Monday, November 1, 2010

Volunteer Spotlight: Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy was born in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to the suburbs of Chicago at a young age. She began in Villa Park, Illinois but moved to Lombard in the fourth grade. Interesting fact: she lived in the same subdivision (Butterfield East) as the Iwami family. You may remember Melissa Iwami from the spotlight two weeks ago… she and Shannon went to grade school together and saw each other for the first time in 15 years at this year’s golf benefit!

That is not how Shannon discovered Cabrini Connections, though. It is just a major coincidence. She found out about our program through her old boss whose coworker, Julie Hamilton, is on our Advisory Council… with Melissa’s dad, Bill Iwami. (My mind is blown.) Shannon has been a volunteer for two years now and says it has been “a really good experience.” She works with Crane 11th grader Breonca Hyles on Thursday nights. “Breonca is really, really, really smart,” she says. “I think she has a good future ahead of her.”

As for Shannon’s future, it recently took on a different course as she started a new job last week. She works in brand strategy and product innovation. Previously she worked for Jack Morton Worldwide for six years in marketing and events for brands.

Thinking back to the college admissions process, Shannon says she thought she wanted to be in advertising. “It was the cool thing to be in at the time.” Ultimately, though, she preferred a more general line of study and ended up graduating from Illinois State in 2005 with majors in Public Relations and Mass Communications and minors in Communication Studies and Sociology.

“I knew I wanted to be in some sort of business,” she says, “so I did as much as I could in different fields and I accepted every opportunity that came my way.” She took a job while in college in the advertising and sales department of the school newspaper. She had to sell ads to the local community, talk to people, get her point of view across, and manage a $1 million budget, all of which was good real life experience… and she got paid… and she got class credit. “Become friends with your counselor,” says Shannon.

In her senior year, she got another job, but this time she didn’t like it as much. However, coincidentally, she had to plan a few events, and when it came time to find a job, her event planning experience stood out to Jack Morton, which is where she ended up working with big clients like Allstate and McDonald’s.

When she’s not hard at work, Shannon loves to run. She has run two marathons. She also loves to help Cabrini Connections! She used her event planning experience to help get people involved with and donate to this year’s golf benefit and she is currently working on one-page “cheat sheets” to help simplify our needs for donors. Thanks for all that you do, Shannon! We very much appreciate it!

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