Entrepreneurship Pupil Finds Area of interest within the Enterprise of Excellence

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By Anna Paladini

Growing up in a single parent household, Christine Levine did not always have an easy childhood, but she was full of love and encouragement from her father and family.

Following the mantra “You can do anything you want if you try hard enough”, the business major, who focuses her studies on entrepreneurship, has built an impressive portfolio of experiences and successes during her bachelor’s career. As she prepares to get her bachelor’s degree later this year, the Santa Clara native still wonders how she found a niche in the state of Chico that allows her both in and outside of her classes Curriculum to be successful.

However, when Levine first applied to college, he had no intention of becoming a wildcat.

“I was determined to go to UC Santa Cruz,” she said. “I was put on the waiting list but I missed my chance to go somewhere because I was so sure I would get on.”

While disappointed, it took her a year to explore her options. Levine worked in a yogurt shop and practiced in a women-owned company. He was introduced to the business world and how any dream can become a reality.

“I was really influenced by the idea that you can do anything you want and when you are successful you can do that as your daily job,” she said.

When she first started looking at business as a potential major, Levine often spent days off visiting her sophomore boyfriend in Chico state and decided to apply.

“I had learned to really like the campus and the way Chico was feeling,” said Levine. “When I got my approval for Chico, it kind of clicked and I was like, ‘You know, this is where I should go.'”

She enrolled in the fall of 2016 and began earning a reputation for her hard work and talents. In her freshman year, she spent two semesters at the student-run newspaper The Orion, where she was recognized as an editor and quickly promoted to calendar editor. There she found events in Chico and worked with organizers to promote them. Levine also worked for the Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC), where she started as a receptionist and progressed to become program manager and administrative assistant to the assistant director to gain hands-on experience in her major.

“I need to process check requests, some of the financials, and see how serious it is in the backend,” she said. “It was a really great experience because I learned to work with others, including friends, to be really organized and learn to prepare for success.”

Levine’s independence, ability, and cheerfulness were a huge asset, said Nancy Mantle, associate director at Associated Students. Just like in Orion, she was often the first choice when needed.

“She mastered tasks very quickly,” said Mantle. “We always want to support the students as mentors so that they can learn something new and move on from there. It happens pretty organically when it needs to, but sometimes you suddenly think, “Christy can take care of it. Christy is the one. ‘”

Other employees were impressed with the care they put into their work. Brooke McCall, WREC program coordinator, shared that Levine was always three steps ahead of her when planning events and planning shifts, and that her laugh was always so heartwarming.

“She made an impact through her actions and work,” said McCall. “Everything she did for us has touched people and made their lives better.”

In autumn 2020 Levine took first place in the Elevator Pitch competition of the Center for Entrepreneurship and second place in the Seed Innovation Challenge.

Levine, who has been on the College of Business deans list for six out of nine academic semesters and has won or placed in multiple entrepreneurship competitions, however, doesn’t think her experiences make her more outstanding than her peers. For much of her life, she has struggled with anxiety, self-doubt, and depression, leaving her feeling that every accomplishment was not good enough.

“I’ve always tried my best to be the best that I can be because I feel like I will never be there,” she said. “I just want to prove myself wrong. To prove that I deserve it, that I’m capable of all this stuff … and to be able to say, “Hey, I, I’ve done all of these things. Isn’t that an achievement? ‘”

This self-drive has impressed her faculty, especially with Levine’s proactive approach to virtual learning.

“She is the kind of student you dream of,” said Professor Eva Shepard-Nicoll. “She would reach for one-on-one interviews. She would not ask me to give her the answer, she would ask for guidance. … It is one thing to take feedback; there is another to react to the point where you feel that you are outstanding. “

And she exceeded it. Since 2018, Levine has taught fellow students, volunteered to campaign for the 2016 and 2020 elections, and developed several award-winning business ideas, including relief plans for forest fire victims in California.

“I want to go and know that I really took advantage of every opportunity I had,” said Levine. “And that I deserve it.”

Anna Paladini (Journalism, ’16) is the Marketing Manager for the Associated Students.