Jasmine Ingram

Aiken Technical College

"The culture of Aiken Tech helps students realize that they are never  alone. That kind of camaraderie encourages students to speak out, ask questions, and show up. To me, that is beautiful and something I am proud to be a part of."

Counting down the days till your next getaway? That’s not a bad way to live. But Aiken Tech student Jasmine Ingram is working hard to create a life she doesn’t need a vacation from – a life that’s all about helping people, loving her son, staying healthy, and keepin’ it real.

Tech College: Round 1 didn’t exactly go as planned for you. Tell us about the roadblocks you encountered right out of high school.

I did what I think so many people do – I chose my initial major for the wrong reasons. Do not go into Criminal Justice because you enjoy that type of tv show! The Latin words in Criminology killed me, so I decided to quit that program halfway through my first semester and begin anew the next semester.

But then I got pregnant, and my focus became “How am I going to take care of my baby?” instead of “How am I going to navigate college?” I decided to wait for five years – until my baby enrolled in 5K – before going back to complete college. And I learned a lot about myself in the meantime.

Like what?

What I was capable of, what I did and didn’t like, and what I was really passionate about.

When I put my higher education plans on the back burner in 2018, I became a Licensed Insurance Agent. In 2020, I was promoted to a Sales Coach role for Progressive Insurance, and the company entrusted me to share best practices, manage a team of 18-20 sales consultants, and promote higher performance with sales. For three months straight, our team led the sales floor.

And then the pandemic hit, and we were sent home to work virtually. I had never been in a management position prior to this, and certainly not from home. My team and I took the transition hard, and my insurance license was soon to expire. While our enthusiasm drifted and the weight of the pandemic sat heavily on everyone, I started to explore my heart. I believe in constantly bettering oneself through certifications and education, but buckling down on continuing education courses for more insurance knowledge was not where my heart was.

So in one my proudest but my terrifying moments ever, I quit corporate America cold turkey and asked myself instead, “What can you do that you enjoy doing and that would benefit others?” I had grown up with a mom who obsessed over health, so my interest in health and wellness has always been solid. I also gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, and I thought I would using social media platforms as an accountability partner, to be transparent about my fitness journey while hopefully inspiring and motivating others to do the same with theirs. That’s when the light bulb went off, and I decided to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

And Bodies by Jazz was born!

Yes! I obtained several certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine – including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated Defibrillation (AED), and Certified Personal Training (CPT) – and have since worked with over 80 clients in person and online through virtual sessions, providing nutritional guidance, home workout plans, video demos of exercises, coaching calls, and more. I am so proud of their personal transformations!

Then in 2022, as I was conducting a quarterly SWOT analysis, I realized that my business had reached a plateau. I wrestled with self-doubt and started questioning myself and my goals. Am I good enough? Will I ever get that house and property I want?

I decided that I just needed a new direction. What better way to grow a servicing business than to teach others how to grow their own? So I converted my LLC, which was for training purposes only, to a 501(c)(3), and now operate Carolina Management Solutions as a Marketing Consultant/Business Coach for non-profits and small businesses.

And how does getting a Business Management degree at Aiken Tech help you in this new entrepreneurial role?

The Business Management program chooses me daily. For instance, I may complete a lesson one day, and the next day, I’ll receive a business email asking me to complete something in line with the lesson I just learned. Or I may modify an assignment into a business template for a client. It is so rewarding to plug in exactly what I learn in school straight into the field.

That’s how I know that I am on the path God has intended for me. Previously, I may have turned work down because of self-doubt or lack of confidence, or because I had not learned the material… yet. But Aiken Tech knows that the world of business is constantly evolving, and it prepares students for that reality.

Especially my instructor, Dr. Jacob Agbor. He strikes the perfect balance of professionalism and casualness – which is just what a college student needs! He dresses in a suit and tie every single day, but he keeps a smile on his students’ faces. He teaches us how to be ready for the world. He keeps us on our toes by switching up each chapter’s style of testing. But I feel like that’s crucial for today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world. He helps me see the dots connect, each and every day.

And the culture at Aiken Tech really builds students’ confidence and helps them realize that they are never alone. That kind of camaraderie encourages students to speak out, ask questions, and show up. To me, that is beautiful and something I am proud to be a part of.

And just for fun… what do you wish everyone knew about your college?

As a personal trainer, I wish that everyone knew that we have free coffee and a full wellness center. I work out on campus at 7 am every day before my 8 am lecture. Knowing that I put in that much work at the crack of dawn intensely motivates me to kill everything else I do throughout the rest of the day!