Skip to main content

Entrepreneur Aaron Lauritzen completes online bachelor’s degree while running business

Aaron Lauritzen doesn’t do anything in half measures.

The Hagerman, Idaho, native and former Eagle Scout launched a videography business, Outbound Photography, during his first year of college. He graduated from Boise State University’s online Bachelor of Applied Science program in December 2023.

“One of the reasons I chose the Bachelor of Applied Science is because I am a creative person,” he said. “I didn’t want to go the graphic designer or artist route, but I wanted practical, creative skills. I’ve always loved creating and learning.

“It worked out that I got my business classes and my marketing classes — the creative classes — with the Bachelor of Applied Science.”
Lauritzen especially enjoyed doing his capstone project, Keep Nature Wild: Leave No Trace Public Service Announcements.

“I did creative writing, video producing, directing, editing and graphic design for the capstone project,” he said. “It was about responsible use of the outdoors.

“One of the reasons I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree was to have as many job opportunities as possible. I didn’t want to shut the door to opportunities because I didn’t have a degree.”

The online format was ideal for Lauritzen to run his business and have ample time to do schoolwork. He is also working night shifts at Home Depot to supplement his income.

“I would recommend people definitely look into the online program,” he said. “It’s not for everybody, but it’s so convenient. If you are self-motivated, you can do it. It takes a lot of self-discipline.

“If you’re that type of person, it’s incredible. It’s similar to work-from-home. For some people, that works great. I fall into that category.”

Coming into focus

After developing a passion for photography, Lauritzen attended the College of Southern Idaho for two-and-a-half years before transferring to Boise State.

“I love taking pictures and capturing experiences,” he said. “I had a professional camera. My business partner and I did professional photography for a couple of years through Outbound Photography.

“I like the creative process and tail end of videography more. I can edit pictures, but I prefer to edit videos. It’s what I find the most enjoyment in.”

Lauritzen started as an on-campus student at the College of Southern Idaho before switching to online because of COVID-19.

“I still went to campus in person for my duties because I was student body vice president my last year,” he said. “I did really well in the online environment. I thought I might as well keep doing it at Boise State.”

Lauritzen was also a marketing intern at SwellFox, giving him real-world experience to go along with his education.

“It was incredible,” he said. “It was some of the best work for one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. I learned a lot. I was getting paid to solve problems and learn.”

The marketing courses were among Lauritzen’s favorites in the online Bachelor of Applied Science curriculum.

“There were a lot of classes where I’d do accounting or business law, but the marketing courses were especially helpful in marketing my own company,” he said. “That’s also what we do as a business. We do weddings, but we also make advertisements.

“I especially loved the capstone course. I chose a project I was genuinely passionate about. Even if I wasn’t in college, I still would have wanted to do it. I learned so much through the experience. I was so invested in it.”

Applied science graduate Aaron Lauritzen
Photo provided by Aaron Laurtizen

Picture perfect

Lauritzen wrapped up his higher education experience by walking the graduation stage at Albertsons Stadium.

“It was a good experience,” he said. “I barely made it across the stage, because I had a snowboarding accident two days before at Bogus Basin. I hit my shin on a rock. I had a compression bandage, so I made it. My family and friends were excited for me. They were also supportive.”

Now that he has a bachelor’s degree, Lauritzen plans to focus on building his business and finding a full-time marketing job. He is grateful for the college experience.

“Some of the classes don’t particularly apply to anything you are doing,” he said. “In the end, even those classes have an important lesson to take away.

“It’s not always about the practical skills. A lot of people forget that college is about taking classes that open your mind to completely new ideas.”

Lauritzen also plans to be a lifelong learner as he pursues his interests and feeds his passion for creativity.

“I figured out that I love college,” he said. “I became an academic. I love to learn things now. It’s one of my most passionate things, which is one reason I want to run my own business. Every day is different. There are always different challenges and new clients. I love taking on a challenge and learning new things from it.

Since graduating from Boise State, Lauritzen said he has had people ask him about earning an online degree. He always recommends the experience.

“If you are iffy on whether or not to go to school, it is a great middle ground,” he said. “You can go to school and live anywhere you want. You have total autonomy and freedom. Just try it out. Go for one semester. I can almost guarantee you will learn more than you expected.

“If you apply yourself, you will be surprised and happy with the results. What’s the worst that could happen? You learn something. Give it a shot. You’re never too old. I missed my first year of school, then took an extra semester, as well. It took me five years to get my degree, but so what? I am so happy I went.”

Learn more about applied science at Boise State

Want to learn more about the applied science program? Join us for an online information session or contact a student success coach.

Contact a Student Success Coach

Attend a Live, Virtual Information Session