Cal State San Bernardino celebrates the exceptional accomplishments of two standout students from the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration. Olayinka Owoseni and Sade Harper, both business graduates, have been named the college’s 2023-24 outstanding students. They were honored at the college’s Spring Commencement ceremony on May 18 at the Toyota Arena in Ontario.

Originally from Nigeria, Owoseni, the college’s Outstanding Graduate Student, transitioned from a career as a primary care physician to pursuing a master of business administration degree with a concentration in management at CSUSB. Her passion for healthcare remains strong, but her focus has shifted to the business side of the industry.

My immediate plans involve gaining more experience as a manager in a healthcare or health-tech organization. In the long term, though, I aim to start my own health-tech company, leveraging technology combined with my newly acquired business acumen and prior healthcare experience to revolutionize how healthcare is currently done,” Owoseni said.

Choosing to pursue an MBA was a strategic decision for Owoseni. “I chose to get my master of business administration degree because it provides me with the knowledge and skills I need to achieve my career goal. Now I’m equipped to launch a business venture of my own,” she explained.

Owoseni’s ability to seamlessly transition from medicine to business is a testament to her determination and adaptability. “I am proud to finish with a great GPA and academic recognition. In addition, I’m proud of my achievement in representing the school in the 60th Intercollegiate Business Strategy Competition, alongside my team, and bringing home two awards,” she said, highlighting her academic and extracurricular successes.

Despite facing financial and emotional challenges as an international student, Owoseni credits the support of the CSUSB community, her family, friends, and faith in God for helping her overcome these obstacles.

“CSUSB helped me to grow out of my comfort zone and provided the opportunity to take risks. My experience at CSUSB is a defining turning point in my life, and I’m so grateful for it. Out of all the graduate schools I applied to, I’m glad CSUSB chose me and more importantly, I’m glad I chose CSUSB,” she said.

Harper, named the Outstanding Undergraduate Student, was initially an early childhood education major. She found herself reevaluating her path when the COVID-19 pandemic brought significant changes to the education system. Drawing upon her previous experience in marketing and promotions, she decided to switch to a business major.

“In the fall, I plan to begin substitute teaching,” said Harper, who is determined to continue her education by obtaining a master’s degree and a teaching credential. Her immediate goal, however, is to spend quality time with her 4-year-old daughter.

“Upon completing my degree, I plan to dedicate more time to my daughter, who has been alongside me throughout my educational journey,” she said.

Balancing academic pursuits with family responsibilities has been challenging for Harper.

“Juggling the demands of coursework and parenting has at times presented difficulties, particularly when faced with rigid attendance policies or assignment deadlines that conflict with my role as a mother,” she said.

“My parents have been the most significant source of inspiration in my life,” she continued. “Their unwavering support and encouragement, especially during challenging times, have been instrumental in shaping my path towards personal and academic growth.”

Despite the challenges she encountered, Harper’s dedication and hard work paid off. In addition to being named Outstanding Undergraduate Student, she’s also proud of winning the Garner Holt Fast-Pitch Competition, an innovative program offered by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE), which gives CSUSB students a platform to pitch their business ideas.

Reflecting on her time at CSUSB, Harper expressed her gratitude for the inclusive and supportive environment the university provided.

“(CSUSB) provided an inclusive and diverse campus where anyone of any race, age or culture could feel comfortable, safe and heard,” she said. “It’s been supportive. Also, you can tell the teachers value their students and aren’t just there for a paycheck.”