Jean Paul Dushime ‘18

Name: Jean Paul Dushime ‘18
Residence: Rock Hill, South Carolina
Degree: Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
Occupation: Business Data Analyst, Global Strategy & Enterprise Platforms, Bank of America

Jean Paul Dushime '18 has always had a love of learning.

When he left Rwanda five years ago, he sought additional educational learning opportunities.

When he spent a week on Wall Street while studying for his MBA at Winthrop, he sought knowledge from the top financial experts.

When he started working in data solutions with the London Stock Exchange Group, he sought ways to further his career.  

Dushime believes in the power of being intentional about learning and building relationships with the people around you.

“When you live each day with intentionality, there's almost no limit to what you can do,” he said.

When he first began thinking of his plans after graduating from Pan Africa Christian University in Nairobi, Kenya, Dushime knew he wanted to attend a business school but didn't know which one was the best fit. He admits that assimilating to the American culture was a significant transition on top of having to adjust to a new culture in the United States, Dushime had to think about how he would reach his goals. 

“Occasionally in life, we can get so overwhelmed with all of the things we have to do in order to get to the future and reach our goals. But I learned how to take small steps every day and to give my best,” he said.

Those small steps gave him the confidence to enroll in the MBA program at Winthrop with a concentration in finance. Dushime also said Peggy Hager, former director of graduate programs for the College of Business and Technology, helped guide him through the process. 

“Winthrop University was the second business school that I inquired information from and the response, follow up and interest Winthrop showed me was resounding,” he said. "I was very fortunate to have many people on campus who were there to help!”  

The academic training in globalization and analytics, and his participation in the Financial Markets Seminar at Wall Street, were major influences in steering Dushime to work in the financial industry.

“Spending a week at Wall Street and meeting the best minds in the heart of the financial community challenged me to aim higher!” he said.

Early on, he was able to apply those experiences and what he was learning in the classroom to the real world of business at the Small Business Development Center at Winthrop. Now, he works for Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina; previously, he was at the London Stock Exchange Group's Fort Mill office, where his team works on financial data collections, data analytics and data visualization. He spends most of his time at work analyzing data and after work, he likes to spend time with my family. All in all, his greatest accomplishment in life this far is being a husband and the father to a 3-year-old.

As a new year approaches and resolutions start to resurface, Dushime offers the following financial advice:

  • Budget: Since personal finance is like personal fitness, keeping your finances in healthy condition requires planning and continually working toward your goals. Budget is like a workout plan. It keeps you on the track. Budgets help you to manage the money you earn. You can see how much you need monthly and anticipate your expenses in order to prioritize. Budgets can also make it easier to see where you might cut or reduce spending as needed.
  • Make a Choice Between Needs vs Want: After creating a budget, it's important to understand your values and choices. None of us can have everything we want, but we have to ensure that we have things we need. When you look at the items in your budget, it can help to determine if the item is a need (something that is necessary for survival) or a want (something that would add benefit to your life, but it is not necessary for survival).
  • Saving: Physical fitness has to be developed over time. If you wanted to run a marathon, or if you were to be chased by a bear, it would be too late to think about getting into shape. Financial fitness is the same. You have to be ready for a big purchase or occasional emergency by saving money as you go. If your expenses were too high, what might you cut back in order to save?
  • Use Credit Cards Wisely: When the budget gets tight, it is easy to reach for the credit card instead of making cuts elsewhere. But paying interest on those cards takes even more money from the budget in the future. Only use a credit card if you know where the money is coming from to pay it off because all it takes is one lost or missed payment. If that happens, your interest rate skyrockets, your credit score drops, and you get slapped with fees. With just one mistake, you've gotten yourself into a big money mess.
  • Stick and Track your Progress: Making resolutions is easy; seeing them through can be more difficult. The same way working out without consistency will not achieve physical fitness results, healthy financial condition will not be achieved without sticking to your plans and tracking your progress throughout the year.