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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  • Shannon, you are such a talented writer and I hope you are very proud of all that you have accomplished so early in life. This essay is very well-written and I hope you win!

  • Shannon, Being able to organize thoughts on a page and give them meaning and life is a gift that you encompass. To be able to accomplish all that you have in 3 short years is impressive. I wish you the best of luck on this scholarship opportunity and hope that you win! You deserve it!

    • Thank you so much Mom!! I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I have without your constant support and love! And thanks to the Spanish roots of you and Grandma and Great Grandma Eva that not only qualified me for this scholarship in the first place, but more importantly have given me such strong and positive women as influences in my life! I love you!!

  • Shannon! I’m always amazed by your writing skills! Your thoughts flow so wonderfully together and you’re able to express yourself so honestly and elegantly! I wish you good luck and hope you win too!!

  • Shannon!!! You are amazing! 🙂 You have great writing skills and the essay seems so genuine and sincere. Good luck with everything!

  • Shannon –
    Your hard work so far in college is clearly illustrated by your ability to express yourself in a persuasive and logical manner. Obtaining your MBA will only strengthen your abilities and will add to your success wherever your career should take you. No matter the outcome of this contest, you are a winner in our eyes and we will always be very proud of all you have achieved!

  • Congratulations on being selected as a finalist, Shannon. Your essay is heartfelt and beautifully written. Aunt Gwen and I wish you the very best in all that the future holds for you.

  • Shannon, your essay was absolutely amazing! You’re such an intelligent, talented, and genuine individual. You deserve this scholarship because you have accomplished so much within your high school and college years. You are SO inspiring. Good luck! I hope you win!!!

  • Young people like Shannon Cummings are one’s we need in this country to carry the great burdens that lie ahead. She is bright, smart, well balanced, & highly motivated. I urge you to seriously consider her for this award. It will not be wasted. Rudy Ortiz

  • Wow! You’re a talented writer, Shannon. I liked how you also provided your accomplishments and also your strengths along the way in college. You deserve this award, and I know you’ll do wonderful things in your career!

  • I wish I had half the writing ability that you do! Your writing is so eloquent and this essay is encouraging to other students pursuing their goals. You are evidence that hard work pays off!

  • Shannon, you are such a talented young woman. From writing to inspiring others to your bubbly personality I don’t see why you don’t deserve this scholarship. Throughout all the years I have known you, your devotion to being a successful student has never stopped growing. You will accomplish many great things after the MBA program, and I am happy to call you a best friend. Good luck with the scholarship, you deserve this.

  • Shannon,

    There is no one more deserving of this scholarship than you! I have always held so much respect for you for graduating early, and I’m so proud of you for continuing on in your education to get you MBA. You will be so successful!! I’m so glad to have been best friends now for 18 years.


  • Great essay Shannon! You are a fantastic writer and I know with this skill and your MBA you will be so successful! Best of luck with this scholarship! Love you!

  • That was a great essay! You are an amazing girl who has accomplished so much. I wish you the best of luck and I know success will come your way! You definitely deserve it!

  • Great Essay Shannon. I am sure you will come out with a great result in the MBA program also. Wishing you all the very best!

  • Dear Shannon,
    Your selection as one of the 6 finalists doesn’t surprise us knowing your past academic and personal accomplishments. You have always made us very proud and your continued success is well deserved.
    Love Grandma & Grandpa Cummings

  • This is such an amazing essay, Shannon! Your hard work and dedication are truly inspiring and show how much you deserve this! I’m so proud of you for all that you have accomplished and I know you will continue to excel!

  • Among so many moving essays, I was surprised to be so intrigued by this one. One cannot help but be moved by stories of resilience and spirit in overcoming adversity. Yet, sometimes the nature of a personal struggle is more subtle and what is at stake is even more important to the world than the immediate issue of one graduate degree. As young people enter an increasingly fractured economic environment, what might be our great hope is that they will bring a diversity of temperament, perspective, and unlikely academic background that will breathe new life into institutions with narrowing vision. So, here we have an ambitious but creative and passionate writer who wants to enter the world of business! Let’s cheer for that — just as we should for the accounting major who decides to teach grade school or the computer science major who chooses social work. Best of luck to you, Ms. Cummings.

  • Although this is the first time I’ve read anything you have written I have always thought you are so driven and talented. This is a great essay and I hope you get the scholarship. Good luck with everything Shannon.