What do you do when you’re from a family of engineers? Do what Shelby Brookshire did. Develop a passion for animals.
Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Shelby Brookshire ’19: I was born and raised in Granite Falls, a small rural town located in the foothills of North Carolina. I have grown up with a love that runs deep for the Wolfpack as my whole family, both close and extended, has attended NC State. Luckily, the school I feel that I was destined to go to had one of the best programs for what I wanted to do. Despite the fact that most of my family has an engineering background, I have always had a passion for animals and pictured myself having a career where I can incorporate them into my daily life. From a young age, my family has owned dogs and cats. When I turned eight, my parents bought me my first horse. Looking back, I am not sure if they would have made the same decision knowing that I would become this horse-crazed girl whose life has been consumed by competing in horse shows. Much of my middle school, high school, and college years were spent at the barn taking care of my horses and training for upcoming competitions. I am glad my parents gave me the chance to pursue one of my passions, as owning horses has truly shaped who I am today. Furthermore, being an equestrian taught me to be responsible for something other than myself, patience, and how to be proactive when things did not go as planned. When I was not at the barn, I was either on the tennis courts, participating in club activities, or hanging out with friends. I feel so lucky to have grown up with the support system that I have had. My parents, teachers, and coaches have always pushed me to be the best person that I can be. The motivation that I learned from them is what has contributed to my success in college thus far.
If you had to summarize your personality in one sentence, what would it say?
I am a very driven person who enjoys keeping myself busy in order to accomplish the goals I set for myself.
How would you describe your life as an NC State student?
As an NC State student, I spend most of my time completing schoolwork and studying for classes. However, when I am not in the library I enjoy volunteering at the various animal education units at NC State, blowing off some steam at the climbing wall, backing the pack at various sporting events, and exploring all that Raleigh has to offer with friends. I am grateful to be able to call NC State my home and it will be a heart-rendering day when my four years are up.
Tell us about an accomplishment at NC State that fills you with pride.
One of the accomplishments I am proudest of is my summer internship with QuintilesIMS, recently renamed IQVIA. This past summer I worked as a solutions development intern for the company. This was my first internship with a Contract Research Organization and it really opened my eyes to all of the opportunities within the CRO industry. Throughout the summer, I improved upon my professional skills through business technology platforms such as SharePoint, Excel, and PowerPoint. I was also exposed to business operations in which I was able to communicate and develop solutions with external stakeholders. This allowed me to meet many intelligent people who were extremely helpful during my time as an intern. I cannot thank my coworkers and the company enough for giving me a chance and truly giving me a creative space to learn. Their internship program was designed in a way that allowed us to see all of the different sides of the company and meet with influential executives. The company really cares about their interns and I feel fortunate to have been apart of their summer 2017 intern class.
I am not sure where I will end up after graduation, but I hope that I will have a career not only that I love, but one that makes an impact on others as well.
What is one experience you need to have at NC State before you graduate?
There are a lot of things left to do before my time at NC State comes to a close, but the one that I must make happen is my summer study abroad experience. I am currently applying for study abroad trips for the summer of 2018 and I could not be more excited. I am hoping to go somewhere in Central Europe and I plan to travel all around the continent while I am there. I do not have that many credits left to fulfill considering I only have a few semesters left to complete, but I have saved a few general education requirements that are appropriate study abroad courses. I am thrilled for this opportunity because I have always loved traveling and believe that it is vital for college students to travel because it offers a new perspective on the world.
Tell us about your time in the Goodnight Scholars Program.
Although it is slightly more difficult to find time to dedicate to the Program as I delve deeper into my major classes, every year I am apart of the Program it seems to improve. With each new year comes bigger and better things! New scholars bring innovative ideas for programming, more trips are offered, and the best part is more friends are made. I feel so fortunate to be apart of such a wonderful Program that I consider my family. My first year in the Program was all about meeting my fellow scholars, getting adjusted to the Program and NC State, and attending the first year seminar. Throughout my second year, I was lucky enough to serve as an ambassador for the Program and I was able to help show other high school students and teachers what an awesome Program I am apart of. Even though this year is not over yet, it has been my favorite year so far. I started off the year with a great start by welcoming the first-year scholars to the Goodnight Scholars Program by serving as a retreat leader. Additionally, I was able to spend my fall break exploring Boston with my fellow Goodnight Scholars. Also, this year I have attended new types of programming that I used to be too scared to try and I have been pleasantly surprised. I am upset that my time as a Goodnight Scholar is nearing its expiration date, but I know that I will always be able to call on this community in the future.
Any unforgettable moments from your time in the Goodnight Scholars community thus far?
It is hard to choose just one fond memory from my time in the Goodnight Scholars Program, but one of the most memorable experiences was my first-year Summer Retreat. This was one of my first experiences with the Goodnight Scholars Program and it really made an impression on me. I was surrounded by other first-year students along with the upperclassmen who served as our retreat leaders. Hearing what the other students had to say about our Program and all of the opportunities that had been provided to them through both our Program and NC State made me exhilarated to be a first-year student. This year I was able to give back what the other upperclassmen scholars had given to me by serving as a retreat leader for this year’s first year Summer Retreat. It was kind of strange being on the opposite side giving advice but it was a very rewarding experience because I was able to meet and connect with other first-year scholars. I hope that they all had the same wonderfully welcoming experience that I had.
What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?
Being a Goodnight Scholar means striving to be the best person that you can be so that you can give back what has been given to you. Having someone invest in my future and believe that I have the potential to succeed has inspired me to excel both in the classroom and in my community. The Goodnight Scholars Program has instilled the importance of paying it forward and using one’s talents for the greater good. As I continue my life post-graduation, I will still maintain these values and actively try to pay it forward.
Where do you picture yourself after graduation?
I have been asked this question many times before and up until a year ago the answer would have been easy. I have always pictured myself attending NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and becoming a large equine veterinarian, preferably in Charleston, South Carolina. Although this picture still looks appealing, I have had some serious doubts over the past few years. After completing internships in veterinary medicine and talking with professors, it just does not seem like that is where my passion is anymore. I am currently still trying to figure out where my passion lies, but as of now I am considering my areas of strength and trying to apply them to careers. I have considered jobs in pharmaceuticals because I have really enjoyed my organic chemistry courses and I have enjoyed the internships and shadowing visits that I have done thus far. I really like the healthcare field because no matter what position I decide to take, I will be making a difference in someone else’s life. I am not sure where I will end up after graduation, but I hope that I will have a career not only that I love, but one that makes an impact on others as well.
Photography credit: Connie Feinberg/Goodnight Scholars Program