Chloe Shrode, Geneva Class of 2015, is the highlighted alumna for this quarter. Here are her responses to a standard set of questions which are given each quarter to an alumnus or alumna to answer.
Please give a current update on yourself (college/graduation year, major, grad school, work/career, family, other interests, service or hobbies).
I graduated from Texas Tech University in 2018 with a major in Honors Arts and Letters (that’s just fancy for liberal arts) and minors in Spanish and Legal Studies. Then in May 2021, I graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law and passed the bar exam the following October. I now work for Watts Guerra LLP as an Associate Attorney. Outside of work, I have the privilege of coaching some of Texas Tech Law’s national advocacy teams and I help judge mock trial and moot court competitions. I also enjoy working out and spending time with those I love.
In what ways did your Geneva education/training prepare you for the work you are doing now?
The education I received at Geneva prepared me for almost every aspect of my career. Critical thinking, writing, and public speaking skills are key in my profession and Geneva provided a firm foundation for these skills. I also learned how to manage my time and strive for excellence while at Geneva, and that is invaluable in everything I do.
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Geneva.
During my time at Geneva, the most significant value I learned was how to passionately, but patiently, articulate and defend my beliefs. Geneva taught me to question my own thoughts and beliefs, to do my research, and how to present my conclusions and thoughts to those around me with confidence and compassion. These lessons allowed me to stay firm in my beliefs as I ventured away from my family and the “Geneva bubble”. They also helped me to debate with those of differing beliefs in social settings, as well as winsomely present my arguments in various classes, without becoming overly emotional or heated. But more than anything, knowing what I believed and why provided a firm foundation for me to rely upon no matter what life through at me. I could stand firm in my faith and find comfort in the fact that God was in control, and I could face anything with Him at my side.
How would you encourage a Geneva Rhetoric School student to make the most of their Geneva years?
I would say get involved in everything! Geneva allows you the opportunity to participate in extracurriculars, sports, and fine arts. I never would have known how much I love advocating for a cause or person if I wouldn’t have chosen debate as my elective sophomore year of high school. Managing theater, sports, debate, school, and clubs gave me the skills to better manage my time and organize my day. The tools and skills I learned as a result of being involved in high school are invaluable and I use them every day. Plus, it’s fun! Getting to try out new things and discover what you enjoy and don’t enjoy is a blast, take advantage of it!
Describe Geneva in one word. Explain.
The word that comes to mind when I think of Geneva is “Community”. From the parents to the teachers to the students, community is a cornerstone at Geneva. Everyone knows each other and is there to support one another. I attended a couple of other schools before I came to Geneva, but Geneva was the first place in which I experienced a truly Christ centered, servant minded community. The teachers go out of their way to lend a helping hand to their students, I had never experienced that before. For the first time, I enjoyed school and strove to do better and help my peers. I remember working on homework with my friends during study hall, helping each other with our individual strengths to work through the others’ weaknesses. As a whole, the Geneva community rallies to help those in need, to reach out a helping hand, and to exhibit Christ through service. That is the heart of our school. That is one of the many aspects that make the school as special as it is.
Please share one or two of your Geneva extracurricular activities and then compare/contrast that with one or two of your current non-work activities.
My primary extracurricular activities during high school were tennis, theater, and debate. Theater and debate team certainly helped me when I was a competitor in law school, but it also helps me now to coach my teams and be a better competition judge. Knowing how to present myself, how to argue, and how to utilize vocal inflection and tone helps in every aspect of my life, especially my career. But because I learned those skills, I’m able to teach and assist others in attaining their goal. I get to watch them grow in their advocacy and succeed, which is so much fun. As for tennis, it’s a blast and it’s something I can play now to help relieve stress as well as get some exercise in. I’m very competitive so having an outlet for my competitive spirit has been so important for my mental health, tennis is a perfect fit for that.
What are your future career goals and how do you feel prepared for them?
I hope to become partner at my firm within the next few years and be in the courtroom as much as possible. I feel about as prepared for these goals as I can be since I’m fresh out of law school. I feel like I’m drinking water from a fire hose, but I’m learning a great deal every day. I hope to become a litigator who advocates fiercely and compassionately for her clients and for the glory of God.
How are you impacted by your work now? What is something you have learned/are learning about yourself and God’s world?
My work impacts me in so many ways. Unfortunately, people come to me and my firm because of the worst day of their lives. No one wants to have to hire an attorney because they’re injured or a loved one has passed away. It’s heart wrenching to see my clients because their lives have forever changed as a result of one horrible incident. But they need someone to fight for them now, and that fight is hard, but worthwhile. God is continually teaching me patience, compassion, and empathy through the practice of law. He shows me that He is present, even in the worst situations.