Faces of Belmont : Alumni Impacting the World
This series represents a collaboration between the Office of Communications and the Department of Public Relations, providing students practical experience in writing bios and creating profiles of Belmont alumni.
By Aliah Tayyun
“Fearlessness opens up opportunity for growth.” This is what graduate Amanda Shoffner had to say when asked about her experiences as a student at Belmont. Shoffner has taken this motto and incorporated it into her everyday life. The Los Angeles resident now looks back on her time at Belmont as she starts her new job at ASCAP.
Shoffner started at Belmont in the fall of 2006, as part of the first group of students to go through the Entertainment Industry Studies program. As a freshman, she was in awe of what Nashville and Belmont had to offer.
“I don’t think there is a better learning ground than Nashville. Nashville is the true melting pot of creativity,” said Shoffner. She was impressed at how she could run into a professor or recording artist at a local coffee shop and stop to chat with them. This, to her, was one of the most impressive aspects of Belmont’s relationship with Nashville’s music scene. As an EIS major, she was able to connect with an array of people on and off campus. “There is something special about walking onto campus and throwing a rock and finding someone like you. There is just something special about music people.”
A curious student, she attended almost every event that related to her major, and even some that did not. Her main goal was to experience as many things as possible, and she was able to do this through the study abroad program. Before she started at Belmont, one of her major deciding factors was the study abroad program. While here, she was able to study in London for a summer and attended the Belmont West program in LA. Both programs had a profound impact on her, but the Belmont West program was what truly pushed here to move to California as it reassured her that she was prepared for the industry and made her feel comfortable being in a new city. The Belmont West program is the sole reason she moved to Los Angeles where she currently resides and works.
After her move, Shoffner had a few jobs but recently landed what she calls her ‘dream job.’ She now works on the film and television team at ASCAP and loves every moment of it. The primary goal at her current job is to increase membership and spread the word about ASCAP. “I get to be a problem solver for clients and really help them,” she said. Without Belmont, she would not be where she is now.
As she looks back, she shares how Belmont played a pivotal role in her life and encourages students to do two things. “Belmont really encourages you to invest in yourself professionally, but also invest in yourself personally,” she said.
With this, Shoffner was able to make a name for herself and become confident in her professional and personal life. She hopes current students have this same outlook and seize every opportunity that comes their way. “You don’t know the impact someone can have on you,” she said, “so let them have an impact.”