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Meet Illinois Community Ambassador Shanshan Thompson

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I moved from China to the United States in January 2011. Before that, I was a full-time admissions consultant, helping Chinese students to get admitted into the top American universities. After I became a mom at the end of 2013, I dived into early childhood education in order to have a smoother parenting journey. As a first-generation college student, education is always one of the causes I am most passionate about.

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Hometown: Wuhan, Hubei, China

Occupation: Admissions Consultant of 美通教育

Education: English Education (M.S.) and Creative Writing (B.A.)

What is your favorite part about being an ambassador?

I can work with people around the world in a virtual community, which provides an opportunity for me to practice my communication and leadership skills. We are hungry for effective results. We inspire each other to come up with more ideas. It is so impressive to work with passionate people with similar mindset and interests. Our discussion about learning theories really gets very deep.

Why did you decide to take the Digital Marketing specialization?

Through finishing this specialization, I want to transfer the skills I acquired from my former job into a new role as a marketing specialist in the U.S.

For example, I see myself in my old position (Admissions Consultant) as a marketer who was trying to provide personalized marketing service. First, I got the idea of the core values of a student (like a product), then accordingly, I could promote this student to a top university (a potential buyer) who would appreciate what this student could bring to their campus.

Therefore, I knew the process and concept of promoting, but I still needed to acquire systematic and up-to-date marketing knowledge through this specialization in order to succeed in my new role.

Why advice do you have for new Digital Marketing learners?

Study hard and have fun.

How did you manage your time to graduate the specialization/or how do you currently manage your time?

I usually set aside 3 or 4 hours for studying each day.

What’s a fun fact about you? 

Once I watched one episode of my favorite TV show Community, I laughed so hard for 20 minutes.

What is the coolest thing you have ever done?

The coolest thing I have ever done was wandering around the city with a friend at 3 a.m.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Currently what I like to do is testing whatever learning theories I read about on my toddler son.

Who do you admire? 

I admire people who can allow their interests of poetry and other worldly ones coexist in them such as Dana Gioia, William Carlos Williams, and David Whyte.