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YPN’s “One To Watch”: Celine Francisco

Celine Francisco Portrait

Each quarter, the FMWF Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network selects one of its members as its “One to Watch.” The award is peer-nominated, and the winner is featured in Fargo INC! and the Chamber’s monthly newsletter, The Bridge.

Q&A

Tell us about your involvement in YPN. What do you like about it the most?

I became a member of the Chamber’s Young Professional Network in 2017. It wasn’t long after I decided to become more involved and joined the Professional Development Committee. In early 2018, I was nominated as Vice-Chair. Presently, I serve as Professional Development Committee Chair with Vice-Chair Jenni Peters. 

Our committee focuses on providing young professionals with learning opportunities and resources that will help them achieve success in their chosen profession. We coordinate events to include early morning networking (Morning Buzz), chances to hear community members share their path to leadership (Lattes with Leaders), and various skill-based courses. As a Committee Chair, I also serve on the YPN Leadership Committee.

I enjoy YPN as it offers exposure to new opportunities to develop and grow with an amazing community of young professionals. The relationships I’ve built, passion I’ve seen and support I’ve received through YPN inspires me to be involved with this great organization.

What organizations, along with the YPN, are you involved with that help you grow professionally?

In addition to the YPN Professional Development Committee and Leadership Committee, I’m involved with NDSU’s Business Connections mentoring program. I have participated as a mentor to college students in the program for the past two years. This opportunity has provided me the experience to understand how to become a stronger “mentee” as well as share my learnings and best practices with students in making the transition from college to career. Being a part of Business Connections has been extremely fulfilling and I would encourage others to learn more about how they can get involved with this program.

For other aspiring young professionals, what advice do you have for them?

A combination of what I have been told and what I would tell others:

  • Don’t let fear hold you back. Trust your gut, take a risk and learn from your mistakes.
  • Be curious. Learn something new every day. Continually improve and find a mentor!
  • Be positive. It’s contagious and people will notice
  • Be flexible. Have goals and also be open to new ideas and opportunities 

Briefly tell us about the journey that brought you to where you are now.

In August 2016, as a junior at NDSU, I started my career with Wells Fargo as a Business Banking Intern. Upon successful completion of my internship, I returned to NDSU for my senior year and graduated with a Finance degree in May 2017.

In July 2017, I returned to Wells Fargo to begin a two-year Business Banking Credit and Relationship training program. This role was a combination of credit underwriting and relationship building. I had the opportunity to analyze complex credit requests and meet remarkable business owners and community members in the Fargo-Moorhead Area. 

In June, I graduated from my training program and was promoted to a Business Relationship Manager. I’m excited to keep learning and continue to get to know and help individuals in our community achieve their financial goals.

Do you have any favorite business books, podcasts, magazines, etc. that have helped you learn along the way?

To date, in no particular order, some of my favorite books that have helped me learn and develop professionally include:

  • “Winning” by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch
  • “Ego Is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday
  • “Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders” by Lindsey Pollak
  • “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will” to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Is there anybody in the community you want to thank?

There are many individuals who have positively influenced my life, including family, friends, mentors and peers. They continue to inspire me to become the best version of myself and push me to achieve my goals. 

Specifically, I would like to thank Stacey Ackerman. Stacey has been a mentor of mine since I first began my career at Wells Fargo and we continue to meet to this day. Thank you for your leadership and sharing your time to listen, providing feedback and helping build my confidence. It would be impossible to count all the ways you’ve helped me in my career. Thank you so much for what you have done and continue to do, Stacey! 

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