Christina works with clients to understand their needs from a talent selection and development perspective, and then partners with them to find and implement the right solutions.
Where did you grow up?
Eastern Kentucky–the land of basketball and bourbon.
Married? Children? Pets?
I married my high school sweetheart, Scott. We’ve been married for eight years and have a daughter, Paige. She is six going on 16. We also have a few cats who are enjoying lounging around in the sun during their senior years.
What led you into this field?
In college, I took a class in social statistics and really loved it. Seriously, who loves statistics? I did. I decided to major in psychology and became involved in research around personality assessments and gender-related stereotypes, which really fascinated me. When I finished my PhD, I started out in the field working on the clinical side of things, but realized that was something I did not want to do for the long-term. As a result, I made a move, and took a position in research and development that centered on identifying and developing assessment solutions in a way that people could really benefit. After a while, I decided to pursue a more forward-facing role and moved into I/O consulting. This area really allowed me to bring together my interest in understanding and predicting behavior and my passion for connecting with people.
What or who has influenced your career the most?
Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege to work with many wonderful people. During my undergraduate and graduate work, I was fortunate to work alongside and be mentored by some key figures in the personality and measurement field. They shaped how I viewed personality and human behavior, and were really instrumental in sending me down this career path.
As my career has progressed, I’ve created connections with some strong and successful women who have and will continue to remain in my network. They’ve been really inspiring, professionally and personally, helping me to find that ideal balance between work and home.
What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you find most challenging?
What I enjoy and what I find most challenging are one in the same. I really enjoy the variety of work and the different types of clients. It’s a dynamic field and constantly evolving, which is energizing and allows me to continue to learn and evolve professionally. I love to partner with clients to fully explore and understand their needs and develop a lasting solution that has the desired impact on their business.
What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?
You need to enjoy developing relationships with people. It’s important to quickly build trust and demonstrate your willingness to do what is in the best interest of the client. Strong communication skills are key. You should thrive on a fast-paced work environment, too.
What are some of your most significant career accomplishments?
Completing my PhD in Clinical Psychology–that was a big one. But small moments matter too. Everything from mentoring someone to developing a new assessment–it’s the culmination of those events that leads to an overall sense of accomplishment.
Tell me about an interesting problem you’ve faced in your role and how you dealt with it.
A client was undergoing a shift in strategy and was looking for help pointing their team in the right direction. First, we had to identify why the team was experiencing a challenge achieving their desired goals. We leveraged our assessment solutions to help identify how the team’s innate tendencies may lead them to struggle in certain areas. Next, we presented our findings at an aggregate level to the leadership and showed them how those tendencies might not line up with their existing strategy. We then identified what was needed to succeed in their evolving environment, and helped the team explore their strengths and areas for development to more effectively execute their strategy and achieve their business goals.
What are some of the industry-specific challenges you see for the future?
The overall workforce is shifting. The new generation of workers requires immediate feedback, quick engagement, and easy access to technology. As a result, I think talent development and engagement strategies will be even more critical going forward. It’s also important that talent acquisition and development work hand-in-hand to create great onboarding and hand-off when the individual is hired.
What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?
Be genuine. If you’re authentic in all that you do, people will want to work with you and trust you. It can be difficult to tell people what they don’t always want to hear, but I hope in the long run, they will understand and respect that I did what I thought was right.
What’s your most valuable professional tool?
My peers. I’m lucky to work with such a fun, experienced, talented, and great group of people. I really value our extensive collaboration process.
Passions? Hobbies? Interests outside of work?
I’m a big college basketball fan–go U of K! I bleed blue. I also love spinning (indoor cycling). I get so much energy from it. I’ve tried to get into outdoor cycling, but, let’s just say, you might want to stay away from me if you see me on the road. LOL.
What’s something no one knows about you?
My guilty pleasure is historical romance novels. One day, I’d like to write one.
Favorite TV show?
I’m impatient when it comes to TV, that’s why I love Netflix. My husband and I tend to take turns deciding which series to watch–right now it’s Arrow, a superhero show. This one was my husband’s pick.
If you could order anything for lunch at your desk, what would it be?
I’d have dessert for lunch–Bananas Foster from Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL.
You work hard, but personal time is important too. What’s been your best vacation spot ever? Why? Do you have a dream destination?
Sanibel Island, FL is a favorite. We’ve been there several times and have some great memories. I’d love to visit the coast of Spain. It’s such an incredibly diverse region.