Cristina Margaret Roman
"Chance Favors the Prepared Mind"




Cristina's mom always tells the story about the day Cristina came home from her eighth grade class and declared that the war in Iraq did not fit the criteria of the Just War Theory. This story foreshadows Cristina's current life- a commitment to social issues, a craving for intellect, and a desire to challenge the status quo. As a native of North Carolina and a student at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, Cristina enjoys learning about social entrepreneurship, playing the game Taboo, and spending a lot of time in Starbucks. She is committed to her activities on campus, which include The GW Social Enterprise Forum, a volunteer program called Community Building Community, Alternative Breaks, as well as interning. She loves her various leadership positions and they certainly keep her busy- maybe too much so sometimes!



Cristina had been known as shy her whole life. During school, she felt nervous and didn't like to speak in public. In addition, she didn't have many close friends. At home, however, she was loud and rambunctious. After a year at Catholic school when she was in seventh grade, Cristina decided that being shy wasn't who she felt she really was. She consciously made the decision to "be louder" - speaking up in class, talking to more people during recess, and forming relationships with her teachers. She realized she was more effective in her relationships and had more fun with an outgoing personality. As an eighth grader, Cristina ran for a Student Council position and as a tenth grader, she took a public speaking class, taking on the role of lead cross-examiner during the final mock trial. If you tell Cristina's friends now that she used to be shy, they will stare at you with disbelief, thinking that it can't possibly be true. Being outgoing and proactive is now a way of life for Cristina, and doesn't have an artificial quality, despite the fact that she likes to think she "created" her personality.

Professional issue

Cristina had every intention of becoming a International Affairs major as she applied to colleges, including The George Washington University. What better place to study international affairs than in the nation's capital! But when she was admitted to GW, another program caught her eye- Human Services, where the students jokingly declare that they are "majoring in saving the world." As a lifelong volunteer and an advocate of non-profit work, it seemed like an ideal fit. But two years into her studies, Cristina had yet to feel lit up about her course work; it seemed to lack innovation and sustainability. By chance, Cristina met a fellow student who informed her about the emerging field of social enterprise- bridging the gap between non-profit and for-profit work by using business skills to solve social issues. This broad but esoteric field intrigued Cristina and she felt compelled to explore it in more depth. Today Cristina is the president of The GW Social Enterprise Forum and interns with Social Enterprise Associates. She insists on incorporating the idea of social entrepreneurship into all classroom discussions. Her discovery of this field was undoubtedly the seemingly elusive cliche "aha" career moment that so many people talk about.


Personal issue


For many overachievers, stress and a tendency to overcommit follow. For Cristina, it is no different. The benefits of being a highly motivated person come hand in hand with the consequences- lack of sleep, the need to be constantly engaged, and frequent illness from the physical toll that stress takes. Cristina's friends regularly comment that she should slow down and not take on as much responsibility. The drive to succeed- not financially, but in other areas- pushes Cristina to keep overcommitting. Because she loves every activity that she is involved with, it is difficult to eliminate anything from her schedule. Getting sick is almost a welcome escape for Cristina because it provides her with an excuse to take a few days off and relax in bed with a new novel or an episode of Friends, a warm cup of tea, and of course hot and sour soup. Although Cristina makes plenty of time to just hang out with friends or relax by herself on the weekends, weekdays are filled with to do lists, meetings, cups of caffeinated coffee, and worry that she will drop the ball on something she is juggling.