrections or get help, I would have the time to do it. Also staying active by going on a run, cycling or the gym really helped to take the stress away since I was a former athlete in high school.
What motivates and drives you to succeed while pursing your educational goals?
What motivated me and drove me to succeed to pursue my degree were my parents and family. They sacrificed a lot for me to be where I am today. I owe it to them and God, it’s an unreal experience for me to be able to have this opportunity. Being in the Metro College program gave me an extra boost. Especially on nights when I wanted to give up on school or the program. I would tell myself, “This sacrifice is for the better future, not many people can achieve this, but you got it!"
How has working at UPS contributed to your personal and professional growth?
Working at UPS has contributed a lot to my personal and professional growth. It has taught me to be grateful and patient most of all. Without the Metro College program, I would not have found a co-op within UPS to show me how big companies and businesses operate. Developing my communications skills was another benefit. It allowed me to be an effective communicator since I am a quiet and shy person.
What advice do you have for students interested in the MC program?
My advice I have for students interested in the Metro College program is to not be afraid to sacrifice. Working third shift is not for everybody but the way I think it of it is, you are sacrificing sleep for a short time. Meaning, you don't have to deal with long term loans that could last for the majority part of your adult life. Plus, that sleep you’re sacrificing would be used to stay up all night to write a paper or watch Netflix, but you're not getting paid to do that and you would still be losing out on sleep. If you start the program just know that when the night feels long and you want to quit just keep telling yourself “ this is for my future, a better future" or even "debt free baby."
What is an interesting or fun fact about yourself?
An interesting fact about me is I am a huge Arsenal and Barcelona fan, which are some of the biggest clubs in soccer based in Europe. My weekend usually consists of me watching their games.
We are proud of our current students and alumni and their incredible accomplishments! The MC Spotlight is a way for us to highlight the amazing things our current students and alumni are doing. As you read their stories, you will learn how their Metropolitan College experiences helped to shape their futures and influence their careers.
We are always on the lookout for inspiring MC Spotlight stories. If you or someone you know is interested in sharing a story with us, contact us at email@example.com.
Note: At Metropolitan College, we consider our alumni anyone who has ever completed coursework and received tuition benefits with us.
"I knew that I wanted to be a nurse and I did not want to graduate with student loans. I saw that the Metro College program was an excellent fit for both goals."
“If you’re thinking about joining the program, do it. UPS is a great company to work for and you get your school paid for!”