Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Cornwall College old boy scores near-perfect GPA at FIU

Published:Monday | September 7, 2020 | 12:22 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Robert Dunbar II.
Robert Dunbar II.

WESTERN BUREAU:

An industrious Jamaican has been inducted into the Florida International University (FIU) Dean’s High Achievers Society, having obtained a 3.97 grade point average (GPA).

Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate, Robert Dunbar II, who was honoured with the distinction summa cum laude, says maintaining a high GPA throughout his college years was a result of consistency.

“I knew how important it was to prioritise, be organised, and set goals for myself. No matter how small a goal I have, I always try to accomplish something every day, and this was what I believe led me to the success that I have had thus far,” Dunbar, 23, told The Gleaner from his home in Florida.

The Montego Bay homeboy, who attended Cornwall College, is no stranger to either the Dean’s or President’s lists. While attending Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), where he attained a Bachelor of Science in finance, he graduated from the Honours College in 2018.

“At FGCU, I managed to make the Dean’s List three times and the President’s List once while participating in many extracurricular activities,” said the first-class finance whiz.

Besides burying his head in books, Dunbar served as an ambassador for international students; member and treasurer of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; tutored students in mathematics and financial accounting; and mentored elementary- and high-school students.

INVESTMENT EXPOSURE

In his final semester at FGCU, he participated in the university’s Investment Management Fund course, where, under faculty supervision, select students managed two investment portfolios consisting of equity and fixed-income funds totalling US$450 million for the school’s foundation.

“This helped me gain exposure to investments, which was beneficial to me as I was unable to work for companies during my time of study,” Dunbar told The Gleaner.

“This involved heavy research in the tech, retail, and construction industries. “Basically, we were looking for potential investments with these companies.”

Dunbar, who attended Mt Alvernia Preparatory School in Montego Bay, said that he had an interest in business and finance from a very young age. The aspiring investment banker and manager studied business courses while at Cornwall College and decided, later, that he wanted to major in finance.

He praised FIU’s cultural diversity, which “complemented the learning process”.

As Dunbar gets ready to commence a year of optional practical training (OPT) before his return home, he admits that studying in the USA came with its challenges, forcing him out of his comfort zone.

“I was absent from many family gatherings and events, unable to work off campus, therefore not gaining the necessary experience required for jobs in my field of study, and I found it hard to adjust to living in a new country,” said Dunbar.

“Nonetheless, I must say that I am content with my accomplishments.”

Dunbar wants to open his own investment and wealth management company when he returns to Jamaica.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com