She’s a 20-year-old brown-eyed Oklahoma State University junior ready to take on the world.
Wichita, Kansas native Ashley Shannon is a management sustainability and entrepreneurship double-major with a minor in international studies. If that wasn’t already enough, she’s also a member of the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, a member of the Spears School of Business Scholar Leaders program, interning for the Life Out of the Box social venture, starting her own business and visiting four countries within the next year.
“I took the Intro to Entrepreneurship class and realized that my ideas of success were unconventional and different,” Shannon said. “That motivated me to pick up entrepreneurship as a major in addition to my management sustainability major. I then applied for the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and it basically gave me the opportunity to be a voice for the School of Entrepreneurship.”
As for travel, Shannon will study at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, in January 2017 for a semester for the reciprocal exchange program. She will be going to India shortly after for vacation, then she heads to China and Japan for two weeks in the summer of 2017 to visit businesses with the Spears Scholar Leaders program.
Entrepreneurship sparked the idea of a business, which is still in the planning process.
“I can’t say too much about it because I might be partnering with some colleagues, but basically we want to buy cocoa from Nicaraguan cocoa farmers and pay them fair wages, then turn around and give that money to a micro lending website,” Shannon said. “It’s still really new.”
As an intern for Life Out of the Box, which was founded by OSU graduate students Jonathon Button and Quinn Vandenberg, Shannon is gathering important skills that will aid her in her business venture.
“I’m more of a social media and marketing intern, so I handle the social media and I’m starting to learn more about analytics,” Shannon said. “All of the products that you buy, it goes toward a greater cause. If you buy a bracelet, a set of school supplies will be donated to a kid in Nicaragua or Guatemala. I really like being a part of Life Out of the Box because it’s so nice to see people who are passionate about what they do and they don’t necessarily care about a steady paycheck, they just care about making an impact.”
Shannon has a few ideas for the future, but nothing set in stone.
“I kind of wanted to go into the Peace Corps after college, so that’s an option, or grad school, but way down the road, I could see myself doing something with micro-lending,” Shannon said.
Shannon credits entrepreneurship for driving her to venture out and experience new things.
“I am passionate about entrepreneurship; it gives you the audacity to reimagine the world, and to help make a better impact, we need more thinkers and dreamers in order to bridge the gap between our present and the future.”
To learn more about the School of Entrepreneurship’s nationally recognized programs, visit business.okstate.edu/entrepreneurship/.