Exploring Majors and Pursuing Passions

When she arrived at the University of Missouri, Sophia Bianco didn’t know what she wanted to do. Growing up in the small town of Dixon, Missouri, Bianco dreamed of working in the music industry — but was it possible for someone with “no musical talent,” as she would say?

The answer was “yes,” and Bianco arrived on it thanks to Mizzou’s Discovery Center.

Fueled by her love for music and confidence from her coursework as a communication major, Bianco discovered her strengths and has already had success as a concert photographer — creating connections with the likes of Harry Styles’ photographer and more. Bianco will graduate with honors this week and is ready to take her classroom and real-world experience in the music industry into a career in freelance photography.

Read on for a Q&A with Bianco about her Mizzou experience.

How did you decide on your major?

When I got to Mizzou, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I started as an exploring major and took a course through the Discovery Center. That allowed me to explore the different majors and what I was interested in. I ended up making a March Madness-style bracket of my 10 favorite majors — the last two were journalism and communication. As I looked more closely at some of the coursework for a communication major, it was better for the path I wanted to go in. It ended up working out because after declaring communication, my advisor told me to try digital storytelling classes to see if I wanted to add it as a minor. I really enjoyed it, and now it’s going to be my career.

Where did you find your passion for concert photography?

I’ve always been a huge fan of music and wanted to get involved in the music industry … but growing up in a small town and not having any musical talent, I felt that it wasn’t possible for me. Around the same time that I started my first digital media production class, I watched a documentary that my favorite artist released about the process of putting on his tour. I realized how fun putting together a festival would be and that I could use what I’ve learned at Mizzou to do that. Working in the music industry became my focus after that.

I bought a camera and started bringing it to concerts. This year, I shot the Nacho Fest and I loved it. And then a couple months later, I got my first all-access photo pass with a band that I had started listening to. Right before Thanksgiving break, I went to Chicago and photographed Harry Styles’ percussionist on his solo tour. I’ve definitely been making connections since April and I’m very excited to see where it goes next.

How was the Honors College an asset to you during your time at Mizzou?

Every honors course I took was an opportunity to get to know something more in depth. My favorite honors course was Unbound: Reading Without Limits. We got to sit around and read books and talk about the implications of the books and how they apply to our lives. It was a really great opportunity, and it’s those experiences that made being an honors student so special.

What’s your favorite Mizzou memory?

I’m proud to be a Tiger because of the community that comes with being a part of Mizzou. That’s why one of my favorite memories is being a part of the Campus Activities Programming Board. I built such a community there, and I love being a part of making fun things happen on campus.

What would you tell someone who’s interested in coming to Mizzou?

I’d say they’ve made a great choice! Mizzou has so many opportunities to offer for students to get to know who they are and figure out what they want to do with their futures.

This blog was reposted from Show Me Mizzou: Capturing a Dream, written by Audrey Brown