Talk about a solid fallback plan.
Jasmine Jaramoga hopes to attend medical school and become a doctor. To prepare to run her own clinic someday, she is enrolled in the Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization online program from LSU Shreveport.
"When I was 15 years old, my dad, JaJa, died of cancer," Jaramoga said. "I watched his health deteriorate, which made me want to be a doctor. My dad was also an entrepreneur, but his business failed because he didn't have the business knowledge to run it. That's another reason I wanted to start a business and make sure that I have that knowledge.
"I'm also inspired by my mom. She has a bachelor's degree in biblical education and has her own church."
Jaramoga grew up in Decatur, Georgia, but her family is from Darrow, Louisiana. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology from LSU in December 2016. Seven weeks before graduation, she gave birth to her daughter, Layla Johnson.
"I wanted to spend time with her before I went to medical school," she said. "I was thinking of something that I could do in my spare time and still spend time with her. I thought, 'I could do an online degree program. What is the most relevant one to what I want to do?' Because I want to be a doctor and have my own private practice, I said, 'I loved LSU, so I will pursue the online MBA at LSUS.'"
Shreveport of Call
In addition to being part of the LSU system, LSUS had several selling points that attracted Jaramoga.
"The tuition is very inexpensive," she said. "I also like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation. You can get a quality education online."
The online format is also important to Jaramoga because it allows her to spend quality time with Layla. She spends about 20-25 hours per week on school to make the best grades possible, but still has time to devote to her daughter.
"I make time for the program," Jaramoga said. "When I worked from 8 to 5, I might wake up at 5 a.m. and study for a few hours. I like the flexibility of the online program and that you can do it from wherever. I could go on vacation right now and still do my work. Layla is one of several reasons why I'm doing this."
MADM 751: Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, an elective, is Jaramoga's favorite course in the online MBA program curriculum, so far.
"The entrepreneurship course did a good job of teaching us how to develop a sustainable business," she said. "We went through the strategy of Procter & Gamble, followed it and really delved into the business. That was helpful."
With an anticipated graduation date of May 2019, Jaramoga plans to transition to medical school three short months later. She is also engaged to be married to Layla's father. Jaramoga worked as an environmental scientist at Analytical & Environmental Testing in Baton Rouge before taking a break to focus on school full time.
"All of my friends and family members are pretty excited," she said. "Everybody wonders, 'Why did you go for an MBA when you want to go to medical school?' This is what I wanted to do. I'm planning on going to the Caribbean for med school. Hopefully, that works out."
Go Your Own Way
As Jaramoga works toward completing the online MBA program, she remains inspired by her late father and the idea of helping others when they have medical issues. She knows he would be proud of her.
"It's a nerdy thing but if I had the time, I would be in an LSU research lab volunteering right now," she said. "That's what I like to do."
Jaramoga learned the value of education growing up. Her mother has a bachelor's degree, while her aunt has a master's degree. Like her family did for her, she is setting an example for her daughter when she is ready to go to college. Jaramoga knows higher education is the key to realizing her career goals.
"Earning a master's degree is a big-time commitment," she said. "A lot of people think that online will be easy, but it's just thorough and as much of a time commitment as any other master's degree program. It's definitely doable. You can do it anywhere. You have to work hard. Don't think it will be easy."
Jaramoga won't stop trying until she achieves her goal of becoming a doctor and opening her own clinic. Of course, having an MBA provides plenty of opportunities for a contingency plan if that doesn't pan out.
"Sometimes I think, 'I wish I wasn't going to med school. I could start a business right now,'" she said. "Earning an MBA gives you an urgency. I love the program. I will definitely be there for graduation. I can't wait."
Learn more about the LSUS online MBA program with a General Business specialization.
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