Notre Dame alum makes a u-turn with university major and will soon graduate with a degree in marketing.
Notre Dame alum Jermaine Johnson II (NDP’15) is now back on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, a private Jesuit university located in Los Angeles, California, after a long Christmas break in Michigan where he caught up with many friends and family members. He's in the homestretch of a college career that began — like many new college students — with a major that eventually got switched to a different one.
"I came into college as an accounting major primarily because of the accounting class I took at NDP with Ms. [Joanne] Beauchamp," he said. “But I’ve also always been passionate about sports and writing, and one of my closest friends was taking steps to become a broadcaster. I saw everything he was doing and that inspired me to change my career path."
Johnson promptly "readjusted" his major to marketing and picked up minors in journalism and African-American studies.
"I knew I would be more passionate about a career in sports than accounting," he said. "I eventually want to be on camera but I also love writing and will do that as I work my way to the front of the camera. Although sports is my true passion, I also have a high interest in other news and entertainment. Hopefully, I can overlap all those interests into one job in the future."
He is, in fact, already overlapping those interests. That's because he's a staff writer and a sports video producer for the Los Angeles Loyolan, an LMU student-run newspaper published weekly for the greater university community.
"I started at The Loyolan as a sports intern," said Johnson, who also spent a semester studying abroad at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. "I used to cover the various sports teams at LMU for The Loyolan’s print and digital platforms."
Currently, Johnson's primary responsibilities revolve around producing content for a show he developed himself called End 2 End. During each episode of the show, he interviews different LMU athletes and highlights their lives with a focus on what they do outside of sports.
In addition to his job at The Loyolan, Johnson serves as a resident advisor and student assistant in admissions and has worked as a new student orientation leader. He's also been very active in a number of other student-led organizations, including serving as the president of a club called, “Brothers of Consciousness,” which is a group of black males at LMU dedicated to serving their community. In addition, he's currently vice president of LMU's chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and is a member of the Black Student Union, which helps facilitate unity within the black community on and off campus by means of cultural awareness, spiritual enrichment, community service, social avenues, and academic and professional development.
Obviously a busy student, Johnson credits Notre Dame Prep with helping to get him ready for university academics and the sometimes hectic life on campus.
"NDP vastly prepared me for the rigor of college," he said. "I made the Dean’s List during my freshman year and I owe a lot of that to the strong foundation established in high school. While occasionally there were times when I struggled because LMU is such a super challenging school, I always felt, thanks to NDP, that I always had the right tools necessary to succeed."
Johnson also noted that he was a bit unprepared at first for Los Angeles and the scene there that initially was kind of a culture shock for him. "In LA," he said, "I am constantly surrounded by a diverse array of looks, lifestyles and beliefs, which is fantastic."
But he also believes that the way Notre Dame interwove its mission into just about everything he encountered in high school gave him a great head start in working and helping those in the Los Angeles community who need a helping hand.
"I think NDP’s focus on its mission played a huge role in my current passion for serving others," he said. "A lot of the extracurriculars during my time at LMU require me to be a resource for others and NDP definitely helped me learn the importance of being that resource."