Hard Work, Joyous Visions

Drive developed in finance pushes artistic endeavors for Joelle Rokovich ’84 MBA ’90.

All images courtesy Joelle Rokovich

Put Antarctic photography and finance together. It might seem impossible without Joelle Rokovich ’84 MBA ’90.

Globetrotting Rokovich stepped outside of the world of debits and credits to pursue photography—and keeps finding parallels between her life in business and her adventurous artistic endeavors.

Whether she’s capturing images of the horses of Camargue, France galloping head on or Emperor Penguins as they inquisitively peck her boot, Rokovich grabs the moment.

She did the same at Juniper Networks, becoming a Senior Financial Analyst. She attributes her workplace success to all the hard work she exerted, you can’t just walk into a company and expect to snag the big back office. You have to earn things. In a similar fashion, Rokovich recognizes that individuals will not be able to capture the perfect shot the first time they pick up a fancy camera.

Photography has been her passion since junior high. And Rokovich understands what goes into creating captivating images: time and effort. Simply sorting through her photos from her expeditions can take hours, even days, on the hunt for subjects with a particularly compelling element or gesture. The right images from the Arctic Circles shows her subjects aren’t just polar bears. They are mothers sauntering side by side in rhythm with their cubs, curiously staring into the heart of her lens. Throughout her four trips to Cuba, she caught raw emotion in stills—the steady focus of a haircutter, a stern conversation on a stoop between a disappointed wife and her apologetic husband. She captures moments, not just any old photographs.

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Rokovich humbly says she is still learning and improving her skills, imitating how in her other work experience, she kept striving to be more knowledgeable about financials. Those days, she says, instilled within her a drive to do and be better.

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Broncos together: Joelle Rokovich with her Santa Clara alum goddaughter, Erica Lindstrom M.B.A. ’16, at the Emperor Penguin Camp, Gould Bay, Antarctica. / Image courtesy Joelle Rokovich