2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Christina St. John, University of Richmond (Robins)

Christina St. John

University of Richmond, Robins School of Business

“A curious, passionate problem-solver who embodies the work hard, play hard attitude.”

Fun fact about yourself: I studied abroad in Prague my junior year and visited 11 countries that semester!

Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ

High School: Ridgewood High School

Major: Accounting

Minor: History

Favorite Business Course: Intermediate Financial Accounting II with Professor Hoyle

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Kappa Delta Sorority – Vice President of Finance and Director of Philanthropy and Community Service
  • Academic Skills Center ACCT 201 Course Mentor and Tutor
  • Richmond Mock Trial Team
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honors Society (Top 10% of class)
  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society
  • Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society (Freshman with above 3.5 GPA)
  • Lewis D. Andrews Scholarship Recipient (awarded to Best Junior Accounting Student)
  • McGladrey and Pullen Scholarship Recipient
  • Robins School of Business Partnership Scholarship Recipient
  • University of Richmond Presidential Scholar
  • Dean’s List with All A’s Distinction all semesters

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • PwC as an Audit Intern in Banking and Capital Markets – New York, New York (Summer 2022)
  • Virginia State Corporation Commission as a Utility Accounting and Finance Intern – Richmond, VA (Summer 2021)

Where will you be working after graduation? Trust Solutions Associate at PwC in Banking and Capital Markets – New York, New York

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?  The biggest lesson I’ve gained from studying business is the power of kindness. No matter how much you think you know or how much experience you might have, people want to be surrounded by friendly co-workers. We can all be more influential communicators, colleagues, and human beings if we approach people with compassion.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Try as many different classes as you can. You might be surprised by what sparks your interest and how you can grow your knowledge. Taking classes outside of the business school also adds perspective and value to the things you learn about. For example, taking a history or global studies class may shed light on why some markets behave the way they do. Don’t be afraid to try something new and add some depth to your degree!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I’ve been most surprised by how interconnected every discipline in the business school is. Whether you study accounting, marketing or management, every dimension of a business is related. To be the best at what you do, you must also understand how other aspects of the business operate. Even though my accounting major focuses on financial analysis, the creative and qualitative aspects of business add color to a company’s financial statements.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I would take better advantage of the events that Robins has to offer. I wish I had gone to more C-suite conversations and gotten to know the Executives in Residence (C-suite individuals that serve as student mentors at UR) better. Robins provides students with so many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. which are excellent opportunities to network and explore your interests.

What business leader do you admire most? I really admire Kim Ng, the current general manager of the Marlins. Ng graduated from my high school in 1986 and she is the first female GM in Major League Baseball history. Growing up an avid Mets fan and two-sport athlete, it was clear as a kid that major league sports are dominated by men. Kim Ng is breaking barriers by using her business acumen to manage the Marlins and is paving the way for women to become more involved in the sports industry.

Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of?  This past November, I ran the New York Marathon and raised $3,200 for the American Cancer Society. Training every day for 5 months was not an easy feat; some days I had to juggle an 18-mile run with my studies, work, and social life. The feeling of crossing that finish line (especially in a city that means so much to me) was indescribable. The fulfillment and sense of purpose I experienced in that moment has stuck with me and been a source of empowerment. I’m proud of myself for the diligence it took to reach my goal of under 4 hours and 30 minutes!

Which classmate do you most admire? This semester, I’ve gotten to know Sean Bailis through our Strategic Management class. Not only is Sean a clever and thoughtful teammate, but he’s developed his own app called “Habets” that allows users to place bets against their friends on health goals like hours of sleep, step count, etc. I admire how Sean has channeled his passions into an innovative business venture that he’ll continue to work on after graduation. Staying committed to your passions and finding a way to make them worthwhile is a valuable lesson we can all learn from Sean.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents have always been and will always be my biggest supporters. My confidence, compassion, and poise come from my mom. I’m so lucky to have her as a role model and hope that one day I can half as kind, understanding, and generous as her. My determination and fierce loyalty come from my dad. From him, I’ve learned the value of working my hardest while prioritizing my friends and family above all else. I’m thankful to be surrounded by such encouragement and unconditional love. Thank you for everything you do, I love you both!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Be a mentor to someone at work
  2. Work in another country!

What are your hobbies? I love going to the gym, cooking (I’ve been told that I make a mean chicken pot pie), bowling, dancing (even though I have two left feet) and doing crossword puzzles. My roommates and I print out the Wall Street Journal crossword once a week and hang up the ones we manage to complete.

What made Christina such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Christina St. John is a brilliant student as is shown by the 4.00 grade point average she has achieved at the University of Richmond while fulfilling the requirements for both a major in Accounting and a minor in History. She will finish here in four years with academic credit for more than nine courses beyond what is needed for graduation. Her success has not come from easy offerings. She has sought out classes with the deep complexity of “Stalin’s Terror” and “Comprehending the Holocaust.”

I have observed Ms. St. John’s brilliance first hand as she has been a student in two of my accounting courses. In my classes, she worked incredibly hard not so much for a particular grade but to acquire a true understanding of the theories and practical realities of financial accounting. When she did not do particularly well on my first test, she did not lose confidence as can sometimes be the case with college students. Instead, she assessed her efforts carefully to determine why her hours of work had not led to success. She made the adjustments that were needed.  Before the first test, she had been a good student. After that test, she was the best student in class making 102 on the final examination, five points higher than any other student. I believe that determination to learn and understand is a key to her brilliance and her academic success.

However, all universities have brilliant students. Classroom brilliance alone is not what makes an individual a special student. I have taught for 52 years, and, in my mind, every student should work to make their school a better place. To be truly outstanding, a student needs to seek out ways to be a positive influence on the other students and the university as a whole.

In the fall of 2021, a new program was begun at the Robins School of Business. I was allowed to select a personal tutor for my introductory accounting students. Ms. St. John was the first-and-only student that I contacted. I knew she would excel in helping the first-year students to understand and appreciate the complexities of financial reporting. Despite my high level of confidence, she has far exceeded my expectations. The students love her and flock to her review sessions. They tell me I should share my salary with her because of all that she does for them. For three semesters now, she has gone out of her way to provide group assistance and individual sessions. She meets with students whenever they are struggling and is willing to answer their emails at 1 a.m. Scores of students will graduate from this university knowing more financial accounting and understanding it better for having her assistance. Yes, Christina St. John has proven to be a brilliant student. Just as importantly, she has used her time here to provide academic help and friendship to a large number of first-year students.”

Joe Hoyle
Associate Professor of Accounting and Accounting Teaching Fellow
Robins School of Business, University of Richmond


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.