What do horses, real estate, furniture and wine have in common? The answer is UF senior Shannon Roof. Roof’s interests and part time jobs seem unrelated at first, but she’s molding them into a career she hopes to pursue after graduation.
A member of UF’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) hunter/jumper team, Roof works part time for Findlay’s The Wine Merchant as well as Hutchinson Fine Furniture. She’s also an intern in the UF Office of Marketing and Communication and assists the Findlay Equestrian Center with its marketing efforts. In August 2015, she added the title of “Realtor” to her resume, passing the Ohio Real Estate licensing exam and joining Century 21 Koehler & Associates in Findlay.
Roof transferred to The University of Findlay from the Savannah College of Art & Design as a junior. Initially majoring in architecture, she was disillusioned by the amount of time she needed to spend on the computer. With a sister who graduated from UF’s pre-veterinary program (Theresa VonAlmen), Roof thought she might want to major in animal science. She found her true passion, though, in the College of Business. She’ll graduate with a degree in marketing in April 2016.
Growing up on a small farm in neighboring Putnam County, Roof and her sister were active in 4-H raising lambs, hogs and showing horses.
“My sister asked my parents for a pony and they told her if she did well that year with her lamb, they would get one for her,” remembered Roof. “She won at nationals with her futurity lamb, and that started our interest in horses and riding.”
One pony became two and in junior high, the girls rode with Jill Jewett, a former instructor in UF’s English riding program. They really liked riding and Shannon continued to ride and show through high school. As a member of UF’s IHSA team, she rides once a week and works out in the cardio center twice weekly.
Her interest in real estate is an outgrowth of her interest in architecture. She had wanted to obtain a real estate license while living in Georgia, where the requirements are less stringent than in Ohio. As it was, she spent 120 hours in classes at Hondros College, Maumee, Ohio, then sat for and passed the exam.
“In real estate, you’re really an independent contractor, so you do most of your own marketing and need to be very motivated,” added Roof. “My classes and other employment have really helped. I’m also working with a mentor at Century 21 and learning a lot.”
With a talent for marketing and sales and an interest in houses and buildings, Roof would like to re-locate to one of the South’s “equestrian cities,” like Wellington, Florida or Aiken, South Carolina. With some properties selling in the millions of dollars, she thinks a real estate license coupled with riding experience could pave the way for a great career. She also hasn’t ruled out working as a sales representative for one of the well-known saddle companies.
Professors Chris Ward, Ph.D. and Scott Grant, Ph.D. from the College of Business, have been an inspiration to Roof as she has worked in various aspects of sales and marketing.
“Their classes are very interactive and we were always involved in ‘real life’ projects,” she added.
With “real life,” or life after graduation fast approaching, Roof is confident that she has the academic and professional experience to be successful in whatever area of business she chooses.