From Tri-C Scholar to Corporate Trailblazer
Christine Downes may not have followed the conventional path to success, but she became successful nonetheless.
Her journey at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) started due to financial difficulties. The College was appealing to Downes due to its affordability and its Associate Degree in Office Administration. This degree was instrumental in propelling her down the path to her future.
After receiving the Cuyahoga Community College Honor Student Scholarship, Downes’ financial burden was lifted, which provided her with the support she needed to focus on her education.
Once she graduated with her associate degree in 1991, Downes transferred to David N. Meyers College (formerly Dyke College). It was there she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Office Management Systems.
Reflecting on her time at Tri-C, Downes expressed gratitude for the opportunity it provided. The scholarship, the skills acquired and the confidence she gained were crucial elements that pushed her into a successful career. Tri-C, she said, not only enabled her to continue her education, but also equipped her with the knowledge essential for success in her field.
And succeed in her field, Downes did. She began her career as an administrative assistant at National City Bank. She then moved to Deloitte, a global professional services firm, where she was a senior administrative assistant. While at Deloitte, she transitioned into the role of lead inclusion specialist at the firm’s Inclusion Center of Excellence. Now, Downes is the lead leaning and development specialist at the firm, a role she’s held since 2021.
Downes said Tri-C played a pivotal role in preparing her for her career. Professors helped her realize her potential, instill confidence and laid the groundwork for her success as an administrative professional and a project manager. Today, Downes leverages her experience to provide others with the programs and resources they need for their success.
Looking back on her journey, Downes encourages future students to embrace the opportunities at Tri-C. The flexibility of programs – which include classes days, nights and virtually – and the expertise of instructors who bring real world knowledge into the classroom.
As for the future, Downes’ story continues to unfold, filled with the promise of further achievements. Her career path from an administrative assistant to a lead learning and development specialist is a testament to the possibilities that unfold when one seizes the educational opportunities available to them. Downes’ journey isn’t just personal, but an inspiration for those considering the transformative power of a Tri-C education.