Peter Tousignant 1990

Headshot (1)

Name: Peter Tousignant

Year of graduation: 1990

Life post graduation: I have worked in several consulting organizations providing technology and business leadership to complex, enterprise wide business applications.  My success has depended on my ability to understand the marriage between technology and business, to adapt to evolving requirements, and to be able to articulate both technical and business requirements to personnel at all levels of an organization – associates to C-level employees.

Why do you believe it is important to complete and IQP abroad?

When I traveled abroad, the Berlin Wall was still standing, and Europe’s borders were not as open as they are today.  Traveling abroad while in college affords students the opportunity to develop their own, larger perspective on the world, both socially and professionally.  While you are adapting to a different culture, you are also getting to know yourself better than you possibly could by remaining in a domestic setting.  College should be fun and educational; living abroad with a specific goal of completing a project in a compact time period satisfies both of these goals.  The maturity I gained during 8 weeks in London and 3 weeks in Europe were the most fruitful 3 months of my life to that point.

What is the most valuable takeaway from your IQP in London?

The most valuable takeaway from completing my IQP in London was a level of confidence I lacked prior.  Our hosts at the IEE were tremendous, and the advisors we had from both WPI and London held us to the highest standards but positioned us to be successful.  As a 19-year old, living abroad, the level of independence and confidence that I developed as a person and as a student were unmatched by any other experience I had at WPI.
Why would you recommend the London Project Center to students applying abroad for IQP?

London is an amazing city, and an important city, perhaps more than I understood when I first arrived.  Don’t be fooled that just because English is the primary language that it will be less of an experience.  If you like history, art, culture, finance, technology… you will have unlimited opportunities to pursue these interests.  Plan for extra time to visit other cities after your stay.  I didn’t visit Ireland, though some of my teammates did.  I opted to travel through Europe by train for 2-3 weeks afterward and that magnified my experience 100-fold.  Having in interest in your project is also important, but put in the effort to make it a success, both in preparation and execution – You won’t regret it.

How did completing your IQP in London open new doors for you academically and professionally?

I have represented various companies for which I’ve worked in international settings including Jamaica, Mexico, Canada, Singapore and France.  Being able to reference prior experience was helpful in establishing confidence and credibility with my management.

What was your favorite aspect of your IQP experience in London?

I enjoyed living with my flatmates and meeting all kinds of interesting people while I was there.  I remember one off-licence (liquor store) owner giving us a bottle of wine to enjoy in his shop on July 4th.  How ironic.  We lived in the same neighborhood as Sting, and enjoyed weekend outings to Hyde Park and others where we watched cricket.  I was on a pauper’s budget, and I lost 17 lbs, partly because I ate a simple diet.

What was the most interesting place in London you visited?

Don’t miss the fish & chips shops, especially the one outside of the Camden Town station.  I enjoyed riding the Tube everyday, and this experience gave me the muse and material to write a play for my humanities sufficiency in the term immediately following my IQP.  As one of the first teams to go to London, we were there during the summer.  I remember taking a trip by myself to Greenwich on a Sunday, which included buses, trains and walking.  The most interesting place is wherever you happen to be that day.  The pubs are the best.