Check out Christie’s company, The Perfect Circle
Listen as this Richmond native gives advice on starting your own business, all the way from the United Kingdom!
From soft pretzels at Macados to community management, Christie tells all!
How did you become a Community Manager?
That’s a big question that I’ll try to find a small answer to – I think since leaving Longwood (a very very long time ago) I’ve always found myself in roles that focused on the customer and their point of view. I was trying to bring their perspective into the organization in a variety of roles- from technical writing (which is where I started) to customer service. In technical writing, I was creating documentation for computer systems – so always thinking about the ‘end user’. For customer service it was anything from training to purebred marketing.
Every role that I’ve ever had (project management, product marketing) was all about trying to improve product for customer – which is what Community Management is all about.
So what’s it like? What do you do as a Senior Community Manager and President of your own company?
It’s incredibly exciting! There are a lot of benefits from running and managing your own consultancy company – job flexibility, picking up a project whenever you want- or you don’t have to! But for a workaholic like myself, the downsides are sometimes you do have downtime – and I don’t do well in downtime. I get bored easily, but that’s what I like about consultancy – I’m working with a brand new client, brand new set of challenges each time I begin.
To run your own business you have to be an expert in multiple areas, but most importantly to be adaptable.
How did your time at Longwood impact your career? What is one important lesson that carried over?
Longwood taught me how take a whole slew of passions (or more plainly, skill sets) and combine them into a singular role – or create a role for myself. At Longwood I gained my footing and figured out who I was, and what I was good at doing. I had lots of encouragement from faculty and it was critical to my experience. They had such a nurturing presence – if you missed two classes in a row, you’d get a call!
At Longwood, I had opportunities I would not have gotten from a larger school – to develop my skills, leadership roles, joining Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and joining many councils on campus – all while I was working at Macado’s!
The most important lesson I learned at Longwood is that I could be flexible, adaptable, and I could get it all done – as long as I concentrated and worked hard.
Are you proud of your RVA roots like Christie?