Nov. 15, 2019

Class of 2019: Fuelled by adversity, Haskayne grad’s grades skyrocket

Celina Pablo aims to use business as a catalyst for change, motivating others
Celina Pablo visits Facebook headquarters on the Silicon Valley Discovery Tour.
Celina Pablo visits Facebook headquarters on the Silicon Valley Discovery Tour. Courtesy Celina Pablo

What makes Celina Pablo’s, BComm’19, journey to graduation significant is that during her time at Haskayne, adversity strengthened her as a person. When she was a first-year student, her father was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. This proved to be difficult for Pablo, who was juggling work, school and her father’s illness at the same time. Her father passed away in her second year and she became even more motivated to make her father proud.

“Adversity is important in helping someone grow,” a then third-year Pablo said about her situation, when featured in a video discussing the impact of Legacy Giving. “It has really changed me and it has motivated me to do better in school and to inspire others to do better.”

Growing is what she sought to do and accomplished during her time at Haskayne. Shortly after her father’s passing, Pablo received the Marion Janet and Ian Stormont Forbes Bursary for her academic merit. This financial support was invaluable and helped her family get through that difficult time. Flash forward to November 2019; Pablo graduates with a major in accounting with a stellar GPA of 3.97.

Celina Pablo

Celina Pablo was a member of the Scholars Academy during her time at Haskayne.

Scholars Academy

One of her main reasons for choosing to attend Haskayne was that she believed business could be used as a catalyst for change. She helped make this a reality in her role as co-president of the Haskayne Consulting Club, which helps non-profit organizations tackle challenging business problems.

Pablo volunteered in various initiatives to help others see the same success she has experienced. She served as a mentor for first-year students in the Scholars Academy. The Scholars Academy is a University of Calgary program for highly motivated undergraduate students who display exceptional leadership and intellectual curiosity. Selected students have access to personalized advising, resources, and opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. Pablo describes her time at the academy as rewarding, since many of her mentees have gone on to see successes of their own.

“Celina is a true leader, not only in terms of the impact she has made on the Haskayne community, but also in the sense that she possesses the rare ability to help others see potential and believe in themselves,” says Danielle Leong, a fellow student who Pablo mentored through Scholars Academy.

“She has consistently guided and inspired me to follow my dreams and achieve successes that I never could have imagined reaching otherwise.”

Pablo didn’t stop with being involved on campus; she decided to travel to diversify her experience. In February 2018, she went on the Silicon Valley Discovery Tour to learn from successful entrepreneurs and investors. As part of a partnership between the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking and Haskayne, Pablo and 16 others were chosen based on their interest in entrepreneurial thinking.

She also completed a five-month international exchange in Madrid, Spain under the Haskayne International Exchange program. It was her first time being away from her family for an extended time, causing her to step out of her comfort zone. She acknowledges the trip for helping her grow as a person and offering her valuable life experience.

“I learned how to work and interact with people coming from various countries and cultures,” Pablo says. “The experience was not always easy and the challenges I encountered served as a true test of my character and maturity.”

The executive team of the Haskayne Consulting Club, in which Pablo served as co-president.

The executive team of the Haskayne Consulting Club, in which Pablo served as co-president.

Courtesy Celina Pablo

Undoubtedly, Pablo made use of this past experience when she recently traveled to Europe and Asia. No matter where her career may lead her, she can draw on this valuable experience and demonstrate that business can be used for change globally. For now, Pablo will remain in Calgary. In early November, she returned home to a business analyst position in the management consulting division at Accenture.

Pablo plans to keep Haskayne close to her as she wants to help students learn more about the field of consulting and pursue their desired career paths. As for not returning to Haskayne? Pablo says she is sad to leave behind wonderful professors and friends, but she has no doubt about the bright futures that lay ahead of them.