Benga Agbelemose

Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership

Education: MBA, with an emphasis on International Business
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Administrator, Post Acute Care Services at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Olugbenga Agbelemose, but I go by “Benga.” I am a respiratory therapist by training, and I have been a respiratory therapist for 23 years. I became a respiratory therapist because I love having the ability to help people, particularly children in respiratory distress. I have been exposed to all areas of respiratory therapy, from working in the pulmonary functional laboratory,where we perform lung tests on patients to help physicians diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to working with critical/non-critical adults, pediatrics and neonates in intensive care units. I have also assisted with pediatric and neonate ambulance transport.

I have been in health care leadership roles for more than 20 years. I earned my undergraduate degree (BS) from California State University Long Beach, with a major in business administration and an emphasis in management. I earned my MBA with an emphasis in International Business from California State University Dominguez Hills. I currently live and work in Southern California.

What initially attracted you to the EdD OCL program? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?

I have always wanted to pursue a doctorate, and I researched many schools to find a program that accomodated my personal and professional schedule. I came across the USC OCL program through an email that I received. As I inquired more about the program, I was intrigued by the organizational change component of the program, as that is applicable to any industry. I decided to pursue the EdD OCL program at USC because it was local and the online structure was convenient, as it allowed me to continue working full time. I also felt that if I needed face-to-face assistance, I could easily drive to the school.

Why did you choose USC Rossier School of Education?

I chose USC Rossier because it was close to me, and the program afforded me the flexibility to work and attend school.

Why did you choose an online program?

The flexibility and the synchronized and asynchronous ways of attending class drew me to the online program. The two immersions that the program required allowed us to network and meet our cohort face to face before graduation day.

What is your current position and what do you hope to achieve with an EdD?

I work at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Sub Acute Care Center, which is part of the Providence St. Joseph Health System. My facility is located in San Pedro, California, and I am the administrator for the Center. My goal after completing my EdD degree is to use my expert knowledge and skills to improve the rating of our Center, and for the Center to be recognized as a facility that provides excellent patient care and customer service. I would also like to educate and train future medical and respiratory therapy students by being a professor or adjunct professor.

What surprised you the most about the online learning environment?

The richness of the program and the diversity and collaboration within my cohort have been the most surprising. The support of the staff and faculty in the program make it clear that they want students to succeed, and the resources available to us have also been exceptional.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

The program is intense, especially when you have to balance your school, personal and professional life. The program is designed for you, the student, not to fail as long as you are willing to put in the work. Get all your assignments completed and don't fall behind. The reading materials can be overwhelming, but they add value to your knowledge base. If you start falling behind, reach out to your advisors so that they can help you come up with a plan to get back on track.

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