Growing up in nearby West Valley City, senior Jazmin Miramontes always knew the University of Utah was a possible option for college.

But being admitted to the Eccles School’s Business Scholars program? That really sealed the deal. The Business Scholars Program, which allows students to build on things they learn in the classroom with hands-on learning, was too good of an opportunity to pass up. “That was a big motivator for me to come to the University of Utah as business was something that I was interested in,” Miramontes said.

Once in college, Miramontes considered pursuing a math major, knowing that quantitative skills were her calling card in high school. “Math was always something I was incredibly interested in, that I really enjoyed,” Miramontes said. But she says her interests in business and experiences in Business Scholars kept pulling her towards a major and career in business.

During a freshman-year Business Scholars class, Miramontes found out about the Quantitative Analysis of Markets and Organizations (QAMO) major. With its mathy take on business economics, QAMO was a perfect match for Miramontes, giving her the possibility of applying it in multiple areas she likes such as policy, business, economics, strategy and tech.

For Miramontes, the QAMO classes have been engaging. But, that doesn’t mean they’ve been easy! “I wouldn’t consider it to be an easy major,” she said. “But I do think we receive a lot of support in order to be successful.”

Miramontes’ favorite part of QAMO is the teachers. They’re a big support in being successful. Miramontes said they are open to providing extra help and talking about their own careers. “My favorite professors have been from the QAMO program because I can tell how much they care for me individually as a student,” she said.

That’s why Miramontes’ biggest piece of advice for incoming QAMO students is to get to know their professors. Learning about professor’s careers can help students understand what path they want to take. Asking questions in class is also important as others probably have the same question. “Get over this initial fear of asking questions and connecting with professors,” Miramontes said. “At least for me, it was a little bit difficult to ask questions just because I didn’t want to sound like I was lost, or confused, which are all totally normal feelings as a student.”

While Miramontes enjoys the QAMO major, her academic career has come with challenges. On top of being a full-time student, she is currently the director of outreach for the U’s Association of Latino Professionals for America and works 20 to 30 hours a week. She also worked on rebuilding the SOMOS Dreamers program, which focuses on empowering and advocating for undocumented students on campus. It was difficult balancing everything at times. While Miramontes said she feels it’s important to be part of programs like ALPA and to support her fellow students, she also needs to be successful herself.

Another challenge for Miramontes was transitioning from a high school with predominantly students of color to the U where she was sometimes the only woman or the only person of color in the classroom. Despite the slight shock, she was still able to develop good relationships and advocate for herself. “We need to learn, as students of marginalized communities, to advocate for ourselves, and that we deserve to be here just as everyone else,” Miramontes said. “We have the same access to opportunities if we find a network that is willing to support us.”

It also helped that many of Miramontes’ QAMO professors are women. She said it’s great to see them doing research and to learn from them.

After Miramontes graduates in May 2024, she will be working full-time with J.P. Morgan. She did a fellowship with J.P. Morgan after her sophomore year and interned with them this summer. “A lot of the skills that were useful in my internship and my fellowship came from the QAMO program,” Miramontes said.

Beyond that, she is thinking about graduate school, perhaps to do research on educational policy to learn how to better serve marginalized communities.

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