By Katherine Long – Anthony Shop, William Jewell graduate (class of 2005), is the Director of Client Services and Principal of Social Driver, a digital agency in Washington, D.C. He also manages District I/O (www.distrcit.io), a co-working space for technology start-up companies in Washington and is a co-owner of Driver Suite LLC, a software company that helps auto dealerships improve their sales processes through the development of customer software. After a recent visit to Jewell to deliver a presentation to college leadership on the subject of social media, the busy Mr. Shop graciously answered questions about how he went from being a student on the Hill to an entrepreneur in the nation’s capital.
As a co-owner of a small business, Anthony has to do a little bit of everything. He spends time doing the work, cultivating new clients, and developing the business. He enjoys helping people solve problems, and that’s what his work gives him the opportunity to do. Mr. Shop explains that, “It is extremely rewarding to work with a team – our own team and the clients who become part of our team – to identify a clear vision for success, to develop a roadmap to achieve it, and to track our progress along the way.”
His time at Jewell prepared him for the multi-tasking and ever-changing nature of business. He asserts Jewell taught him to think. “As an entrepreneur it’s important to ask tough questions and to be honest with yourself. Sometimes the best decision is not to pursue the new idea.” Mr. Shop also commented that he learned how to communicate effectively while he was at Jewell. Building relationships in business is essential to success.
An International Relations major at Jewell, Mr. Shop also studied in the Communications Department as Editor-in-Chief of The Hilltop Monitor where he learned a great deal about leadership and management. This experience also taught him the importance of doing research and checking facts, as well and interacting with different people and conducting interviews. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, where he grew personally and professionally as a leader. Mr. Shop also devoted time to American Humanics, Debate, and the Unity Association. Anthony later completed his Master’s in Business Administration from George Washington University.
Mr. Shop offered some advice to current Jewell students. “Learn how to work on a team, put clients first, value innovation and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions and challenge the status quo.” As an employer, he looks for people who enjoy solving problems and have a positive attitude.
Mr. Shop recommends that today’s students take opportunities to be entrepreneurial and start something—whether it’s a new initiative, club, or even a new business. College is a great time to try something new and learn from the experience!