The women in Lou ONeil Go’s family made a profound impact on his life.
He took inspiration from his aunt, Ninfa Saunders, to pattern his career. She was a nurse before she became a CEO, while his mother, Belle, emphasized the importance of learning.
“When my mom passed away years ago, she had only seen me graduate from high school,” he said, recalling that she valued education. “That was a motivating factor for me to get my college degrees.”
ONeil Go still takes those influences to heart. He graduated from Boise State University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an Emphasis in Healthcare Leadership online program in May 2021.
“My aunt, who is like a second mom to me, was really excited about me getting an MBA,” he said. “The rest of my family was excited, as well, but they wanted to make sure I was ready and had time to do the program.”
ONeil Go holds a full-time position as a system analyst at Atrium Health Navicent in Macon, Georgia. He and his wife, Rochelle, have two children, Jade (11) and Xavier (8).
To make earning a master’s degree realistic, ONeil Go needed to enroll in a fully online program.
“With the schools that are close by to where I live in Warner Robins, I would have had to show up on campus at least once at the beginning of the semester and then again at the end,” he said. “The fact that Boise State’s program is fully online is awesome.”
“The flexibility was big. The price was doable. They also had the GMAT waiver, which was a time-saver for me — especially coming from a nursing background into business. So, that didn’t slow me down.”
ONeil Go was born in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and moved with his family to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when he was 14 years old.
“My goal was to be a surgeon, but that got derailed,” he said. “I still wanted to work in healthcare because I have family members in the field.”
So, ONeil Go graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Broward College in 2008. He then earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Western Governors University seven years later. He has been a system analyst for more than four years.
“I also wanted to go back to school for an MBA for personal improvement,” he said. “It was hard for a little bit with all I had going on at work, but the program being fully online and being able to study online was a blessing, for sure.”
The experience of earning a degree online also gave ONeil Go more time to bond with his son and daughter.
“My son was my schoolmate during the pandemic,” ONeil Go said. “My desk and his were right next to each other. It was like being in high school all over again. And I was my daughter’s tutor.”
Although Managerial Accounting was a difficult course for ONeil Go, it was his favorite in the online MBA in Healthcare Leadership program.
“I learned a lot,” he said. “The tutor, Ariel Johnson, and the instructor, JoAnn Wood, were phenomenal. It was new territory, but they made it to where I could understand. It was nice.”
With a full-time job and the online MBA program keeping him busy, ONeil Go enjoys playing basketball and traveling when he has time to spare.
Living the Dream
ONeil Go benefited from the knowledge he gained in the online MBA program long before graduation day.
“I have operational experience, but not from a formal business education,” he said, noting that what he learned through the coursework mapped to his practical experience. “It gave me a better understanding of what I am experiencing at work.”
In addition to making him a more well-rounded professional, the degree is creating career opportunities for ONeil Go.
“For sure, the MBA is starting to open doors for me,” he said. “I had a job offer, but because of the transition of our medical records at work, I had to put it on hold.”
After completing the program at Boise State in 18 months, ONeil Go said the key to success as an online student is planning.
“Boise State does a good job of offering courses,” he said. “The variety of courses every semester means you can progress if you decide to take it slow or double up on classes — you have options.”
ONeil Go knows his mother would be proud of him for earning a graduate degree and building a successful career. What better way to pay her and his aunt back for their mentorship?
“I am glad that I went back to school,” he said. “I definitely got good value out of the MBA program at Boise State.”
Learn more about Boise State’s online MBA in Healthcare Leadership program.