Shawnel Smith

Class Year



North Chicago, Illinois


Management, Marketing

“In my opinion, management and marketing are forward-thinking degrees with versatility and they provide a variation of job offerings. I am learning how to be effective in the lives of others. The skills I have learned so far has helped develop my interpersonal skills that are benefiting both my professional and personal life. When I think of my future, it’s important to have a degree that can not only sustain me in this ever-changing world, but also gives me access to new doors.”

Shawnel Smith, ’18

Career goal

“After graduating, I am looking forward to getting back to work. An ideal job would take my eighteen years of customer service experience and my new degree skills in management and marketing into consideration. I would love to get something that combines my current knowledge, while allowing me to develop my newly learned management skills.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“I appreciate so many of the professors during my time at Carthage. Most recently, I’d say my favorite is Professor ?John Quashnock?. I took a personal finance class for J-Term and the information he gave me has been useful. I am currently following those principles to this day, and I’m able to save more money than I ever thought was possible. Honorable mentions are Professors Sandra Bisciglia and Donald Gillespie (Mr. Simplicity himself). I had the pleasure of having both of these professors twice. I found them both to be consistent in how they teach and how they develop you as a student.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far was the agriculture class. I learned the benefits of gardening and the efforts Carthage took part in to provide fresh food for families in our community. I remember going to the store to buy my gloves and knee pads. I talked about it so much, that my daughter wanted to start a garden at home. The exposure to the farmer’s market and seeing the fresh food impacted how I shopped for my home. The early hours in the garden and the hard work were gratifying. It was the feeling of unity and compassion that felt good! It’s amazing the feeling you get when you are a part of something greater than yourself. During this class, we also had the opportunity to help jump start a garden at a local elementary school!”

Campus involvement

“I did take advantage of the workout sessions. I took a yoga class and spin class. The spin class really challenged me, the instructor did a great job!”

Toughest class

Understandings of Religion (REL 1000) has been my toughest class so far. My faith and what I believe was challenged in ways I did not expect. While learning about other religions and what they believed, I found it more important for me to know what I belief and WHY I believe it. I remember asking a professor if teaching other religions ever challenged what they believed, their answer was yes. In the end, it was a good challenge because it made me study and really search things out for myself.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I was selected as a finalist and given an opportunity to compete in the 2016 Part-Time Student Adult Undergraduate Studies Scholarship! Although I did not win the scholarship, it was a pleasure to be chosen as a finalist. I had a chance to meet some great people who I keep in contact with today.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite moment was during my first class Elements of College Learning (GNR 0002). We were reading the book “Before Your Dog Can Eat Your Homework, First You Have to Do It,” by John O’Hurley. The author visited the college, gave a presentation and we were able to get our books signed. I really enjoyed reading that book, it gave great insight and life lessons. It’s one I would recommend anyone to read, especially young people, I also recommended it to my boys!”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite place might be an area in the A.W. Clausen Center on the second floor, at the top of the stairs, and near the water feature. I like to just sit at the bench near the window and look out. It’s a relaxing spot and gets you a good phone signal too!”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise is how well I’ve adapted to the full-time schedule. I started out as an adult student and had recently transferred over to a traditional student. I am pleasantly surprised at how well I adjusted to a heavier work load while maintaining good grades and my sanity!”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would be shocked to hear that I am studying business and marketing. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a nurse like my mom. I’ll never forget being with my mom and in the parking lot a woman passed out from heat stress. To see my mom leap into action the way she did, impacted me and it was that moment I knew I wanted to be a nurse and help others. Although it’s not in the medical field, my current studies will allow me to help others in a different way.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Take it one class as a time, do not be anxious, be patient with yourself. There are so many free tools available to you to support your success at Carthage, be sure to utilize them. Stay encouraged, YOU CAN DO THIS!”

Why Carthage?

“You know how you find something when you’re not looking for it? That’s how it was for me when deciding on Carthage. It was career night at my sons’ school, there were booths with career professionals talking about their job and what it would take to do what they did. One of the booths had a Carthage representative speaking about the college. As a parent, I was inspired by the things the school offered. Fast forward several months later, I would have a conversation with my manager about taking my career to the next level. That meant I would have to return to school for a degree. My manager was willing to give me time off to research schools, but it didn’t take me long to recall my encounter with the Carthage representative that night. My choice to attend Carthage was easy. I reached out to the school and attended one of the information sessions - the rest is history!”