pictures of Shannon Marklin

My name is Shannon Marklin, but you can just call me Shannon. I graduated from NC State with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, and will always be a loyal Wolfpack fan despite our football and basketball season records.

Since 2006, I’ve worked for a Japanese-American exchange program, High School Diplomats, that has taken me to Japan twice, and has introduced me to the most amazing and talented individuals that have become my second family. This past year I ended my reign with the program, but the tremendous work and life lessons I’ve learned through this once in a lifetime experience will stick with me forever. Without a doubt, this program has changed my perspective on the world and its people, and has shaped me into the person I am today.

But another big part of me has always been my love for design, in particular graphic and multimedia design.┬áIn 2010, I started my own print & web design company, interned for the Henrico County Police Department’s media department, and also became a videographer for Southern Video Design. Each experience taught me new skills and exposed me to all the various possibilities design can offer.

However, through all of these great opportunities, I still felt like something was missing.

So I packed my bags, moved to St. Louis and took a job in corporate real estate. (Didn’t see that one coming did you?) But this career and city switch was exactly what I was looking for – a new challenge that gave me the perfect work/life balance I needed.

Yes, I’m all over the place. But if there is one thing I’ve learned through this whirlwind of the past few years, it’s that every day is a learning opportunity. That no matter how far a new endeavor will take you out of your comfort zone, you will always learn and grow from it. It’ll be hard and intimidating at first, and the end result might not be what you had envisioned, but what you experience along the way is what counts. Whether it is learning something new about another industry, about another person’s perspective, or about a new skill set, you will take at least one new piece of knowledge that will make you a better person in the end. And heck, you may learn something about yourself you never knew before while you’re at it!

Let’s face it, life throws us curveballs, change ups, and even some beach balls every now and then. But it also introduces us to the most incredible people along the way. So don’t be afraid to challenge yourself every now and then, but most importantly, don’t ever let go of those people who have shaped and loved you along the way.

And finally, here are a few quotes I live off of to keep things interesting:

Be silly
Be honest
Be kind

Surround yourself with people who believe in you

Think things through, then follow through