Alumni’s Advice “Be Coachable All the Time”


Karlie Sneed

McPherson College alumni Deon Shorter recently shared his inspiring story of how failure can teach one to “make adjustments” in all aspects of life. Shorter transferred to McPherson College as a junior and graduated in the year 2014 with a Bachelors in Communication. He played football, participated in various clubs, and included himself in ministries like the New Hope Church.

Shorter briefly described his time as a college student: “College was the overall best decision I made for myself.” However, he still had “rollercoaster moments.” There was one moment in particular that stood out among others and helped to teach him an important lesson. After receiving a C- on a paper, a disappointed Shorter sat down with Ben Coffey in the Writing Center. “Ben walked me through what thesis control meant, what grammar meant, what sentence structure meant, what flow meant… he worked with me for the remainder of the semester” stated Shorter. Overall, Coffey encouraged him to work harder at his writing skills.

Due to his dedication and the help he received from Coffey, Shorter went on to excel in academics. This experience led him to adapt a new way of thinking: “Maybe you’re good, but you’re not great…you gotta correct some things and make things better… you need to get help and ask for help” said Shorter on the matter. “Be coachable all the time.”

When asked to give advice to the current students at Mac College, Shorter leaves this important message: “Compete with yourself, today… do everything you can to be the best version of you…because once you leave college and you’re in the professional world, that same behavior and that attitude that you have…transfer it over. It’s a natural thing for me, I don’t have to relearn it.”

Thoughthat specific moment of failure stood out to him, college was an overall positivexperience for Shorter; it helped to teach and shape him. Today, Shorter spends his time working as a case manager for high school students and lives with his wife in his hometown Pasadena, California. Deon Shorter’s story is inspiring to not only the people he centers himself around now, but also those he left behind in small-town McPherson, Kansas.


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