Meet Jamin Engel, 2013 Innovation MBA Graduate

MBA graduate Jamin EngelJamin Engel works as lead pharmacist at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. He recently completed the Innovation MBA program at James Madison University, and was honored by being named Outstanding MBA Student

Jamin grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, and graduated from Spotswood High School.  He attended JMU for two years, and then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University to study pharmacy.  He completed his pharmacy studies in 2008, and immediately began working at RMH.

Why an MBA?

When asked why he decided to pursue an MBA, he said, “I always had the idea of the MBA in the back of my mind. I wanted to learn more about the specifics of business, and how to manage people in general. My goal is to manage a pharmacy someday.”  He adds that “RMH has assisted my development in addition to the program, through individual mentorship, and by placing me within a leadership role.”

Specifically, Jamin was tasked with assisting the move of the pharmacy from the old hospital to the new hospital. The move went very smoothly, with no glitches.

Jamin chose JMU for the MBA program for a number of reasons.  He says, “I had experience with JMU since I studied pre-pharmacy there for two years. The College of Business and the MBA programs were accredited. I also really liked the professors at JMU and the curriculum detailed.”

Since JMU was a larger school, Jamin knew that the MBA class would be diverse.  He wanted to learn from his peers. He feels that interacting with a diverse group helps to enhance the learning process.

He says, “The MBA program certainly met my expectations. It was as challenging as I’d hoped it would be.” He goes on to say, “The variety and diverse set of classes offered much more than simply understanding financial statements. We were able to apply learning to the real world, through individual experiences and case studies. It was a great experience, and extremely rewarding.”

Leadership Development Portfolio

Jamin is scheduled to talk to the next MBA group at their orientation about the LDP – leadership development portfolio.  This is essentially a development tool that tracks one’s professional growth within and out of the MBA program, and challenges students to develop a communications plan to implement at work. 

He says the LDP is a loose structure. It’s more of a living document that is meant to be applied in real world situations.

As part of his IDP, Jamin implemented a lean project at RMH. He reviewed operations within the sterile area, and identified ways to reduce waste and improve efficiencies, resulting in a significant cost savings of about $50,000 a year.



Jamin highly recommends the JMU iMBA program. He says, “I received an immense amount of knowledge from professors in class. In addition, the learning environment created by my peers contributed to the learning materials presented.  I feel as if I learned just as much, if not more, from listening to my fellow classmates and their individual experiences and knowledge. This is what makes it unique, and such a diverse learning experience.  Anyone with a business interest, no matter what their background, can be successful in the program and apply it to their individual circumstance.”

He also noted that the group took some classes with the strategic leadership program, which brought in even more experience and diversity. “The professors were great. They cared about us, and were always available. They helped to make the learning experience the best possible,” Jamin says.

He especially relished the culmination of the program, a ten-day trip to China. The group visited Shanghai and Beijing, as well as a coastal manufacturing town. The experience included business, culture, and sightseeing opportunities.

He says, “The trip provided a mix of opportunities to learn from. It gets you out of your comfort zone. Shanghai is truly a globalized city; it is like New York City times five.  The most rewarding experience was learning directly how cultural influences and physical location affect business decisions and strategy.”

Now that the MBA experience is complete, Jamin can concentrate on his goal of managing his own pharmacy, and applying the skills learned while in the MBA program. He and his wife, Katie, and daughter, Ella, live in Harrisonburg, far from the wonders of China.

Jamin is certain to become even more successful as he puts into practice what he’s learned through the Innovation MBA program, enabling him to meet his future goals.

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