Discover the “Hidden Gem” of Chicago, According to Nansen Project Coordinator Shawn Coleman

From music to the metaverse, Shawn Coleman brought to Nansen a wide range of interests and a passion for emerging tech trends when he joined us. Here, Shawn explains the Unreal Engine, and shares his secret spot for outdoor activities in Chicago.


What's your career background? What do you do at Nansen?

Although I have a degree in music vocal performance; my career background is in banking and sales. What I enjoyed most in that industry was really connecting with people and uncovering ways I could be helpful.  After the pandemic, I applied to and was accepted into a coding bootcamp. There I was introduced to the very basics of coding. The program also helped students change their mindsets from being fixed, to one of growth.

At Nansen, I’m a Jr. Project Coordinator. I work closely with the lead Project Manager to help plan, organize, and complete specific projects; both internal and client facing. Whether I’m meeting with clients to gather requirements for a product, or testing a site to ensure quality, I enjoy helping so that the team will be successful.

So is this your first job in tech? What has your experience been so far?

Working at Nansen has been really amazing. I love the culture. Our conversations inspire growth and innovation. I feel there is tremendous growth potential in the industry and many different areas to explore. One just has to have a curious mindset, and the willingness to learn new things.

Nansen has a policy where employees can spend four hours a week working on a side project. Are there any of yours that you’d like to share?

Being a gamer, I dabble with the Unreal Engine. It’s a 3D creation tool that you can download for free. It’s also the same engine “Fortnite” uses. The tutorials teach you how to build within the gaming world. So I'm really excited about that. It would be super fun to create augmented reality experiences in VR.


Do you think you might apply what you’re learning in Unreal Engine to some Nansen client work in the future?

Well, there's been a lot of talk about the metaverse recently. And engines like the Unreal Engine could play a big role in helping to create the metaverse and augmented-reality experiences. So, maybe!


What do you like to do outside of work? You mentioned gaming—anything else?

I like to have a balance between technology and nature. In the warmer months in Chicago, I enjoy time at the lake reading, dancing and grilling with friends. 

My favorite spot—I like to call a hidden gem of Chicago—is the South Shore Cultural Center. It has the most beautiful golf course, a hidden beach and hiking trail in the back. It’s very diverse and reflects the melting pot that Chicago has become.