Spotlight on Society Staffer: Maria Sanjuanelo
By B. Pasapane on Apr/20/2015
Maria Sanjuanelo joined the Society in April 2008 as a member of the chapter at University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn. From 2010 through 2011 she served as Chapter President, and then joined our National Office team in January 2012, where she has held several positions in various departments. Maria’s current role is the Internship Recruitment Manager /HR Associate.
We are proud to introduce you to another Society Staffer!
Maria, tell us a little about yourself.
I hate shopping. It’s the worst thing ever. Those who really know me know that’s the biggest lie in America. I actually think I’m addicted to shopping and have a problem…
Seriously though, I’m very passionate about everything I do, and I love helping anywhere I can. I’m the type of person who doesn’t stop until the job is done. I love working with people and as the Intern Recruitment Manager, I get to do what I love every single day! It’s pretty awesome working and talking with all of the thousands of applicants who want to start chapters of The National Society of Leadership and Success at their schools. It’s incredible to be able to witness the growth of the candidates from the very start of going through the vigorous interviews to ultimately starting their own chapters. You see it from start to finish, and it is truly a satisfying feeling.
You were not only a member of the Society before you started working here, but you were also the former President of the Society Chapter at University of Hartford. What is your most unforgettable memory of being a student president and what advice would you give to our current members?
Induction ceremonies were always my favorite. Being a part of something so important for our members and their parents is something quite special.
My advice for current members is to always have a running SNT goal, whether it be personally or in a group. Never let yourself get to a point where you’re not working towards something. Always strive for more!
How did your work/time at Hartford help you with what you do at the Society today?
I’ve always been an organized person, but being a Bio/Pre-Med major at UHart forced me to excel and master the art of organization. I’m grateful for all of my experiences and lessons during my time there because they have helped mold me into the person/professional I am today. I couldn’t be more proud to say I work for the National Office of The National Society of Leadership and Success – an organization that exactly seven years ago from this May was merely something else I was getting inducted for and could add to my resume.
What are you like outside of work?
I know I’m pretty calm at work, but I’m actually a very outspoken and outgoing individual outside of work. I love getting a good workout in when I can; I love blasting my music and pretending I’m some type of celebrity singer while I clean around the house - should I be embarrassed I’m admitting that? Also, I am still obsessed with Gilmore Girls and Fresh Prince; and I love travelling!
What song do you put on when you need to focus or get in the zone and why?
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun. I honestly don’t know why.
Backstreet Boys or NSYNC?
NSYNC - duh.
If you were an animal what kind would you be and why?
Cheetah. The cheetah is regal and intelligent but fast, swift, and ferocious all at the same time.
When you were young what did you dream of being when you grew up?
My dream was to become a doctor because I always had a passion for working with people and helping them. I always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I didn’t become a doctor because as I grew up, I realized that it wasn’t my true passion. However, my dream has definitely come true because working at The National Society of Leadership and Success allows me to do what I love most every single day, and that’s working with people and helping them in their own personal journeys of becoming “leaders who make a better world.”
If you could get on a plane tomorrow and travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
The answer to this changes daily, but if I could go anywhere tomorrow, it would probably be Italy. I’d love to go to Milan and shop at all the stores and boutiques.
What is your all-time favorite quote?
I have three; I can’t really decide which my ultimate favorite is. My first is from the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
My second and third favorite quotes are by Coco Chanel.
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
“Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.”
If your life could be based off of a movie or TV show what show would it be and why?
Gilmore Girls. I love the mother-daughter relationship that exists between Lorelai and Rory.
Maria, it was great speaking with you today, and we’re happy to share your story with our members.
Thank you for sharing!