Christina Cernik

Christina CernikMajor: Communication, Minor in Graphic Design
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Describe your current job role:

Owner of Christina Cernik Photography LLC

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

I worked for a local interior designer after graduating PBA. I initially began working on a small scale from her home and then eventually my role expanded into project manager. I was part of a team that launched her next business, a home, gift and garden store. I still work closely with her today. 

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

After graduating it can feel a bit overwhelming to be thrown into the workforce. However, this is such a special time in life. It’s ok to not use your degree right away. I encourage graduates to travel, try everything and take massive risks. Unlike college, where work is assigned to you, as a working professional you have to be proactive. If you have a dream, don't just think about it- act on it! 

"...get involved in school activies and try as many internships as possible."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

PBA prepared me in many ways but one pivotal way was working as the Photo Editor of the Beacon, PBA’s newspaper. During this time I realized I could be paid to be a photographer and do what I love as a career. This is why I encourage students to get involved and try new things in college.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

I would advise current PBA students to get involved in school activities and try as many internships as possible in college. This is a tangible way to work in a field and discover if it is what you enjoy doing. I would advise post grads to be patient and find what they are most passionate about. My dad used to always ask me “If fear wasn’t in the way and money wasn’t a factor, what would you want to do?” This ultimately lead me to choose what I was most passionate about. I’ve learned that it may not happen in your timing, but God always provides. 

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? 

I have had several people mentor me throughout the years. Sometimes peers were sounding boards and other times seasoned professionals taught me valuable lessons about my craft. Don’t be afraid to approach people you admire! I have always loved learning new things and wish to continually grow, learn and be mentored.

Spotlight posted in January 2018. For current updates from Christina, visit her LinkedIn page, Instagram or business page.