Alumni Spotlight: Celina Rosita Tousignant (A & S/PC, 2009)
What are you currently doing?
Currently, I am working as a project manager at Mission Lane, a new financial services company founded in January providing credit cards to the subprime market with a focus on fair and clear products. I oversee the firm’s larger projects, including our acquisition by new investors, our current rebrand, and the technological separation resulting from our spin-off. I also manage the responsibilities of roles we lost as part of the creation of our new company, including chief-of-staff duties, facilities management, and communications. Additionally, I am near completion on an MBA through the Whitman School’s online program, and have thoroughly enjoyed being a ‘Cuse student again.
How did participating in the Renee Crown University Honors program prepare you for the next phase of your life after Syracuse University?
Had it not been for the Honors program, I would have been limited in the number of credits I could take per semester. This one advantage allowed me to complete three full degrees during my four undergraduate years at Syracuse, thus allowing me to enter the “real world” with a wide skill set across different disciplines. Furthermore, I was prepared to put in the amount of work required for everything from getting a footing in entry-level jobs to standing out from the crowd in more senior positions. Thriving through 18+ credit semesters (in the Syracuse snow, no less) brought out my best qualities and helped form a foundation for me to build on for years to come.
What are some of your memorable experiences in the Honors program?
As many students in the Honors program, I felt like being a student came naturally to me throughout my academic career. However, I remember the “Linked Lenses” course taught by Catherine Newton and Samuel Gorovitz was the first time I felt not only challenged, but fundamentally humbled and overshadowed by Academia. They pushed us to think in challenging and rewarding new ways. Never before (and not since) have I more enjoyed earning a not-“A” grade.
What advice to you have for the current and future generation of Honors students?
Balance is key. For most of us, school or work will never be the single most important thing in our lives. Time is something we never get back – ensuring we focus on cultivating rewarding relationships, finding time for new experiences, or taking an opportunity for “self-care” in some way is just as important in the long run as the next “A+” or “big project.” When I look back at my time at Syracuse, I am proud of my Summa Cum Laude degrees and the knowledge I acquired. However, I am just as proud of the young woman I became during my time there – she was a good friend, she was a thoughtful student, and she was an engaged citizen in the University’s community and beyond.
How would you like to continue to be involved in the program as an alum?
I would love to help if and when there are discrete or short-term activities for offsite or digital alumni involvement, such as local events in San Francisco, online student mentorship, etc.