Member of Sigma Alpha Delta Since: 2004 – 2006
Baruch College Date of Graduation: December 2000
Minor: Corporate Communications / Theater
Place of Residence: New York City
Christiana Frimpong Manson is exemplary of the diversity and culture that Sigma Alpha Delta currently espouses. Ms. Manson was born in Ghana and eventually rose through the ranks of Sigma, due to her determination and hardworking spirit. She initially joined Sigma Alpha Delta because it was one of the only clubs that held meetings in the evening. She had to work during the daytime so she had no choice but to take evening classes. Christiana had to balance her evenings between classes, studying, and being active in Sigma. During her senior year at Baruch College, she became president of Sigma Alpha Delta.
Growing up in Ghana allowed Christiana to observe several differences between the school systems there and in the U.S. She recalls, “In Ghana there was a focus on discipline rather than a focus on studying. In America we place a heavy emphasis on research and there are a lot more resources than in Ghana.” However, these differences simply gave her have a unique perspective on the U.S. educational system and did not interfere with her studies: “The materials that were taught in school like science and math were relatively the same so there weren’t a lot of challenges adjusting to a new country in terms of education.” After college, Ms. Manson pursued a career as an accountant.
Presently, she is the Vice President of Corporate Auditing at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. She candidly points out that she “is not the vice president of the group…it is simply a title. There are levels which in order from lowest to highest are the Analyst, Senior Specialist, Vice President and then Managing Director.” Christiana works as part of a group that works with clients to achieve their goals and handles all the internal auditing activity. Currently, she doesn’t have a lot of a free time and there is a lot of work that she is responsible for. She even works on weekends to get work done so it certainly is not an easy job. However, Ms. Manson is very proud of being where she is because she gets “to work with graduates from NYU, Columbia, and other great schools at a very big company.”
Christiana accredits her experiences at Baruch College for her current success. She believes the “right education” is essential to succeeding. According to her, “all the skills necessary to perform well in her job today were taught at Baruch.” She also believes that her role and involvement in Sigma Alpha Delta helped her, especially because Sigma taught her how to effectively communicate and work with others. According to Christiana, “it is not about one person but the team that helps get things done quickly, efficiently and accurately.”
Based on her unique journey and experiences, Ms. Manson also tries to share her knowledge with students. To those who want to be involved in corporate auditing, she offers the following advice: “You must understand your client’s situation and challenges. You must also engage the clients and ask the right questions. They want to know if you are on the same page as them so you can be as effective as possible. But most importantly you have to get your message across concisely and distinctly.” As for the students in Baruch in general she advises, “In order for someone to be successful you have to distinguish yourself. Join clubs like Sigma Alpha Delta to meet new people and learn to work with others.”
Christiana loves her job but she aspires to become a lawyer someday. However, thinking about law school and working are not the only things that occupy her time and thoughts. She usually spends her free time listening to music, going to Broadway theaters, and watching movies.