Written by: Kylie Wilson
As a continuation of our “Women of Chegg” mini-series, we chose to interview Christina Lee, Chegg’s VP of marketing. We interviewed her to learn about where she started her career, some of the personal struggles she’s encountered, and what tips and tricks she has for other women in business.
“Assume nothing. By not assuming, everything and anything works for you versus against you.” – Christina Lee
What does your current job involve? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Understanding what college students need, especially when it relates to helping them get into school, get through school, and find a job once they get out of school. Essentially, my job is to connect them to Chegg, which makes their job as a student easier. It’s win for Chegg and a win for students.
Every day I get a feel for how we are performing from a business front and work with all the teams to help them solve the problems. However, problems vary all the time. Some days we don’t have enough people to get a job done, or things don’t perform the way we expect them to. I have to figure out what’s causing the problem and continually support my teams to help them be successful.
What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
After college, I went overseas to Hong Kong to work for a real estate company doing the marketing for their offices. Eventually, I got more into the tech side of business because the Internet was beginning to boom. I saw this as an opportunity to get into technology, so I decided to create a website for the company even though it wasn’t part of my job. I was able to combine my marketing skills with my new-found interest in tech.
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
I believe you should know really well what you do inside and out to master a job. My mistake is I wish I learned the technical side of things earlier in my life. Eventually I learned about coding, media, and tech, but it was after my career had already started. I wish I had had exposure to tech earlier to help me solve problems better and earlier.
What’s one important piece of advice for young women entering the business force?
Assume nothing. Don’t assume you are being discriminated against because it can keep you from speaking up. Just think about what you bring to the table, what makes you the best fit, and prepare for a job earlier to become the most valuable person for it. If you have an interest then learn about it. Don’t do it last minute.
Have you ever had to deal with sexism as a woman in the business world? If so, how did you deal with it?
As a leader that works in tech a lot, many times I am the only female in the room. I don’t let discrimination impact how I think, so I don’t find it a problem for me to speak up. By not assuming, everything and anything works for you versus against you.
What’s something women can do to get ahead before their getting first job in a business environment?
Look into technology. Even if you don’t code, you’ll understand what engineers care about and inside out what matters. Knowing the backbone of coding gives you a better appreciation of what people bring to the table. Therefore, your ability to support and communicate with tech teams is heightened. Your overall communication and decision-making skills will be improved, which helps immensely in your career.
Ending Note from herNetwork:
At first glance, you may not think marketing involves code. Even if coding isn’t your thing (it certainly isn’t mine), understanding what goes into creating a program and the basics of how it is done is extremely beneficial. You don’t even have to be a coding expert. Beginner’s courses and languages are the perfect place to start. And what’s so cool about tech is that it’s so accessible. The Internet allows you to learn things online, like coding, so there are virtually no barriers. There are many entry paths through the Internet, but your success depends on whether you are willing to invest your time in it. Don’t let anything hold you back because you have such a great tool to utilize.