Funeral Service Major Communicates Compassionately with the Public

It is no surprise that Terresa Shea ‘13 decided to become a funeral service major. The opportunity to provide healing, compassion and community outreach is what drew Shea to a mortuary science career. In high school, she instantly found her passion for helping families manage one of life’s most challenging and stressful events: the passing of a loved one.

A rewarding career

“My choice to become a funeral service major stemmed from a paper I wrote on cemeteries,” said Shea. “I had the opportunity to interview a funeral home and loved what they did. I instantly knew that this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

Shea’s discovery of the funeral service industry paved her way to Mount Ida College. As a result of her high school visit to Conley Funeral and Cremation Services, she found a part-time job. Through gaining hands-on experience, Shea knew that she wanted to attend a college close to her hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts, so she could work while obtaining her associate degree.

Becoming a funeral director

As a new Mustang alumna with memberships in Phi Theta Kappa and Phi Sigma Eta, Shea continues to work full-time at the funeral home. In addition, Shea is already making progress toward reaching director level status in her career. Once she passes her culminating National Board Examination, she’ll become a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

If you are considering the funeral service industry, Shea says you need to have two specific qualities: compassion and the ability to put in hard work.

“It’s important for funeral service professionals to make families feel at ease when they face difficult times in their lives. Life begins with love. Life flourishes with love. And even in death, life continues on with the love you instill in others,” concluded Shea.