Jasmine Mathis portrait

First impressions matter. They can set the tone for a job interview, a relationship or — in the case of Jasmine Mathis — they can change the trajectory of a future.

Mathis, a fourth-year operations student with an interest in law, remembers touring Fisher’s campus as a prospective student and seeing a reflection of her future self.

“I was inspired the minute I stepped on campus,” she said. “When I toured Fisher, the person who led the tour was another Black woman, with the same brown skin tone, pre-law like me, and we even had the same name.”

Jasmine Mathis with her Pace Setters Award
Jasmine Mathis with her Pace Setters Award in 2002.

“When I saw her, I saw me. It was because of that representation and that inspiration and hearing about her success that she had at Fisher that I knew Ohio State was a place where I could thrive, too.”

Finding a college fit was one accomplishment; going from prospective student to Business Buckeye, however, brought on entirely different challenges. But what ultimately helped solidify Mathis’ position as a member of the Class of 2023 were scholarships.

She arrived at Ohio State as a Morrill Scholar, one of the handful of students across the university selected for the premier diversity and merit scholarship program. And at Fisher, she was chosen to receive the Paula L. Bennett Women in Leadership Scholarship, which provides support for the development and promotion of women in business.

“The scholarships and donor support at Fisher have lessened the financial burden of college, allowing me to focus more on my academics and post-graduation plans,” she said. “I am grateful for the substantial aid throughout my college career.”

Getting involved

Equipped with the resources, support and others’ belief in her, Mathis dove headfirst into the programs and opportunities available to her at Fisher. She was a part of Fisher FIRST, a year-long program with an early arrival component for underrepresented and first-generation students. The program introduces them to life as an Ohio State student while also creating a network of peers for students’ entire college journey.

“I immediately became enriched through this program of driven students from diverse backgrounds,” she said. “I had a mentor, Jada, who was amazing. From day one, I realized I was at an institution that valued diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Jasmine Mathis with her Honors Cohort colleagues in Chicago
Jasmine Mathis with her Honors Cohort colleagues in Chicago.

Throughout her journey at Fisher, and supported by the foundation of scholarships, Mathis has continued to discover her personal passions and professional pursuits. She credits the Honors Cohort program for helping her hone her leadership and critical thinking — skills she has put to use as president of Ohio State’s Undergraduate Black Law Student Association. As its leader, Mathis has focused on supporting underrepresented pre-law students and their access to resources for law school applications, and networking opportunities.

“And I’m proud to say our members have impacted the community by volunteering at the NNEMAP Food Pantry on 11th Avenue, helping tackle food insecurity right here in Columbus,” she said.

As an operations student, she spent two summers as an intern in GE Healthcare’s commercial leadership program. As she has throughout her academic career, Mathis distinguished herself by teaming up with a colleague to take first place in an $8 million sales simulation both year, topping all other commercial leadership interns in the company’s healthcare division. She was also honored with an Impact Award, which recognized her strong performance and positive relationships she created on her team that summer.

“I wouldn’t have had any of those accomplishments without the foundation and scholarship support from Ohio State,” she said.

Her next step

As she enters her final year as a Fisher student, Mathis is laser-focused on her next step: law school and studying for the LSAT.

“I have big dreams of being the first attorney in my immediate family and becoming a corporate lawyer,” she said. “Only 5% of U.S. attorneys are African American; I hope to lead the charge in making the legal field more equitable to all diverse backgrounds.”

Looking back, Mathis traces the roots of her leadership journey to the day she first arrived at Fisher.

“When I lead, I lead with conviction,” she said. “Whether I lead in the classroom or out of it, I lead with the hopes of inspiring another student of color who looks like me. I want to show them that they can do it too. For me, it began with Jasmin, my tour guide, and the spark she helped light up in my eyes. I hope to do the same with every step I take as a leader.”

Education has allowed me to dare to dream, lead and make a difference. Ohio State, its alumni and donors have opened doors for me and introduced me to amazing peers, professors and faculty. It has truly changed my life. And for that, I am forever grateful to be a part of this Ohio State family.

Jasmine MathisFourth-year student

 

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