Although Shannon Toler was unsure of what to study in college, she knew business was a sensible option.
So she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kalamazoo College and started working as a sales assistant. However, Toler wanted international experience, so she took a position with the International Trade Center at College of DuPage,
“I helped businesses with everything from finding products and services to identifying markets,” she said. “I also ran seminars and trained businesses on how to export products. This is when I discovered I liked teaching.”
Toler returned to school and earned her MBA at Northern Illinois University. Then she began teaching part-time at COD before being hired as a full-time faculty member in the Business/Management/Marketing program. She enjoys the diversity of the students and the different perspectives they bring to class.
“I love hearing about what resonated with them when they connect with good companies, and I hope they take away an interest and understanding of how important marketing is as a whole,” she said. “I want them to understand global concepts, and I want them to see how my class connects with other classes and eventually with their jobs. At a minimum, I hope they leave class as better communicators and understand how to write and present ideas in a clear way.”
Toler, who also has a master’s degree in community college teaching from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, challenges her students to think about concepts and principles, even if it frustrates them a little bit.
“I am always looking to be inspired by my students, whether it’s seeing how hard they work and have persevered or admiring the discipline they’ve developed to juggle the many aspects of their lives. I have a lot of respect for that.”