Christina Shields Pearson '12

What impact did La Roche have on you as a person?

It helped me discover my career and my individuality. I started studying accounting and realized I did not want to graduate with that degree or pursue a career in that field. Luckily, I had taken enough classes that were interchangeable to marketing. Changing my major to marketing allowed me to take more creative classes, which is where I discovered photography and design.

How did La Roche prepare you for your current position?

My major allowed me to take a photography course as a general elective, but one of the classes that really started my path as a photographer was an online marketing class. One of our assignments was to create a website for a company, so I thought, “I'll make a website for my work.”

I also was able to take an internship for academic credits. I interned at WPXI where I took photos and was on the editorial team. This is where I learned photography is something I could potentially do full time.

How did a degree from La Roche help you advance your career?

If it wasn't for a degree in marketing, I can honestly say I wouldn't be where I am today. I'm a self-taught photographer, but La Roche taught me the fundamentals of marketing and running a company, which is what I do every day.

Why would you recommend La Roche to a prospective student?                

It's a tight-knit, but diverse community. For as small as the school is, La Roche offers the same opportunities for growth as there would be at a larger, city-central university. You truly don't get lost in the shuffle. I never felt I had a professor who was just there to teach. The staff is truly passionate about helping you thrive.

Please describe an experience with a faculty or staff member who made a strong, positive impact on you.  

I have two specific teachers that pushed me to be the best I could be. My best memories are with Mike Fetchko and Neha Agarwal.

How did participating in La Roche activities enhance your college experience?

It allowed me to connect with other students. I commuted three out of the four years I went to La Roche, so it was a way to make friends.

What is your favorite memory of being a La Roche student?

My favorite memory was being a resident assistant (RA) my sophomore year. This is when I really discovered what I wanted my future to be. My sister, who happened to be my best friend, also was an RA.

What are you most proud of when you look back on your La Roche experience?

Getting involved and creating my own opportunities through La Roche's tools.

What advice do you have for our students?

You can't wait for opportunities to come to you. You have to make your own opportunities. Always work hard, and never settle for less than you think you deserve.           

What advice would you pass along to readers?   

It's so hard to know exactly what you want to do after graduation. My advice is to do what makes you happy.