Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vol State Graduate Makes a Difference Using Her Degree

What will you do once your formal education is over?  Sometimes, I think I know exactly what my future holds, but more often I wonder if my schooling will pay-off.  Are the daily challenges and the skills I am learning worth it? During these insecure moments, I want to hear about students that are using their degrees to make a difference.  This is the case with Vol State graduate, Shannon White.

Trying to find a balance between life, work, and family was tough, but it did not stop her. “I started by taking just one class in communications,” said White.  “I loved it!  I realized how much I missed school, so I enrolled and got a part-time job.  I was interested Asian studies, but had no idea how that worked.  So, while taking my general requirements, I heard about international business and global studies, this got me interested in learning Chinese.  Since, Vol State only had a couple of foreign languages, I chose the University of Memphis to finish my degree.  They are one of the top 3 schools in the country for Asian studies.”
White searched out Tennessee companies that were interested in doing business in Asia.  She made such an impression on the state ambassador responsible for China, that she was invited to organize a meeting between a group of Chinese high school students to meet the governor.  The students were visiting as part of a Future Entrepreneurs Leadership Group.  She enjoys teaching people from China about southern culture, and equally wants to educate Tennessee companies about the Chinese business culture.  Her goal is to be an international business developer for the state of Tennessee.  
Associate Professor George Wilson uses White as a reference in his Transportation course.  She has shared, “her experiences as owner of Rush Delivery, which began as a Nashville-based bike messenger service and grew into a national trucking, warehousing, and logistics company,” said Wilson.  “Each semester, several of my online Students post comments saying how much they are inspired by Shannon’s online presentation. After graduating from Volunteer State in December 2009, Shannon earned her Bachelor Degree in Asian Culture and International Trade from The University of Memphis, graduating magna cum laude in December 2011. Shannon has recently founded her own business--Global Girl Business Services-- and does work for the Tennessee Economic Council for Women.”

White encourages students to get involved with campus activities.  “I just got into those groups and started mentoring. I became the President of National Society of Leadership which was a big success for me,” she said.  “I got a couple of awards and a USA scholarship.  I didn’t have a lot of money so I needed the scholarship. I also got a scholarship for TnCIS through the business division, and I took ethnics in Greece in 2009. It completely changed my perspective, and when I got back I was focus driven. Nothing felt too unattainable.”
For more information on Asian studies you can email White or contact her through her blog and Facebook.
Volunteer State Community College


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