Lauren Kokjohn

Lauren Kokjohn

Lauren Kokjohn
Master of Business Administration, Finance specialization, 2011

“I see more confidence in myself. I have learned to give myself more credit for the contributions I make in my personal life as well as my work life.”


It had been a few years since Lauren Kokjohn had earned her Bachelor’s degree. She was happy working as the Regional Accounts Payable Coordinator at a real estate company but felt she needed to keep learning to advance in her field.

Hesitant about returning to school after a few years, she called Ashford University and spoke to an Admissions Counselor, whom she says is the reason she chose Ashford. “Ashford University saw a committed individual capable of succeeding. Any fears that I had of returning to school, and whether I could maintain my current job and complete this program, went away.”  

While enrolled in the Master of Business Administration, Finance specialization program, Lauren admits that one of the biggest challenges she faced was time management. However, through much hard work and dedication, she completed her degree requirements in November 2011 at age 29 but was able to attend the October 2011 commencement ceremony in Clinton, IA, along with quite an entourage: her two sisters, brother-in-law, parents, and two grandmothers! “It was important for me to attend the commencement ceremony to celebrate this accomplishment surrounded by those who had given me their full support throughout this journey,” Lauren explains.

Since then, armed with her Master’s degree, Lauren has been enjoying applying the knowledge and experience she gained over her year and a half at Ashford. “I have gained such knowledge since enrolling. Before, I didn’t really understand the finance field very well. But my hard work has led to a greater understanding of it, and my degree will encourage me to challenge myself career-wise.”

In addition to having a better grasp of her field, Lauren describes a personal evolution of sorts. “My life has definitely changed since being enrolled,” she says. “I see more confidence in myself. I have learned to give myself more credit for the contributions I make in my personal life as well as my work life. Being enrolled at Ashford has allowed me to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

To others considering enrolling at Ashford, Lauren says: “It’s never too late to go back to school. You learn so much about yourself and about others through school. I was skeptical about taking online classes in the beginning, but I never would have been able to finish this program and continue to work full-time without the flexibility this platform provides.”

Lauren is grateful for the journey she has taken with Ashford, and we are confident her evolution will continue as a result of it. “Education is the best gift anyone can receive. Ashford University has provided me with one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been given.”