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Shandon Mitchell

When he got to Columbus State, Shandon Mitchell's solid preparation met a series of great opportunities.

Shandon is working as a research assistant at COSI and he’s halfway through a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. Also, his resume already includes an honors degree from Columbus State, ample volunteer work, and his own business.

And he almost didn’t go to Columbus State. He started at a four-year college in 2014, but had to leave after a problem with scholarships. Luckily, a spot was still open in Columbus State’s Honors Program.

The program's advisor, Prof. Rebecca Mobley, helped him schedule classes and get registered on time. As part of the Honors Program, Shandon took special honors-level courses and received an honors diploma.

"At first, it seemed like the end of the world, but I'm glad I ended up at Columbus State," Shandon said. "The Honors Program has helped me in ways I couldn't have imagined." 

That program also led to an internship at COSI, which led to a job as a research assistant on a project to compare regional accents around Ohio. Scientists from Ohio State are embedded into COSI’s Life exhibit, so visitors can take part in real scientific research.

The internship with Ohio State helped him make connections in the Fisher College of Business. Shandon is focusing on the information technology side business – with business relying increasingly on IT, he figures it’s a field with plenty of opportunities.

Columbus State provided plenty of preparation for those opportunities. In addition to his honors classes, Shandon honed his leadership as the student coordinator for the MAN Initiative, a mentorship program for at-risk male students.

Columbus State’s small classes meant he got to know his professors, which made it easier to approach professors at Ohio State. And Columbus State’s low tuition is an extra boost.

“I’m on track to graduate, on time, and with half the cost,” Shandon said.

And if that isn’t enough, his brother and some friends started a clothing company called StarStrukt Apparel in 2010. With Shandon helping in web design and marketing, the business has a thriving online trade, maintains a storefront in Reynoldsburg, and recently purchased new embroidery equipment.