Eric Nkundimana, a senior and accounting major at the University of Louisville, currently resides in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, but was born in Katanga, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, and then grew up in the neighboring country Burundi before eventually moving to the United States.
“We fled the war when I was two-years-old, and we settled in the east region of the country; it was a difficult situation because we were attacked by our government forces in coalition with some other African nations. Many people died, but others including my family managed to survive and we lived in a refugee camp,” said Eric. “After two years, another war broke out and we fled to our neighboring country Burundi for safety.”
Eric graduated from Southern High School in Louisville, Kentucky and joined the Metropolitan College program in Summer 2018. “I decided to participate in the Metro College program to get financial help with paying for college tuition,” said Eric.
Eric’s college journey began at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) through the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. With an appreciation for higher education and determination to succeed, Eric graduated from JCTC in Spring 2020 with a 3.81 cumulative GPA.
In addition to working third shift as a package handler, Eric serves as co-chair for the Comprehensive Health and Safety Process (CHSP) committee at UPS Worldport. This committee helps to promote safety and wellness for employees.
“Working at UPS has greatly helped me to grow both personally and professionally. When I started working at UPS, I spoke a little English at that time but now I speak much English. Now, I am a CHSP Co-Chair, and I speak with different people in English every night. This has helped me to integrate not only at work but in this country too,” said Eric.
Since transferring to UofL, Eric has remained deeply committed to academic studies and career goals. This spring, Eric 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.
Right now, Eric is studying for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination and looking for internships.
Following graduation in Fall 2022, Eric plans to pursue career advancement opportunities within or outside of UPS working as a successful accountant for the next several years.
In the future, Eric desires to one day start and own multiple agriculture businesses in Africa. Eric shared, “I want to create job opportunities for young people in Africa. I want to teach young people how to be entrepreneurs and cultivate resources. I want to help keep young people moving forward. It has always been my dream to work hard and focus on my goals to help improve the situation back home.”
Learn more about Eric Nkundimana 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:
Artist: Scott Holmes Music
Song Title: Reach for Success
What has been your biggest challenge as a MC participant and how did you overcome this challenge?
The biggest challenge that I faced as a MC participant was time management. When I joined the MC program, managing time was a big obstacle to me, but I managed to overcome it by doing three things. First, I made a schedule to do assignments, homework, and any other schoolwork that needs to be done. Second, I posted my class schedule on my bedroom walls to keep me informed of assignment due dates. Third, I developed a habit of checking emails and Blackboard every day.
What person(s) has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My family, teachers, and counselors have been the biggest influence in my life. They encourage, help, and support me throughout everything I encounter in this journey.
What advice do you have for students interested in the MC program?
I would suggest that students interested in the MC program take advantage of all the free benefits and services available to MC participants such as the MC Student Development Team (SDT), campus services, and career center. These benefits will help them engage with campus community and achieve academic and career goals.
What is an interesting or fun fact about yourself?
I like playing soccer with friends. While in high school for the 2015 - 2016 school year, I was the soccer team captain. Also, I tutored my teammates to raise their grades, I worked with our team manager to organize team activities, and I led others to success on the field.
Special Notice: This story was updated on July 19, 2021 at 9:32 PM
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.
“What motives me to succeed is knowing not many people get an opportunity to go to college debt free. This drives me to continue my education and strive for the best."
“I decided to participate in the Metro College program after accumulating a hefty amount of college debt and struggling to live without using a credit card."