Riley Shannon ’20
Current city and job:
Andrews, NC | HR Manager, Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters
What first interested you in your career? How did you discern your calling?
When I was at Covenant I had a really hard time knowing my calling. I knew that I wanted to serve the Lord in whatever vocation he was calling me to, but it was really unclear for me as to what that vocation would be. I chose to major in history because I loved it, and I knew that the Lord would use that for His glory.
While a student I spent two of my summers volunteering at Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters, my current employer. Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters is a high-adventure recreation camp in western North Carolina. Throughout the year people come to Snowbird to whitewater raft, rock climb, and participate in a variety of extreme sports, but most importantly they hear the Gospel preached. Snowbird exists to proclaim Jesus Christ through the exposition of Scripture and personal relationships in order to equip the Church to impact this generation. When I was on summer staff there, I knew that I would love to work at Snowbird in a full-time capacity. When I graduated from Covenant, I saw the need for a dedicated HR Professional at Snowbird, and the Lord allowed me to fill that role. I never expected to work in human resources, but so much of what I learned in my study of history prepared me for the work I do now.
What has your career path looked like since graduating from Covenant?
I have been working at Snowbird since I graduated from Covenant. I began working there full-time in August of 2020, and I've been here ever since! When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I was in over my head, but I had a very patient boss who wanted to help me learn. Over time I realized that I had a knack for it, and I really began to enjoy the technicality of the work. In February of 2023, I was able to obtain the SHRM-CP certification for Human Resource Professionals, which has helped me grow and develop to the point where now I run HR at Snowbird.
Since Snowbird didn't have a dedicated HR department, it's been really challenging to get to build that from the ground up. But I really enjoy working with people, and my focus is how to make our employees' lives and the workplace more efficient. I get to do a job that I enjoy and work at a place where I believe in the mission and purpose, so I don't see how it can get any better than that!
Looking back now, how did Covenant prepare you for your career and for life?
Being a history major, I had to learn to think critically through problems, read the fine print, and write well. Many people think history is just about memorizing facts, but it really is training your mind to think a certain way. Without my experience at Covenant, I wouldn't be able to do these things well, and without this knowledge and training I certainly wouldn't be able to do my job successfully.
No matter what you study at Covenant, there is a constant emphasis that all the work that we do is Kingdom work. Even though I work in ministry, I can often forget that the work that I am doing is for the Kingdom. I am thankful that Covenant shows students how all their work is valuable in the eyes of the Lord, even if it's not glamorous.
In what ways did Covenant impact your faith and how does your faith inform your career?
When I began school at Covenant, I was very un-discipled and had never experienced healthy Christian community. The Lord used the community at Covenant to help me grow, and gave me friendships that I will have for the rest of my life. The Lord used Covenant to mature me in so many ways. My time there has become an integral part of my testimony. I know that without the influence of my hallmates, and professors like Dr. Green and Dr. Kapic, I would not be the woman I am today.
My faith informs every aspect of my life. I believe that I need Christ daily. I daily need to be in Scripture and need the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. By being in Scripture daily, the Lord gives me the wisdom that I need for the decisions that I make.
Looking back at the decisions that I have made in my life, there is not a single part of it where I don't see the Lord's sovereign hand. He led me to Covenant, which changed my life, and His timing has always been perfect. Even when I haven't felt His presence, He has always been gently leading me in the direction I should go.
What advice would you give students who are considering Covenant?
Be prepared to let yourself be known. Covenant is a small community, which is something that makes it so special and unique, but you can still go those four years and not let people really know you or be a part of your life. Vulnerability breeds more vulnerability, so I would encourage students who are considering Covenant to be vulnerable and transparent with their community.
Specifically those interested in working in human resources, it is a very rewarding
field. You get to work with people daily and be an advocate for employees in the workplace
as well as the company. I would say that this field requires a great deal of wisdom
and discernment. Human resource professionals are leaders within their companies which
can sometimes require hard decisions and hard conversations. I would say if this is
a career that you are considering, pray that the Lord gives you the gift of patience
and discernment to make you a better leader and a valuable asset to your company.
Why did you choose Covenant?
The Lord began to draw me to Himself when I was a junior in high school. It was around this time that he placed a desire in my heart to follow him and gave me a love for Scripture. My family didn't go to church very often, and I went to a large metro-Atlanta public school; therefore, I had very little Christian community around me. I had a deep desire to be discipled. I stumbled upon Covenant randomly, as I had no idea that it existed until my senior year of high school. I came up for a tour and knew immediately that Covenant was where the Lord wanted me to be the next four years. Looking back on my time at Covenant, it was the Lord's kind sovereignty that led me there.
What are some fond memories or a favorite story from your time at Covenant?
It's hard to choose as I had so many, but I would say time spent on my hall with my hallmates are some of my fondest memories. We had so much fun! I lived on Jubilee in Founders Hall for three years, and those years were an absolute blast.
Undergraduate Departments, Majors, Minors, Certificates, Concentrations, and Programs
- Arts Administration
- Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
- Journalism and Society
- Medical Ethics Consultation
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
- Art, 2-D Concentration
- Art, 3-D Concentration
- Art, Art History Concentration
- Art, Graphic Design Concentration
- Art, Photography Concentration
- Art minor
- Art History minor
- Biblical & Theological Studies
- Biblical & Theological Studies, Missions Concentration
- Biblical & Theological Studies minor
- Biblical Languages minor
- History of Christianity minor
- Missions minor
- Youth Ministry minor
- Biology, Biomedical Concentration
- Biology, Environmental Concentration
- Biology, General
- Biology, Health Professions Concentration
- Biology minor
- Business, Accounting Concentration
- Business, Finance Concentration
- Business, Marketing Concentration
- Sport Management
- Business minor
- Sport Management minor
- Chemistry, Biochemistry Concentration
- Chemistry, General
- Biochemistry minor
- Chemistry minor
- Computer Science
- Computer Science minor
- Community Development
- Community Development minor
- Economics minor
- Education Studies
- Elementary Education (P-5)
- Secondary Education Certifications through MAT program
- Education minor
- Natural Science, Pre-Engineering Studies Concentration
- English, Writing Concentration
- English minor
- Writing minor
- Coaching minor
- History, Art History Concentration
- Political Science
- International Studies
- History minor
- Political Science minor
- Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations
- Mathematics minor
- Music, Church Music Concentration
- Music, Creative Studies Concentration
- Music, General Music Concentration
- Music, Instrumental Performance Concentration
- Music, Music Education (Pre-MAT) Concentration
- Music, Organ Performance Concentration
- Music, Piano Pedagogy Concentration
- Music, Piano Performance Concentration
- Music, Vocal Performance Concentration
- Music minor
- Philosophy minor
- Physics minor
- Pre-Law Studies
- Pre-Medical Studies
- Pre-Nursing Studies
- Pre-Physical Therapy Studies
- Psychology minor
- Sociology, Family Studies & Social Work Concentration
- Sociology minor
- Theatre minor
- French minor
- Spanish minor