Written by Alessia Guidi
Christine Jamieson began her post secondary journey in Creative Writing at Capilano University. In her third year, she transferred to SFU where she graduated in December 2015 with a major in Communications with a focus on political theory.
Christine made the most of her time at SFU through her involvement in multiple clubs. She was one of the founding members of Hi-Five, the President of Kappa Beta Gamma Sorority, and Chair of Greek Council. Being involved in so many different things made her a well-rounded and well-equipped for graduation.
Upon graduation, Christine was hired as head of International Marketing and Communications for Clean Energy Compression in Chilliwack. This past July, she took the next step and started her own business. She credits her success to the community support she received during and after her time at SFU.
What have you been up to since graduation?
In January 2016 I was hired by Clean Energy Compression as head of International Marketing and Communications, a job which I had moved to Abbotsford for. In the role, I am in charge of all marketing items including website, social media, brochures, events, and trade shows for CEC. This past July, I started my own marketing business doing website design, logos, social media management, and collateral.
I believe in saying yes to opportunities, working hard, and taking chances. I work very hard and focus on the goals that I have and because of this I’ve been able to achieve every goal I set.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I still hold my position at Clean Energy. I work in the office from 5am-3pm Monday-Friday. After that, I spend approximately 4 hours a day working on my own business. The key to upkeep in this lifestyle is balance and time management. I always make sure to leave time for things I love to do – such as spending time with my friends, boyfriend, going to the gym, and spending time at the barn with my horse.
What is your favourite aspect of being the head of International Marketing and Communications?
Being able to consistently keep learning. When I first started this job I considered myself super under qualified and kept asking myself ‘how did I get this job?’. After a few months I had worked hard enough and taught myself all the skills I needed to succeed. I love being able to go into the office and learn something new every single day.
What is the most interesting project/task you have worked on?
I am really lucky that I’m able to travel with my job. I’ve gotten to go to trade shows all across Canada and the United States. In January I’m heading on a trip to visit our Channel Partners across the world.
What made you want start your own business?
It just sort of happened! I had started creating websites for a few friends who were running small businesses. From there they would refer me to other people, who would refer me to other people. Before the end of my first month I had more business than I could handle! I love being able to control my own success – I do well at my job based on my performance, nothing else.
Did you run into any challenges and if so how did you overcome them?
(Laughs) So many! When I first started my own business I had no idea what I was doing. I had to research how to get my own business licence and how to deal with finance. For the first few months I had been focused on the creative part and instead of the backbones of my business. It took me a while to figure out all the little things like how to keep track of finances, what tax write offs were, and how to create a CRM for my clients.
Not fully related to my business but I thought this is important to include. The biggest challenge I face in my life right now is learning how to be okay with things not being perfect. I am a huge perfectionist. I am consistently working to make sure everything is perfect. We live in a world of social media – where no one posts their flaws and everyone’s online life is great. It’s not reality. I think it’s really important to remember that. I have so many people tell me how great of a job I’m doing. Yes, I am successful and love my life! However, I haven’t done laundry in 3 weeks and my apartment a mess as it is filled with photoshoot props and equipment.
What’s your favourite part of having your own business?
Having full control over my job! I love having the option of being able to work at 3 in the morning or 10 at night. I can work in coffee shops and bars and there is no judgement or rules I’m breaking. I love being able to talk with local small businesses and come up with a full plan for their marketing.
What excites you most about the future?
Everything! There are still so many possible things for me to achieve. I look forward to being able to grow my company.
What would you urge current students to do before they graduate university?
Work! Getting a job before you graduate makes you much more appealing to employers after. Volunteer, make yourself well rounded.
But, most of all- believe in yourself. You don’t need to know what you’re going to do.
Do you have a personal motto and if so what is it?
‘We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decision, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. We need to understand failure isn’t the opposite of success- it’s a part of it.’