Shannon Cummings – LatPro Scholarship Finalist for August 2012

Writing has always been my passion. There is something so intrinsically peaceful, yet fantastically challenging, about connecting words to create meaning and emotion. This made my decision to receive my undergraduate degree in journalism an easy one. Within the Journalism school, I immediately connected with the marketing and advertising concentration which joined my fascination with words with a job-outlook that promised opportunities for daily creativity and constant human interaction. While I had my major choice firmly decided, my biggest obstacle came in my second year of college. 

I began my freshman year at the University of Kansas with 29 hours of college credit already on my transcript; a sophomore my first semester. While this was a bit intimidating, I was proud of myself for what I had accomplished. My hard work in high school had allowed me to achieve something very rewarding.

However, at the end of my sophomore year of college, the prospect of completing my undergraduate degree in three years began to weigh heavily. When I would tell my peers about my plan, I would get responses of disbelief. Each comment slowly added to my building anxiety. I knew I should be proud, but I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about my undergraduate experience potentially ending a year sooner than most students’. I had this notion that I was going to have to pack every necessary “collegiate” experience into 3 years. I feared I would miss out on significant or life-changing moments that would somehow render me less fulfilled.

My decision to graduate early was difficult due to my own internal struggles and expectations. In order to gain insight, I talked with teachers, peers and family members. These conversations led me to realize that I was letting others affect my perception of my own accomplishments. Why did I feel like I had to conform to others’ expectations? My hard work was something to be proud of, and I realized that early graduation allowed me to fully appreciate each and every moment of my undergraduate experience. It motivated me to pursue every opportunity I was presented with. 

I am extremely proud of this accomplishment which allowed me the opportunity to continue with my schooling and pursue my Master’s in Business Administration. This past fall, a professional in the advertising field spoke to one of my classes about his career. He shared his experiences about the agencies he worked for, the wide range of clients he served, and his work in practically every aspect of the field from media buying, to account planning, to copyediting. As he spoke I remember hanging onto every word he said. It hit me at that moment that I knew I was in the right place. Every experience he shared sounded challenging and interesting. One student in our class asked him what the most important stepping stone was in his career. The speaker responded immediately. He said that attaining his MBA degree was inherently important to his career and where he was today.

By attaining my MBA degree, I believe I can become a more well-rounded and marketable employee and it would mean so much to me to achieve this degree. From day one, creativity and language have been my passion, but an MBA degree will allow me to channel these passions and would provide me with the invaluable managerial and financial foundation to truly build on my current skill set.’s scholarship program for Hispanic students is proud to announce Shannon Cummings as one of the six finalists for its August 2012 application deadline. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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