A Piece of Christina's Story
Meet Christina Giordano; a senior at GWU in Washington D.C.! She has a huge passion for using her ambitious personality to not only grow herself individually but for the greater good of the community! Read more to find out her fave spots in D.C. and how she manages her time, tasks, and goals! Christina is truly an inspiration!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
Right now I’m in Starbucks, drinking a black iced coffee answering these questions. I’m an avid coffee drinker so it’s very common to find me wherever there are roasting coffee beans.
WHAT'S YOUR DAILY ROUTINE LIKE? ANY UNIQUE MORNING RITUALS?
I make my bed every morning. No exceptions. If I don’t have time to make my bed then you know it’s going to be an off day. Other than that, I don’t have any other unique morning rituals but I do set at least three alarms because I’m super paranoid that I’ll wake up late. The night before, I swear I check to make sure they’re set at least four times. I also always have a cup of coffee to start off the day.
SO YOU LIVE IN DC? IT SEEMS YOU’RE INTO POLITICS, BUT HOW SO? WHY AND WHEN DID THAT START?
The first time I visited our beautiful nation’s Capitol was in 8th grade and the first time I visited GW’s campus was during sophomore year of high school. In both instances you could say it was love at first sight. What attracted me to DC was the uniqueness of the city because it wasn’t as big as NY but had a lot of character. And GW is in the heartbeat of the District, located 4 blocks away from the White House. I didn’t come to DC for the politics but I’ve always had an interest in history so politics seemed like a natural field to dive into as well. I find the psychology behind decision making on the Hill, on the bench or in the White House fascinating. My interest in politics was ignited at GW but I am by no means a political science major. I do however, think it is important to be informed and have an opinion to be part of the conversation. At GW, I learned how to not only stand for something but also be proud of your political beliefs and listen to others’ perspectives.
ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN GEMS OF DC THAT A TOURIST WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT? AND WHY IS IT SO GREAT? TELL US ABOUT IT!
There are literally so many amazing things about this city. One of my favorite underrated gems in DC is the Kennedy Center rooftop. You don’t need to see a show or pay to have access to an incredible view and it stays open pretty late so it’s the perfect spot to see the city lit up. There are also free daily shows on Millennium Stage at 6 PM. I’m a big fan of rooftops. Another go-to is the Lincoln steps just behind the Memorial, which is a great place to sit or work out around sunset. In terms of food, the 10/10 recommendations I’ll give are District of Pi, Zorba’s and Dog Tag Bakery.
HOW DO YOU REPRESENT THE TRAIT AMBITIOUS? HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN SO AMBITIOUS?
When I was younger, I liked to play games at home where I was always the boss whether it was being the director of a play or the manager of a store. But when I was at school, I was very quiet and reserved. So I’ve always had that ambitious characteristic harbored inside but it took me a while to actively notice and run with it. Now, I know that I love a great challenge and am determined to have an impact. After that realization I’ve demonstrated the trait ambitious by being super involved in different activities in high school and in college. One of the current projects I’m working on is co-chairing the 8th Annual GW Women in Business Spring Conference, which brings in 300+ attendees, and I absolutely love it. I’m always looking for new ways to harness my ambition to give back to the community and to grow. I crave to do more and telling me it’s impossible or it cannot be done simply provides me with more drive to accomplish it.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR GOALS AND TASKS WHILE STILL TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF?
This is a great question and one where I’ve learned that occasionally it’s ok to put yourself first. Often times, it feels as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the to-do list but it’s important to not burn out. It is the worst feeling in the world to be sleep deprived, cranky, and unfulfilled so to minimize that ensure you make a conscious effort to do things that actually bring you joy. (Even if this means blocking off time in your Google calendar to relax and have fun.) This could be as simple as watching Netflix or reading a book but whatever it is; the important part is pausing and taking a breath. For me, I love going for a walk, hanging out with friends or journaling. I’ve also realized that “balance” is really difficult and when you’re passionate about something whether it’s at work or in school or in your personal life it’s ok to spend a lot of time pursuing your dream.
ASIDE FROM BEING AMBITIOUS, WHAT ARE THREE OTHER PERSONALITY TRAITS THAT DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND HOW SO?
Passionate: I try to show passion and enthusiasm in everything I do.
Sassy: Sarcasm is my second language.
Outgoing: I’ve grown into this one. I definitely get energy from meeting new people and being with friends.
SO YOU’RE VERY INVOLVED ON YOUR CAMPUS, HOW DO YOU SEE LIFE UNFOLDING ONCE YOU GRADUATE AND LEAVE?
Hustlin’. I’ve found that there are so many opportunities in the real world that the options can be overwhelming. However, through some deep reflection and talking with a bunch of wonderful humans for informational interviews I’ve learned that whatever the next adventure is I have to be hustlin’ and have a true passion for the work I’m doing. I know that’s a vague answer but this is a major part of how I’m envisioning life after GW. Hustlin’ for a mission driven company with empowering people.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION AND WHY?
I need to give two answers here but essentially I draw the greatest inspiration from the women in my family. My mom will always be my biggest inspiration because she taught me what the true definition of compassion is by always being there for everyone and showed me what it looked like to be the real life Wonder Woman. My grandma is the second lady I want to mention because she is such a social butterfly and has truly made a positive impact on every person she meets. These two women embody characteristics I try to implement in my daily life.
WERE THERE ANY MAJOR OBSTACLES IN YOUR LIFE THAT HAS SHAPED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE, OR MADE YOU MORE AMBITIOUS? WHAT DID THEY TEACH YOU?
One major obstacle I encounter is constantly overcoming the imposter syndrome or generally feeling like you aren’t good enough, whether that’s in class at my job or even when I meet new people. I know a lot of us struggle with this too, especially us gals, but this is something I’ve been constantly working on by not making excuses and by being an active member of the conversation. For example, in meetings instead of constantly taking notes and not actually saying anything—I’ll set a goal for myself to talk at least three times and only write down the key points. Because I’m ambitious there’s always this notion in my head where you could always do more, be more prepared, be more [blank] but at some point you need to shut down that little criticizing voice in your head and be confident. My overthinking in these types of situations has definitely contributed to why I’m ambitious but it’s a work in progress.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’VE LEARNED SO FAR IN YOUR TWENTIES? OR THROUGH YOUR WORK, SCHOOL, LEADERSHIP ROLES? WHAT CAN YOU TELL A YOUNG GIRL STRIVING TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?
You are your best advocate. Be yourself and learn how to be comfortable in your own skin. There are incredible people in this world who genuinely want to help and see you succeed but in order for you to see those opportunities you need to whole-heartedly believe in yourself. I’ve learned in my twenties that you are more resilient and stronger than you give yourself credit for. Raise your hand, speak up and take a seat at the table. This impacts other great things I’ve learned in my twenties because if you know who you are then you’ll surround yourself with positive people and never give up on what you want. Also, I love the motto: work hard and be nice to people. This motto will definitely help you be happy and successful in the future.
Check out more from Christina below!