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Swedish in Seattle

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This alumna left all that was familiar to follow her dream in one of the country’s most vibrant cities.

by Donna Parker

Bianca Abate's strong sense of adventure led her to pack her Jeep and head west, leaving her childhood home far behind. Within no time, Bianca, who triple majored in Finance, Chinese, and Spanish graduated from Trinity in 2005 and found her new home in the Pacific Northwest. She landed a marketing gig, used Craigslist to find a roommate (who is now her best friend), and is now pursuing her passion for digital design for the largest healthcare provider in the Seattle.

"After graduating from Trinity and studying Chinese intensively in Taiwan, I moved back to San Antonio and knew it was time for a real job," laughs Bianca. "A marketing research firm in L.A. offered me a position, and although I just had an interview with the Seattle firm, I decided to just go for it and move there!"

After a couple of years in marketing research, she wanted to take her training to the next level and join a brand strategy consultancy where she helped clients like the City of Seattle, Mayo Clinic, and IBM. After consulting with several large healthcare clients and specializing in that area, Bianca was hired by Swedish Healthcare Services four months ago as a digital marketing specialist. 
"In this role, I'm re-thinking how we use technology to build new efficiencies. Swedish is ready to usher in the new digital era and it's an exciting time to work in the healthcare industry. I'm passionate about leveraging technology to help our patients be proactive about their health, and to learn how we can be a smarter health partner. I love everything about it."

It's pretty heady stuff for this recipient of the Presidential Scholarship at Trinity which honors distinguished graduating high school seniors. 

"None of this would have been possible without Trinity. I was able to go to China several times and experiment with a variety of courses that struck my interest."

"That's the value of a liberal arts education. I discovered new passions like biology and geology and honed my writing skills with a workshop I took at Trinity with Peter Balbert, department of English."

"Now, I'm just carrying forward the Trinity tradition of an interdisciplinary approach that became the stepping stone for my career path. To be successful, I have to tie together a variety of solutions from marketing research, brand strategy, web design, and more." 

Her parents always told her that anything could be possible if she set her mind to it, and Trinity was the first stepping stone that opened those doors of opportunity. "Stephen Field, department of modern languages and literatures, encouraged me to study abroad, and I traveled to both Hong Kong and Mainland China thanks to scholarships I received under his guidance. I would have never been able to experience Chinese culture firsthand without his help, and I am extremely grateful. I also studied finance to understand business as a whole. It didn't end up suiting my creative personality, but the marketing course I took with Charlene Davis, department of business administration inspired me to go that direction." Bianca says with enthusiasm. 

"Then again thanks to Dr. Field's encouragement, I received a scholarship from Taiwan's Ministry of Education to study Mandarin Chinese intensively for one year after I graduated in '05. So the adventure just continued." 

A dedicated community servant, Bianca reconnects with her Mexican heritage by volunteering with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Seattle and has helped found the Latino Mentoring Council.

"The concept of mentoring doesn't exist in Latin America," explains Bianca. "My group is focused on building grassroots community support so we can match at risk students with caring role models. I want to inspire young Hispanic girls to be successful. Education is the key."

Meanwhile, this creative go-getter never wastes a minute. She works in a high rise on the 15th floor and has a beautiful view from her Upper Queen Anne neighborhood at the top of a hill. She also co-produces RAWSTOCK, an indie film festival that features cutting-edge animation, politically incorrect comedy, and grindhouse cinema. Bianca describes the festival as "controlled chaos." 

"Short film is a compact way of putting forth something artistic and beautiful." Submissions can be sent to justin [at] rawstockmedia.com or mailed to RAWSTOCK Admissions attn: 297836th Ave South Seattle Wa. 98144. 

"Seattle is the perfect environment for me because there is so much to do here. I love hiking, snowboarding and enjoying nature. Plus, I really enjoy the rain and clouds after growing up in the heat and constant sunshine of San Antonio," she laughs. 

You may contact Bianca at:
Bianca.abate [at] gmail.com
• twitter.com/BiancaAbate