One of Shannon Scott’s great disappointments turned out to be a blessing.
Having graduated with honors from Texas Tech with dual business degrees, Scott applied to the university’s Master’s of Business Administration program. Surprisingly, she didn’t get in.
Last year, after receiving a brochure from Tech’s MBA for Working Professionals program, she reapplied. Scott gained acceptance … and has been thriving in her coursework ever since.
In retrospect, she said, she previously lacked the maturity and work experience to “give this MBA the justice it deserves.”
“I can definitely say looking back, I don’t think I could have handled the workload,” Scott said. “The experiences I’ve learned in my career have really prepared me for this degree. The timing was just perfect to go back.”
Scott has worked as a logistics broker (linking freight carriers with shippers that have goods needing transport), as a Venturing executive for the Boy Scouts, in sales and advertising, and now as an economic development specialist for the City of San Angelo’s Economic Development Department.
“One of the reasons I went into the business field is because there’s so much versatility,” the Mertzon native said. “So I always knew at the end of the day, I would always have a job doing something.
“What I do for the City encompasses a lot of those previous job skills,” she added. “It’s important as you pursue career interests to have a lot of difference experiences. The world is a lot different today than when our parents were younger. They picked a position and worked there for 40 years. Now, versatility is important. Employers want to see those different dimensions.”
In her current role, Scott assists with the Business Retention and Expansion Program, which incentives local ventures seeking to grow through hiring more employees and/or making capital investments. She also manages the City’s Tax Increment Reinvest Zone program, which offers incentives to businesses within the zone that wish to improve their properties.
One of the most gratifying aspects of her work with the TIRZ is her role in downtown’s revitalization. She noted one short stretch of North Chadbourne Street that has been transformed from a row of boarded up buildings to include a winery, a gym, a bakery and a law office.
“When I was younger,” Scott said, “people liked to go to the mall. Now, people are really focusing on their downtowns. The revitalization efforts bring people downtown. They want to shop, eat and try different things. It’s more about an experience.”
In nominating Scott for the 20 Under 40 honor, Denise Bloomquist called her the “full package of leadership,” displaying intelligence, creativity, passion, reliability and integrity.
Scott has thought a lot about leadership recently. Her first MBA class, a course in leadership and ethics, sparked her to engage in some “soul-searching” to pinpoint her core values. She realized that leaders who also serve as mentors have “reached their peak.”
“You embody all those qualities,” Scott said, “but you use them for the betterment of others.”