When he graduated from Clinton High School in 1981, Jeff Shipp, was not quite sure about his future. He grew up working in tobacco fields and got his first job at Belk Department Store in high school. Unprepared to leave his hometown and attend a large university, Shipp decided that Sampson Community College was the perfect place to start. Over time, it’s become clear how beneficial that decision was.
As a student, Shipp made SCC his home and made the most of his time there. He served as the president and vice president of the Student Government Association before graduating in 1983. He then transferred to East Carolina University, where he studied Industrial Technology. Looking back, Shipp says it’s evident to see how Sampson Community College laid the basis for his entire career.
“Sampson Community College is truly a part of what set the foundation for a successful career for me… All the staff at the community college are involved in the community and that means a lot too,” Shipp shared.
In fact, after working with a computer company in Fayetteville for eight years after college, it was a former SCC instructor who helped connect Shipp with Star Communications, where Shipp has worked for the last 25 years.
Now the Vice President of Operations at Star Communications, Shipp has worked in several different areas. In this role, he is able to interact with employees from all over the company, combining knowledge his gained from his different roles and his years of experience. As Vice President of Operations, Shipp leads a driven team of department heads and their employees.
“I’ve got a great team. It’s a joy to work with these people. We’ve been through so much in the last couple of years. We’ve had two hurricanes, this crisis, and all of the construction work ahead of us the next five years, but it’s just a great team,” Shipp reflected.
For students beginning their time at SCC, or graduating, Shipp emphasizes the benefit of forming a skill or a trade. Shipp shared that skills and trades, which can’t be taken away should be a priority for students and young professionals because they can be sharpened over the course of one’s career.
“Focus during these early years. Investing in your time at Sampson Community College is an investment in your future,” Shipp remarked. “Develop a trade, or a learn a skill that no one can take away—something that you’ve developed or focused on. I think this is a great foundation that will help students as they move forward in whatever career they choose.”
Much like the instructors and administrators who impacted him during his time at SCC, Shipp took note and has stayed active in the local community through several different organizations. Over the years, Shipp has been a member of the Sampson Arts Council, Kiwanis Club of Clinton, Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, amongst others.