Jasmine Greer, BE'16, MBA Class of 2020
Jasmine Greer, Cecil and Amy Jorgensen Conlee Diversity Scholarship Recipient
When Jasmine Greer started at Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate, she wanted to major in four areas: piano, neuroscience, Spanish and chemistry.
She was mulling over her options, when one day she walked into the engineering building and saw "all these students huddled around a circuit board. I said, 'What is that? I want to do that too'," Greer recalls. She soon found her place in biomedical engineering. "I really liked how I was able to use my hands and my passion for health care," Greer says.
Her work in a research lab paved the way to applying to business school: "I was making these products, but I couldn't see other people using them. I wanted to learn how to turn a product into something people can actually use so I can make a larger impact."
Greer applied to only one MBA program—at Owen Graduate School of Management. She wanted to stay at Vanderbilt (also the only school of interest for her bachelor's degree) and came to Owen not only for its top-flight academic program but also its collaborative environment. When she shadowed two Owen students, "I felt instantly that this was a place I wanted to be," Greer says. She was eager to dive into The Center for Entrepreneurship at Owen and explore her business aspirations in health care and the startup space.
She is able to pursue her MBA in part because she was awarded the Cecil and Amy Jorgensen Conlee Diversity Scholarship. "I feel incredibly blessed to receive this scholarship," Greer says, "and I want to give back to others by creating a scholarship of my own in the future."
At Owen, Greer has immersed herself in several entrepreneurial projects. Recently, she competed on a Vanderbilt team for the $1 million Hult Prize—dubbed the "Nobel Prize for Students"—which challenges participants to propose a social enterprise capable of creating 10,000 meaning-ful jobs for young people. Her team developed the idea for a technology platform called Farm to Market that would enable young people in India to help sell farmers' produce. Greer and her team won the first round of the competition at Vanderbilt, hosted by the university's Turner Family Center for Social Ventures, and advanced to the regionals in San Francisco where teams from across the world competed. "To hear every-one else's ideas was wonderful. I enjoyed being immersed with other young entrepreneurs striving to make a global impact," Greer says.
This spring Greer also won first place in the Tech Venture Challenge at Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization. She and her interdisciplinary team created a pitch to investors for $5 million to bring an existing catheter device to market for people with a specific debilitating heart condition.
Following a summer internship at a software development startup in Nashville, Greer returned to Owen this fall as the president of the Owen Black Students Association and senator in the Owen Student Government Association. With these leadership roles, she hopes to foster more inclusion. "Owen's a great place," Greer says, "and more diversity would further enrich the experience."
She also wants to encourage undergraduates and high schoolers who may be considering entrepreneurship. "I've always had a heart to want to help someone else," Greer says. "To guide people in their educational experience in the same way that others have done for me."