With two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees, Tricia Seguine is no stranger to learning. From her beginning at the School of Accountancy in the BYU Marriott School of Business, she’s learned that she can use her unique educational blend from multiple degrees to make a positive impact.
Seguine grew up in Southern California where she spent much of her free time reading. “My love for reading sparked my love for learning,” she says.
Seguine’s father, a finance executive, helped her gain a love for organization and problem solving. “I saw what my dad did, and I think I subconsciously adopted some of the ways he lived his life. I gained an appreciation for accounting because of my dad,” she says.
When Seguine arrived at Brigham Young University, she chose to study accounting. “I learned how to research. I learned how to learn. And I learned how to work with groups really well,” Seguine says. “Those skills have definitely proved to be something that I have used over and over again.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in accounting in 1998, Seguine planned to spend the first five years of her career in an accounting position. But then she felt inspired to temporarily set aside her career. “It’s just funny how God has different plans,” she explains. “My husband and I decided to start our family earlier.”
In 2005 when her family was living near New York City, she enrolled in classes at Rutgers University to earn a master’s degree in library science. “Reading is one of my absolute favorite hobbies, and getting another degree felt like the right route for me,” Seguine says. “I always dreamt about becoming a librarian, but I didn’t pursue the career because it just didn’t seem like the right time.”
Although Seguine never worked as a librarian, her second master’s degree directly influenced the way she taught her children. “I homeschooled my kids, and I used a lot of the skills I learned about research and education,” Seguine says.
Years later, Seguine saw the opportunity to apply these research and project management skills to something else she loved—family history. “My kids were getting older, and I had always been interested in genealogy,” Seguine says. “I’d had a lot of experience researching my ancestors, and I felt like genealogy was something I could enjoy longer term."
Seguine needed to figure out if she wanted to pursue a professional career in genealogy. Since she had already earned degrees in accounting and library studies, she took the decision seriously. “I took a leap of faith and enrolled in BYU–Idaho's online genealogy program,” she says.
She earned certificates in family research history and took three more classes to earn a bachelor’s degree in professional studies from BYU–I. Seguine’s credits from her accounting degree were applied toward her degree in professional studies, completing the requirements for the major.
After earning this fourth degree, Seguine interviewed at FamilySearch. They offered her a job, and she began working on the 1950 census project. “All of the past skills I gained helped me perform well and enjoy this job,” Seguine says. She applies her research, writing, and problem-solving skills to her new position where she explores the ancestries of people connected to early church history. “I thought I would be doing accounting my whole life” she says. “If you told me that this is what I'd be doing, I never would have believed you.”
Now Seguine works as a research consultant for the chief genealogist in the Family History Department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I provide research support for Joseph the Prophet, the biography for the Prophet Joseph Smith,” she says. Additionally, she conducts biographical research for the Joseph Smith Legal Papers, and, come January 1, she will begin a two-year term serving as the treasurer for the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Even though Seguine’s journey veered from her original plan to be an accountant, she always utilized the skills she gained and consistently found ways to help others. “Whatever you do, there is probably some way that you can use your skills to serve other people,” Seguine says. “Heavenly Father takes whatever you have learned and he uses it for your good, even if it’s in a way that you don’t expect.”
Written by Jake Holt