Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alumni Q&A: Christina Savage of iSupportU

This week’s blog was written by Parker Livingston, a sophomore economics major at CU-Boulder.

Christina Savage is a CU Journalism alumna currently employed by iSupportU, an IT start-up here in Boulder. She helps her clients increase efficiency and move their business ideas along. Christina took the time to answer a few questions for us about her day-to-day responsibilities at iSupportU. She also reflected on how her experiences at CU, specifically with Career Services, helped her along her path. 

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A: I moved to Boulder 10 years ago from the Philadelphia suburbs to attend college at CU-Boulder. I am still just as in love with Boulder now as I was when I first visited campus. I graduated in May 2005 with a degree in journalism and a minor in women's studies. I now own a condo in Gunbarrel and have a three-year-old son named Aidan. I volunteer on the board of Boulder 2140, and I am also the co-chair of their Marketing Committee. I help lead a team to organize and market events that inspire young professionals through philanthropy, networking, and professional development. I dig cooking, electronic music, technology and taking weekend trips to the mountains.

Q: How did you get into the line of work you’re in? What inspired you to pursue this?
A: I have worked with small businesses and organizations since I graduated college. In college, I worked with the Women's Resource Center as media relations coordinator, and I also helped to plan two annual International Women's Week conferences. This got me interested in organizational logistics and marketing, which is what led me to my current position. I really enjoy the energy and creativity that exists within small business, and it has always been exciting to me to help build something from the ground up.

Q: Did past internships help prepare you for this job? How and which ones?
A: Internship experience was a crucial step along my career path. I had three internships in public relations and marketing right out of college. Two of these were with the City of Boulder and one was with a local startup. These positions taught me the skills I needed to succeed in the business world and also gave me enough freedom to "own" my projects. I finally felt like a permanent employee with valuable input.

Q: How did you find your current position with iSupportU?

A: I found my job through networking, another great skill I would recommend honing. I was a client of iSupportU for a year-and-a-half before a position opened up that fit my skill set. The founder and CEO of iSupportU then recruited me for my job, and I joined their team.
Q: What’s your official title iSupportU and what is your role there?

A: My official title is Network Navigator. I do account management, project management and oversee marketing. It may seem like a lot, but that’s how small businesses work and I've always been one to wear many hats. The best part about my job is seeing the progress our team makes in learning to work more efficiently, which results in less stress and happy clients.
Q: What advice do you have for CU students and alumni that are job-hunting right now?
A: I felt like I had a lot of job options right out of college in 2005, but the current economic situation is difficult for some job seekers. However, I would say that the most important thing is to do what you love. It doesn't have to be perfect, but find something that you're passionate about and that you're interested in. I've also found that enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn will take you further than you could ever imagine. Also, develop real relationships with people; care about people you work with and about your mentors. Be genuine.

For those who are still in college, make sure to enjoy the time you have. College is such a unique time that you'll never get back...it's the only time where you'll have virtually no responsibility to anyone but yourself. There's so much flexibility and freedom that can come with it, so enjoy every minute!