Plaid Bermuda shorts, short-sleeve golf shirt, scruffy boat shoes, and no socks – the logo of his shipping company on the shirt is the only hint that Shane Young, a 2003 UALR accounting graduate, is dressed for work.
“Not all accountants wear navy blue suits and red ties,” said the smiling Little Rock native who also acquired a master’s of business administration from UALR in 2006. “I haven’t worn long pants since the temperature was under 10 degrees.”
Shane Young has broken molds to get where he is – a business developer whose ventures include a freight brokerage, a regional trucking company, a mover’s specialty services and crating company operating in seven states, and a consulting firm focused on small-to-mid-size transportation firms and debt reorganization.
“I grew up in a trailer park not three miles from campus,” he said. “I should be telling you how after high school I got into drugs and went to prison, but I didn’t take that route,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to be accepted to UALR and offered Pell grants because of my family’s low income. I am living proof that you can break the mold and go out and do it your own way.”
He enrolled with just one goal – to avoid his father’s plan for the two to go into a truck repair business. He found his calling in his favorite course – Principles of Accounting 1.
“Once the principles soak in, you see business in such a different light. Knowing how all those parts come together to create this living thing is amazing,” he said. “If you understand each art, you can see the ‘heart’ of a company.”
Young’s advice to entering freshmen:
“Come here. Find something you like. Try to find your passion and turn it into a way to make money. Make your own living instead of focusing on a degree to go get a job. Forget finding a job. Come get an education and learn how to make a job for yourself.”
Q&A with Shane
What was your favorite class? Principles of Accounting 1. Finally, a course with rules and set ways of doing things. No feelings or “ology” at the end of it. Once the principles soak in you see business in such a different light. Knowing how all those parts come together to create this living thing is amazing. If you understand each part you can see the “heart” of a company.
What is your favorite UALR memory? I took a class as a grad student in international business. We had a working trip to Mexico. It was so inspiring to see how the world is so very different very near us. With all the differences in culture the similarities stand out as well. Most of the time people are just people. We all want a better life, bigger car (or faster camel in some areas), we all seek love and a feeling of belongingness we just do it differently.
If you could spend one day anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why? Little Rock. Look at the great strides our city has made in the last 20 years. We have just about everything that any other city in the world has. The people are the friendliest in the country, the food is great, the city has art, recreation, scenery and ample parking. A “free day” in Little Rock can be just as full as anywhere else in the world.
When I was a child, I was always… looking for a way to change my future and break the tradition in my family. At some point a family changes courses; from workers to leaders, from leaders to workers. Employees to owners, etc. I had to find a way to create a new course in life.
What one word would you use to describe yourself? Angry. Seeing the complacency in the world today really gets to me. Folks wasting their talent or waiting for someone to give them something is very disheartening. Forget about searching for a dream job – go make it happen. Aspire bigger than a job – change the world. Start with you.