Shannon Cochran '14

Messiah College student at internship

For Shannon Cochran ’14, a dancer since the age of 6, completing an internship with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet during her senior year was the perfect marriage of her love of ballet and public relations. In fact, that internship earned Cochran a full-time job. Now, three years later, she is the marketing manager of the nationally and internationally recognized school of classical ballet.
“When you’re approaching your senior year, you’re thinking, ‘Am I ready for this?’ But I was prepared to step out in the world on my own,” said Cochran.  
Cochran credits many things to her career success—being involved in relevant clubs and activities as just one of them. Working at The Pulse, Messiah’s on-campus media hub, shaped her view of leadership. Advancing from writer to editor to student director, she was in charge of hiring The Pulse staff. “I enjoy helping people succeed,” Cochran added. “It’s about being committed to an organization you believe in. I learned to step outside my job and help in any area needed. If you prove that as a team member, you can do that as a leader.”
To expand her writing skills, she spent a semester in Cheltenham, England, at the University of Gloucester during her junior year. “I wanted to learn a different side of writing in general,” she explained. “It made me appreciate Messiah more. You don’t have that kind of connection with your professors [in England]. But, it made me more independent and showed me that I am ready to be on my own.”
Cochran notes, “There’s just something about Messiah that you’ll never experience anywhere else. Your friends, professors and co-workers really push you out of your constraints to think differently. I would be a completely different person if I didn’t go to Messiah, and I like who I am.”
A few years into the workforce, she offers some advice to students. “Never see failure as final,” she says. “Use your mistakes as fuel to be a lifelong learner and better yourself personally and professionally. But above all, always keep Jesus in the conversation.”