Faces of UVU: Jaxon Olsen

   

Major: Finance

Minor: Business Management 

Graduated:  2019

I can learn all the skills needed in medical school, but my experiences with UVU Student Life taught me to embrace empathy. It opened my eyes to what education really is and what you can do in college. I now see education as a more holistic combination of research, service, and leadership.

From first-generation student to first-year medical student, Jaxon Olsen has paved his own way in higher education. During his UVU academic career, a large portion of his drive came from motivators outside of the classroom including personal dedication, his wife’s support, and a strong dose of student life involvement.

The youngest of six children (with his twin sister), Jaxon’s parents raised their family insisting that they go to college.

“Because neither of my parents went to college, it was important to them that my siblings and I did. I grew up really wanting to go, but because I was a first-generation student, I didn’t know what to expect,” Jaxon said.

What Jaxon did know when he enrolled at UVU was that he wanted to major in something that involved problem-solving. He declared himself a finance major and pursued a minor in business management. His education took an interesting turn when Summer Valente, director of the Center for Social Impact, came to one of his business courses and talked about the center’s need for Alternative Spring Break trip leaders. Jaxon applied for the position and led a trip to Portland, Oregon, where he and other UVU students helped community partners combat homelessness.

 That single experience left such an impact on Jaxon that he ran for multiple leadership positions within Student Life. He was elected as president of the Service Council of the Center for Social Impact and chief justice of UVUSA. While in these roles he managed a student voting registration campaign, practiced parliamentary procedure, and oversaw Pizza and Politics, a guest speaker series that invites students to discuss timely controversial subjects like gun control or the refugee crisis.

 “A lot of what I learned from serving in Student Life were things that would be really difficult to teach in a classroom,” Jaxon said. “Handling conflict between colleagues, solving problems, experiencing real-world situations, interacting with students from different backgrounds and gender identifiers — all of these things helped me become a more empathetic leader.”

 From having unknown expectations of college to becoming a student leader, Jaxon describes his time at UVU as “a period of growth” that continues to influence his life today as a medical student at University of Utah.

 “I can learn all the skills needed in medical school, but my experiences with UVU Student Life taught me to embrace empathy,” Jaxon said. “It opened my eyes to what education really is and what you can do in college. I now see education as a more holistic combination of research, service, and leadership.”