Profiles in Education: Shanna Rickets

We’re back with the next installment in our “Instructors with a Passion for Education series.” Veritas Prep not only has a number of experienced GMAT instructors worldwide, but also a number of instructors who have pursued education as a lifelong career. The Veritas Prep faculty includes college professors, educational PhDs and Ed.Ds, schoolteachers and administrators, and many others for whom teaching is a passion and not a job. We interviewed a few instructors to learn more about their passion for education, and to show how this passion has translated into the Veritas Prep classroom experience. Our latest interview is with Shanna Rickets, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor in Atlanta.

Who Is Shanna Rickets?
Shanna has a sincere love for education, not only teaching, but also understanding and researching academic resilience, which she says, “refers to the ability of students to succeed academically despite challenges or adversity. This is a huge interest of mine because I would like to further understand how to get more students who come from more humble backgrounds into great colleges and career opportunities.” After receiving a degree in Economics from Harvard, she went on to receive her MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Education Studies at Emory University in Atlanta.

Favorite Moments
When asked about a moment that stands out to her most, Shanna explained, “I think my favorite moments are when I get the emails or phone calls saying that someone has reached or exceeded their desired score on the GMAT or SAT or whatever other test, and all of a sudden a whole new world of possibilities are opened up to that student.” She loves to help students succeed on tests, and even exceed their personal expectations.

Impactful Experience
After graduating from Harvard and INSEAD, Shanna says, “I went back to doing what I loved, working with students of all ages as a tutor. I’ve worked with Veritas Prep as a GMAT instructor for about 3 years, and currently still do some private tutoring and more recently, admissions consulting. I think my formative experience was at Harvard, doing public service with the student-run organization there, where I was involved in the summer camps that worked with low-income children from the Boston area.” Shanna recognizes the importance of education and starting at the root of learning, which she did in her work with low-income children.

Why Education?
“I think the key to any country’s future is education. Children currently in K-12 will be the workers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of the future. If they aren’t well prepared to take part in the economy, then there will be a problem. In addition, I think education has the ability to make the playing field a bit more level, so that a person is not successful simply because that person happened to come from a wealthy background. I want to believe that hard work, drive and motivation make a difference as well, and if students are equally educated, then these things will become more important than a student’s particular background.” Education is the key to our future, and it is because of people like Shanna that we are getting closer to better education each day. She is studying measurement and testing in education, both affective and cognitive, to determine how people learn and how she can help guide even more students towards success.

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