A Lifelong Journey of Learning and Self-Discovery with Ms. Sunshine Trinidad

by Tram Panaligan

Sunshine Marie Grandea Trinidad, more commonly known as Shine Trinidad, is a woman who has built herself a career through her lifelong passion for learning and self-discovery. Currently she is a Client Services Manager for Global Service Providers Market in Cisco Systems Incorporated. Being in the tech industry for 14 years, she has always been a champion of excellence in everything that she can do.

As a SISFU Alumna, she completed her college programme from the country’s premier transnational university with Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a Major in International Marketing in 2007 under American City University, the international partner which is based in Pasadena, California, USA.

She shared the things she loved and the challenges she faced as a student in SISFU, these allowed her to grow and develop as a person to where she is today. Shine was well-equipped with the foundational knowledge and skills in business, management, and marketing. Her professors were experts in their respective industries who not only shared knowledge that you could find in books, but also things that they must learn in real life.

“Even when I had my first job, I was confident because SISFU showed me even just as a student back then the values on how to properly conduct business.”

SISFU has equipped her with the knowledge and skills she needs to achieve in life. Values such as how to properly conduct business and what it means to truly be a professional. SISFU also had an environment wherein she was able to hone her abilities and make her a well rounded person.

Her high points as a student in SISFU was that she really excelled in her academics and she was able to learn the value of time management and foster a lifelong passion for learning. Also she was in an environment where students had the passion to be educated and molded to become professionals. Another high point in her life is when she represented the school, through the marketing team, in the Philippine Junior Marketing Association annual marketing competition bagging first and second place for two consecutive years.

However, this not without her low points, albeit not as plentiful, but the one that really stands out was the demise of her father. Her mother, who was the sole breadwinner of the family and had to raise and put four children to school has led to the presence of money problems, leading her to stop a term or two during her studies in SISFU.

“Pursue your passions and live a life you could be proud of. And most of all, always trust God. ”

However, she cites that she is very thankful that SISFU was kind and generous enough to be flexible with the payment terms and also to provide her an opportunity to become a scholar and get her through her college education. Apart from this, another challenge that she has faced was maintaining the right CGPA during her stay in SISFU to maintain her academic scholarship. All while balancing the personal struggles of a young adult (i.e. hormones, social pressures, emotions, etc.)

However, all of these can be easily mitigated by changing your perspective and paradigm on life. As her Economics professor, Prof. Rommel del Mundo, mentioned that ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch.’—the basic rule of economics. This resonated with her strongly and she built upon it a personal principle in life—to work hard for the things and privileges that we have in life. An example of this is her scholarship wherein albeit not paying for 80% of her tuition, since it is paid by the school, she had to still work hard for it by maintaining good grades, rendering her service hours, and doing everything it takes to achieve through the bursary given to her. This has allowed her to become a better version of herself and value her education more.

As we wrapped-up the interview, she ended with a message to all the future graduates of SISFU and to those who plan to pursue higher education there.

    For the future graduates of SISFU:
  • “Always strive to be the best version of yourself. During this pandemic, most of us have found a new respect for life and it is important for us to seize new opportunities in life and make the best out of them.”
  • “We can’t just live for ourselves, we need to help others, we need to help ourselves as well and that we should never lose hope.”

For those planning to take up their studies in SISFU, she shared a short story about her experience once she landed her first job at IBM. During her interview the school’s name has piqued the interest of her hiring manager and asked her about it. After Shine Trinidad briefly discussed her school to her then manager, she lauded and complimented her that she hopes other schools, apart from Top 3 schools in the Philippines, could produce excellent graduates like her. She shares the tip that: “The school does not make you, you make your school.”

In choosing a university, students should eye for institutions that allow them to grow as an individual and make them the best version of who they are. Their worth is not based on the school or university that is written on the diploma, but the school that nurtures its students, champions excellence, and wants you as an individual to make an impact and difference in this world

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