October 17, 2012 | Borough of Manhattan Community College
“I started before my sister did, and I kind of knew the ropes at BMCC, so when she came here, I was like ‘Little Mother Hen’ over her,” says Francisca Campos, BMCC alumna and Deputy Chair of the college’s Business Management department.
She’s talking about Guadalupe Campos; a faculty member in the same department, a graduate of BMCC—and the similarities do not end there.
Both women earned an Associate in Applied Science at BMCC in what was then “Secretarial Science,” Francisca explains, and is now known as “Office Operations and Office Automation.”
Both went on to earn a Bachelor in Business Administration at Baruch College, then a Masters in Education at Baruch, with a concentration in Higher Education Administration.
“I think we mirrored each other’s career paths because we get along so well,” says Guadalupe. “We’re friends, in addition to being sisters. We value each other’s advice.”
Francisca’s path eventually did diverge from her sister’s, in that she earned a second master’s degree in science with a concentration in instructional technology, at Long Island University.
Another difference between the two, Francisca says, is that Guadalupe “is a little bit more detail oriented, while I’m more laid back. I’ll examine the steps I’m taking, so I’ll take what seems to be a slower pace—and that’s where she has helped, because she will be the one pushing me, saying ‘You can do that’, ‘You can set those goals’.”
Guadalupe agrees. “My sister has a lot of potential,” she says, “but she sometimes needs a little nudging. I believe she can do certain things that she restricts herself from, and I will push her as far as I think she can go—I will also be there to support her when she puts her foot down and says, ‘No’, she doesn’t want to go any further.”
Likewise, with a sister’s candor, Francisca shares this observation about Guadalupe:
“From what I can see in family life and also in the professional arena, when she has her mind set on how to do things, or when she feels that if she doesn’t do it, it’s not going to get done the right way—which is her way—I oftentimes feel that she shouldn’t carry a hundred percent of that weight, so I will talk argue with her about that.”
Drawing the line
The Campos family moved from Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to New York City, says Francisca, “when I was six years old, and Guadalupe was about to turn five. We first lived in the downtown Brooklyn area. From there we moved to Borough Park, and now we’re living in Dyker Heights.”
The family—Guadalupe and her husband and children; Francisca, and their parents—shares a multi-family building and has “maintained staying together, to my mother’s pleasure,” says Francisca.
When asked what they do for fun, Guadalupe, the working mom shoots back, “What’s that?” and Francisca adds, “Well, ‘fun time’ for us was always being together as the kids grew up; Mom and Dad always there as the grandparents and of course me being the ‘auntie’. For us, fun time is spending time with the family.”
Nothing, apparently, spoils that fun—not even the fact that one sister is Deputy Chair of the department the other teaches in.
“We know where to draw the line,” says Guadalupe. “We’re not always perfect, but we find that we can work together and draw that line. I respond whenever she needs something, because the work needs to get done, and we do it because we enjoy it.”