Whether it’s burgers or banking, Jorge Ramos is all about moving up in his career.
That’s why the Norwalk, Ohio, native enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting program at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). He graduated in December 2020.
“The MBA was in the plan all along,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to do it this early in my career, but I wanted to learn more. I like learning and keeping myself busy. A big part of it was for the job opportunities.”
Ramos has worked at Key Bank in the Cleveland area for three years. While earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Finance at BGSU in 2018, he worked full time at McDonald’s to put himself through school.
“I always have to start at the bottom,” he said. “I started out as a crew member at McDonald’s and got pretty far. I started as a teller at Key Bank and moved up to a personal banker. Now, I am a business analyst.
“Getting that experience and being exposed to the front lines of a business helps you look at it differently. You have a deeper knowledge of the business, which is helping me out now. Pursuing the MBA has helped give me this opportunity.”
With so much on his tray, Ramos needed the flexibility of the online format to earn a master’s degree and continue to work full time. He and his wife, Ashley, also have two daughters — Emma (2) and Sophia (4 months).
“It was manageable and affordable,” he said. “I had a good experience at BGSU during my undergraduate. The online MBA is a newer program. As soon as I heard about it, I wanted to go back.”
Milkshake, Rattle and Roll
Ramos did not enroll in college after graduating from high school in 2010. Instead, he started working at McDonald’s. He also took advantage of the company’s assistance to earn a bachelor’s degree, spending two years at BGSU Firelands in Huron and two years on the main campus for his finance degree.
“I didn’t have any student loans or anything like that with the tuition reimbursement and working full time,” he said. “I paid for it all out of pocket.
“When McDonald’s gave me that opportunity, I decided I wanted to go into business. I had a general business degree in mind. I didn’t know what to do in business. I fell in love with finance and decided that’s where I wanted to go with it.”
Ramos took two online courses during his undergraduate career, so he was familiar with the format and the BGSU faculty when he enrolled in the online MBA in Accounting program in January 2020.
“I had a professor, Dr Sung Bae, in some of my undergrad and MBA courses,” he said. “I enjoyed his courses because he’s a tough teacher. His classes aren’t easy, but he challenges me. I learned a lot by getting problems that really make me dive into the material.”
The information that Ramos gained in the curriculum gave him a broader scope of the business world that he has applied to his career.
“I wanted to gain the perspective and knowledge of people who have been doing it for a while,” he said. “The teachers at BGSU bring in speakers and give you that exposure of real-life scenarios.
“The faculty members were always there for me. If I emailed them with a question, they emailed me back quickly. There were also different avenues to reach out to them.”
Nuggets of Wisdom
Ramos is the first person in his immediate family to earn an advanced degree. Although he took part in the virtual commencement ceremony for the MBA, he hopes to walk in person again at BGSU in May 2021.
“My family and friends are excited for me,” he said. “Nobody in my family ever went to college. My mom and dad finished high school, so even my undergrad was an achievement. It’s a big deal for everybody.”
Now that Ramos has added a master’s degree to his successful banking repertoire, he plans to continue to rise up the ranks.
“I don’t think I’ll stop here,” he said. “My next steps will probably be to take other courses around computer science and learn how to merge that with business. I would like to become a chief financial officer, maybe of a Fortune 500 company.”
Ramos, who enjoys tennis and photography in his free time, believes the MBA in Accounting online program was a worthwhile investment in his future.
“It’s a lot of work,” he said. “When I was signing up for classes, several people told me that it would be tough working full time and taking the course load I was taking.
“I have always been a hard worker and knew I could do it. Still, you should be aware it’s a lot of work that will require as much time as they tell you. It was a great experience.”
Learn more about BGSU’s online MBA program with a Concentration in Accounting.