Chrystina Herminiano

I'm a Toronto- based product designer focused on creating , simplifying , and filling in the blanks.

My Personal Journey

I would describe myself as a prairie girl chasing those big city dreams. I grew up in the small, big city of Winnipeg, MB. When I turned 18 and halfway through my first year of University, I went to Vancouver for a 2 week trip and never boarded my plane for my flight back home.

Vancouver had become home for me at the ripe, young age of 18. I took a few years off of school and decided to figure out what it was that I wanted to do with my life professionally and in the meantime I was well on track to being your typical west coaster.
I took up sleeping early and waking up at the crack of dawn to hike the mountains or kayak in the ocean. I even took it so far as to become a certified yoga teacher who also dabbled in freelance makeup artistry.

I was your typical west coaster but after almost 15 years of living on the beautiful west coast, I started to crave more. I felt restless and wanted more for myself but I just couldn't figure out what that more was. I was your typical millennial, just trying to find myself once again after I thought I had, it's a very frustrating experience, I'll give you that.

I did a lot of travelling and ended up in Toronto a lot, a really close friend of mine had made the move to the East and it was so intriguing to me. I loved New York and would visit often and the lure of the Canadian New York, otherwise known as Toronto started to call to me. So I sat down and did what I loved doing, and started to research and ask everyone I knew questions about the lifestyle, the job market, the people, the environment, and the weather. The more I spoke to people, the more I realized that I was starting to day dream about my life there and I knew that it was time to go.

So I packed up my belongings and travelled back East. This was in January 2018 and let me tell you, that was a cold winter, I was not prepared for it and you're right to judge me, the wool coats we use in the west coast did not cut it. I've been here for almost 2 years now and the city still excites me. I'm not going to lie and say that I don't miss the crisp, clean ocean air and the high altitudes of the mountains but Canada's New York is where the next part of my life journey is supposed to be taking place. It's a transformative time in my life, in every aspect and I've buckled up for the journey. You'll also be glad to note that I do now own a proper winter jacket so I can brave those epicly cold Canadian winters, what a time to be alive!

My Professional Journey

Now that we're a little closer, I'll tell you a little bit about my professional journey and how I ended up where I am now.
It all started back in I'd say 2007, when I attended Langara College for Accounting, I realized in year 2 that this was not the career for me, I could not follow what my asian mother wanted of me so I decided to head into Marketing. I did Marketing for 2 years at Langara but found that it was lacking when it came to what I was wanting to get out of the program. It was a fairly new program for them at the time so it was still in the baby stages.
I then decided at this point to attend Camosun College which was located in Victoria, BC. I moved there for 2 years and took Marketing Communications, by my second year though, I missed Vancouver and as fun as the ferry is the first couple of times, it's pretty annoying to do every other week.

I then switched my credits over to British Columbia Institute of Technology, otherwise known as BCIT. With the credits I had moved over from Langara and Camosun, I was only missing a couple in order to get the Communications Diploma, so I did the credits I needed and completed that right quick. I had started doing the Marketing Management Diploma and at that time heard that BCIT was going to be offering Bachelor's Degrees and that all I would need to do is take bridging courses. So I spent about 4 years at BCIT finishing my schooling but in the meantime, I was also working.

As most college/university students do, we work retail or other flexible part time gigs to pay our way through school. I did a lot of customer service jobs and worked as a telephone interviewer for a good portion of school. In my last year at BCIT I ended up landing a role at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management as a marketing assistant. I thought it was quite funny that I'm starting a role in finance when I had no interest in it at the beginning of my school career. I did learn a lot in that role and from the two advisors I worked with.

After I left that role, I went into the beauty industry and started freelancing and working at a makeup store. I was still in sales but I wanted to explore a different industry that allowed me some creative freedom. In this time, I had someone suggest I apply for one of our canadian airlines, I didn't think I'd get the job but they hired me and I've been with the company for 4 years now.

I did in that time get a day time job working at an organic skincare company, I did the account management for about half of our remote accounts who required an inside and outside sales person and I got to be that person for them.
I was in this role when Toronto started to call for me, I knew I couldn't transfer my job to the east because they didn't have offices and they didn't do remote so I sadly had to leave it behind. I don't regret the decision but the company was amazing, it's the type of company you leave and have nothing negative to say about it, it aligned with my morals and who I was as a person.
When I came to Toronto, I came with my airline job, I was able to transfer to the airport here and I decided to give myself a year to settle before I finally hunkered down and got serious about finding a sales or marketing job.

This brings me to where I am now....

Covid has hit and I was unfortunately laid off from my job, I had been to brainstation many times during my time in Vancouver, Quantum has wicked coffee. I took a few of the intro classes to get an idea of what I wanted to do, I actually dabbled in coding while I was at BCIT because it seemed interesting to me. It was while I was dabbling in coding that I realized, I actually am not a coder, I could not do development so I started asking my peers in the tech industry at that time what the other avenues in tech were.

Brainstation was always in my 5 year plan but what with the changes the world was experiencing, it fast tracked my 5 year plans to right now. So I did my research, I bought the things I needed and acquired all my documents and set up a call to apply.

That brings me to today, I'm finished my program, I'm interviewing and I'm super excited for what the world has to offer me, not only professionally but also personally.
I've made some huge pivots in my life but UX has taught me that there is no linear path, you'll always pivot for something that's a better fit and it's now not something I'm stressed about, this is just life and it's just part of this crazy thing we call life.