Lansing Community College transfer standout Austin Shepherd named to Ilitch School "25 Under 25"

Austin Shepherd portrait
Austin Shepherd

Freshly 21, finance and marketing junior Austin Shepherd recently was named to the Mike Ilitch School of Business 25 Under 25, an honor recognizing students who have achieved notable academic, leadership, community and professional success under the age of 25.

Shepherd says when he found about being named to the list he was filled with emotion. He wouldn't have been eligible for the award at all if he went with his original college of choice.

When he prepared to transfer from Lansing Community College, Shepherd had decided on Michigan State. He already was accepted into there, but some friends recommended he check out Wayne State. He says the first tour made him love the university, and the follow-up tours convinced him to come to WSU instead.

"I love the connection with the city." he says. "I don't think any other college here has that kind of connection. State has East Lansing and Michigan has Ann Arbor but it's not the same thing. I gave WSU a shot and will forever be grateful for what that decision's done for my life."

The 25 Under 25 recognition has already helped him establish connections that Shepherd says may be important down the line, as well as being something he can proudly put on his resume and LinkedIn.

Before he started at WSU as a student, Shepherd got a job as a sports administration assistant in Athletics covering football and basketball games on social media and reporting stats to broadcast partners. Shepherd credits that job with helping him get an internship at FOX Sports Detroit which led to a position there as a content strategist focused on the Pistons. He believes that those activities, and a pretty strong essay, landed him on the Ilitch list.

"I hit the criteria in some areas, but I was on the borderline for my time here and my credits," says Shepherd. "I really wanted it but in the back of my mind I didn't think I'd get it. The e-mail flashed up on my phone and I was very excited, grateful and a little emotional because I worked very hard to bring myself to this point in my education."

Shepherd splits his time between his FOX Sports job and an internship at General Motors in their Motor Sports initiative. An avid basketball fan, Shepherd says his dream job would be the VP of strategy/marketing or president of operations of a professional sports team.

"There's a lot of pride here with the students and the city. The university revolves around the city, and if I'm going into business this is where I want to be. There's nowhere else I want to be," said Shepherd, "I would encourage kids to think about their options. I was dead set on going to State, I was in the college, I had the student e-mail set up and everything. I gave Wayne a shot, and this city is amazing, it's a place you can really grow and connect. It's right in the heart of everything."

By Jacob Stocking, Educational Outreach communications associate

The Transfer Student Success Center is part of the Office of Educational Outreach, which leads initiatives for all off-campus programs and courses. Follow us @WSUTSSC.

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