Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Rodriguez.
Hi Christina, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
As a newlywed and new mother, I was ready to take my career to the next level and knew that I needed a Master’s to get where I wanted to be. I wish I could tell you my Master’s degree was fun and exciting like my undergrad at San Francisco State University. It was a very different experience because I was the only Latina in my MBA cohort for the majority of my courses. I experienced feelings of imposter syndrome (I didn’t even know it had a name but I know how it felt like) and felt like I didn’t belong there. I thought to myself on many occasions, “Where my Latinos at? Why are we not out here getting degrees? Is it really that hard to get into a Master’s program?” My little sister was also admitted to the same graduate school but was enrolled in a clinical psychology program. We were each other’s support system and all those late-night hustles paid off because we both ended up graduating on stage together as an MBA & MFT Class of 2017 graduates. It was a beautiful feeling to have our parents witness both of their daughters graduate that day with Master’s degrees and as proud daughters of immigrants, our degrees and the privilege we both have to access higher education is all because of the hard work and the sacrifices of our parents. Fast forward to 2020. The year where we all started Zoom University and the year I decided to go back to graduate school once again but this time for my doctorate degree.
If I’m being honest, I almost didn’t accept my admission for many reasons but the moment the entire nation witness the injustice of George Floyd, I knew at that exact moment that I have a bigger purpose in life. I couldn’t just sit there and do business as usual. I know something needed to be done! I accepted my admission to become a future Doctora in Educational Leadership and started to think about my experiences in graduate school. I thought to myself this is my opportunity to change those experiences for Latinx in graduate school and not let history to continue to repeat itself. I started to think about what I did not have during my master’s program and two things immediately came to mind: representation and a sense of belonging as a first-generation Latina college student. Through my experiences in graduate school encouraged me to create Latinas with Masters; an equity-centered graduate school resource guide and counter-space for Latinx college students. A place where Latinx representation and narratives in higher education are seen, heard and validated. Latinas with Masters is more than just a degree, it’s a community beyond academia and a place where we can show up as our authentic selves. A place where we become champions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, all while we embrace and preserve nuestra cultura Latina/o/x/e.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, not really. I have had my moments of breakdowns and wanting to throw in the towel for good but as a mother of two, I don’t have that option to just give up. All the sacrifices are for my kids so they can have better opportunities and a smoother transition in navigating higher education. I am a firm believer that just because it was hard for me, doesn’t mean that it has to be hard for my kids and future leaders. We are all here to dismantle those practices and create equitable pathways for everyone to attend college if that is the path they choose.
We’ve been impressed with Latinas with Masters, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Latinas with Master’s mission is to Inspire, Empower and Educate nuestra comunidad and future generation leaders with equitable pathways, academic advancement and professional growth in a safe, positive and supportive environment. Our vision is to show up as our authentic selves in all spaces. Our core values is to be a champion of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the spaces we live, work and learn all while embracing and preserving nuestra cultura!
Furthermore, Latinas with Masters is an equity-centered education and advocacy organization advancing the representation of Latinx in higher education. Services included graduate school advising, professional resume/curriculum vitae building and personal statement consulting for graduate school admissions. You can visit LatinaswithMasters.com to join the Latinas with Masters membership, shop the Latinas with Masters Collection and book a keynote and inspirational speaking with the founder, Christina V. Rodriguez, MBA and Future Doctora in Educational Leadership.
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My favorite childhood memory was having an opportunity to have a quinceanera. Being that my parents were divorced for almost ten years, I honestly didn’t know if having a “traditional” quinceanera was in my parent’s budget. My parents re-married two years before my 15th birthday and we were able to save enough money to have my quince! It was the best feeling ever to have a birthday celebration I dreamed about since I was a little girl. It was everything that I wanted.
- Website: www.latinaswithmasters.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/latinaswithmasters/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LatinaswithMasters
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/latinaswmasters
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn2eGDc0WWExM-rMqXMMDmg
- Other: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/latinas-with-masters-podcast/id1528131221