Saints Spotlight: Christine Brenner '15
I loved Irina and Jeff's classes ... I felt like an adult did more than just hear what I had to say, but actively listen and engage with it. It made me more invested in my education.
- Christine Brenner '15
- Class of 2015
Saints meet alumna, Christine Brenner, nee Towey. Christine earned her bachelor's degree in communication studies and is now the marketing manager at Scratch and Peck Feeds in Burlington, WA. She answered some questions about how her time at Saint Martin's University helped prepare her for a career in marketing and communications.
Pronouns: she/her | Hometown: Edmonds, WA | Class of 2015
What clubs/organizations were you involved with during your time at Saint Martin's?
I was involved with various extracurricular activities during my time at Saint Martin's. These activities included being an active member of the Circle K club and Commuter club. I also completed an internship with the athletics communications department and was a cheerleader for a year along with running for the track and field team. In addition to my involvement with clubs and athletics, I worked on the SMU social squad in the marketing and communications department.
Where do you currently work and what responsibilities do you have in your position?
I currently work as the marketing manager at Scratch and Peck Feeds. I manage all business-to-consumer communications. This can range from our social media strategy to SEO and PPC ads. I work with a variety of vendors to meet these business needs and analyze our strategy ongoing to see if we need to pivot. This position includes reporting to the owner of the company and CEO on all of our marketing activities. Our company is about more than just feeding animals. We partner with regional farmers that practice organic, regenerative agricultural practices. We're actively investing in the future of not only feed but our earth. We utilize "grubs" as a source of protein in our organic, Non-GMO feed. These grubs are fed pre-consumer food waste, meaning they divert hundreds of thousands of pounds away from landfills every year and are a sustainable food source for the future. Part of my job is to convey to these customers and get them on board with the idea of insects being a food source.
What did you enjoy most about your Saints experience?
I most enjoyed the atmosphere and community I found at Saint Martin's. From track practice to eating lunch, you could pass friends at any moment. This included professors as well. A fun fact was that Professor Jeff Birkenstein was my neighbor during my junior and senior years of college! I lived off-campus and I always looked forward to seeing him around the neighborhood. At Saint Martin's, I was treated as an equal and given the opportunity to form opinions and insights on the world as I grew into an adult. Having the monastic community present was another highlight as it made a lot of aspects about the religious side more accessible and understandable to me. I loved Irina and Jeff's classes as they were so personable and genuinely interested in what we had to say. It was one of the first times I felt like an adult did more than just hear what I had to say, but actively listen and engage with it. It made me more invested in my education and how I could grow not only in school but as a person. It was delightful to grow these relationships beyond just being a student throughout the years to becoming a cherished friend. I have the utmost gratitude for Irina for what she did with the creation of the communication program.
How has your time at Saint Martin's helped you in your career?
The opportunity I had to work in the marketing and communications department at Saint Martin's while also attending college put me leaps and bounds ahead when I graduated. I was able to enter the workforce with not only a degree but hands-on experience I was able to translate into a position right away. The combination of this experience and the writing style I developed was applicable to many positions and allowed me to interview for a variety of industries.
Who influenced you the most at Saint Martin's?
Irina influenced me the most during my time at the school. She gave me the space and freedom to explore what I wanted while also making sure it was in the best interest of my learning and future. The classes I took from her taught me to dig deeper into stories and how to convey them. From journalism classes to film reviews I took them all!
What advice would you give to a new student?
The advice I would give to new students is to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. There are so many different ways to apply what you do in college to a real-world job and now is the time to start forming those skills. I was just interviewing people for a new position in our marketing department and those who were just graduating college but had taken on internships or part-time jobs in marketing departments definitely got interviews. Now is the time to explore and see what piques your interest!
When you describe Saint Martin's University to those who are unfamiliar with it, how do you describe it?
When I describe Saint Martin's to those who have not heard of it before I describe a small campus in a beautiful setting. I describe classes being taught by monks and hours spent laughing by the fire in Harned hall between classes. I talk about the late-night runs to the Parsons store or the cheers you could hear from the softball field from your dorm. I describe it as the best place for me to grow from a teenager into an adult before entering into my next chapter. I describe it as a feeling I will always carry with me in my heart.
Ready to turn your passion for digital media, journalism and film into a career in which you can impact the world and make a difference in your communities? Communication studies may be the best major for you.
- Main (Lacey)
- Type of Instruction
- In Person
- Bachelor of Arts