Five Questions with Christian Shuping

MEM: Describe NC State for you in one word.

SHUPING: Exceptional. NC State offers students the ability to pursue academic goals through distance education providing a flexible environment with the ability to obtain an elite education. During the spring of 2020, my application submission was sent to the MEM program with a long shot hope to further my education. Not long after, I was given the opportunity to start my journey as an NDS student, leading up to my acceptance into the MEM program. MEM courses are applied in many environments, whether they are academic, professional or personal fields. Each course provides a skillset to master program objectives. Courses are taught at the highest level by professors that care about their work investing in their student’s success regardless of being on campus or through distance education. These are just a couple of examples from my experience in the MEM program to outline a treasure chest of superlatives that make NC State exceptional.

MEM: What is your daily routine to maintain health work/life balance?

SHUPING: Daily routines that help me maintain a healthy balance between work and life revolve around time management.  The structure is essential to accomplishing my goals and meeting deadlines. My day begins the night before when I set out clothes to get ready for the next morning, followed by a good night’s sleep as an integral part of my routine. It ensures that I will be ready to go when I wake up and my feet hit the floor to start the day. As a husband, it is essential to communicate with my wife to discuss both of our schedules for the day, as well as weekly plans. Generally, this helps prevent any major surprises, even though they do occasionally occur. Healthy communication is very beneficial, not only in our marriage but promotes a peaceful work and life balance.

It is very important for me to know my limits. Setting boundary limits is crucial to success when you are a husband that works full-time in a management role and a graduate student. In my experience, it has proven very difficult to accomplish everything in a day’s time. There are times when I have to work with my superiors in my profession, along with my professors, to accomplish my objectives. In this capacity, I have been very fortunate in having leaders that are understanding and willing to work with my schedule. Maintaining a healthy balance between work, life, and school can be very difficult at times. It is imperative for me to manage my time effectively through communication, routine structure, and flexibility.

MEM: What is your superpower?

SHUPING: Grit. Grit is good to describe a superpower that sums up my abilities. Throughout my life, I have never been the smartest or the most talented, but I do tend to outwork myself to accomplish whatever goal I set. When I was a kid growing up in China Grove, NC, I would have to earn every opportunity. My parents did not go to college and I am the oldest of three brothers, so I have always had a variety of responsibilities. It was always my goal to live a good, happy, financially stable life. This goal I set at a very young age. When I was twelve years old, I got my first job pulling weeds and maintaining a church member’s one-acre garden. Being a kid getting up at 5:30 am to go work in a garden, while my friends did not have to work was a quick lesson to myself. It set the bar that as an adult, my part-time job working a garden would one day be my hobby and that it would be my choice if I would like to do it. Situations such as my garden experience set the tone for my life. It gave me ambition, teaching me to adapt and overcome all things, developing the grit to accomplish all of life’s challenges.

MEM: Best recreational activity in your opinion? 

SHUPING: In my opinion, golf is the best recreational activity. It is a healthy outlet that gets me away from the noise of everyday life. A lot of times I am on the course with my friends, but other times I enjoy going after work just to clear my head and practice. It allows me time to reflect on everything, providing me peace of mind. On the course, during times of reflection, it permits me the opportunity to create solutions to tough issues and is very beneficial for personal development. My wife likes to ride along from time to time, which we set aside an afternoon for just the two of us. Golf keeps me mentally sharp with relaxation. It challenges me to practice, so that I can play well when I go with my friends. Throughout the years, golf is a proven touchstone for me to reset when times are tough. More importantly, it is a sport that I enjoy that I love to play any time I get the opportunity. If I am not answering phone calls or emails, you could bet I am on the golf course.

MEM: Most influential person for you?

SHUPING: My family is the most influential part of my life. It is difficult to pick only one person.  Over the years, it has been a blessing to have my family around me. They offer me guidance when I ask for it, but I am always learning from them in all aspects of life. Life would be tough without my wife. She has the gift of wisdom, which I rely on heavily when having to make a tough decision. Her input is always a contributing factor to any path that I take. My parents provide me support through thick and thin constantly pushing me to be better. It is comforting to know that they have my back through both success and times of failure.

Additionally, I am fortunate to have my three grandparents in my life. In 2012, I lost my grandfather or as I called him, my Papaw. All of which play a significant role in my life. At any time I can go to them to discuss anything and they can relate to the event or they have had their own experience in a similar case. Their contributions to my life are priceless. Overall, my family is large extending and very tight-knit. It is easy for me to say that they are the most influential people in my life. It is a true blessing.