Alumna reflects on path toward entrepreneurship

Photo by Bree Davis.

Walter Chidozie Anyanwu, Contributing Writer

From working with top marketing agencies in Richmond to starting her own public relations and marketing agency, VCU alumna Christina Dick has been on the rise since graduation. Now, she works as an adjunct professor in the Robertson School of Media and Culture.

Dick attended VCU from 2006 to 2010, studying strategic advertising at the School of Mass Communications, which is now the Robertson School of Media and Culture. She worked at a Richmond ad agency, the Martin Agency, for three years right after graduation.

Although her job at the Martin Agency was primarily focused on purchasing broadcast media, she ventured outside of that field and began getting involved in the community to learn other skills. The payoff came shortly after, when she started working in social media.

“[All of] that kind of led to a new position when we started to develop a social media department at the Martin Agency,” Dick said.

Shortly afterward, she found herself at Capital One, working in social media there as well.

Today, Dick runs Tiramisu for Breakfast, her own social media marketing agency. In between working at Capital One and launching her agency, she also spent time at Big River Advertising and recruiting firm Aquent, honing her skills.  

“Throughout [that] time I had kind of thought about starting my own [company],” she said, “but I wasn’t sure, or I guess confident enough about it.”

Tiramisu for Breakfast started as a small blog about fashion and beauty. It grew beyond that when Dick decided to weave her marketing expertise into the website. She took on clients and rapidly saw her blog turn into something completely different.

“This local beauty company reached out and wanted to work with me, so I took them on as a freelance client,” Dick said. “I had them throughout my time working at Big River. So I did some recruiting for a while [and] kept up the blog … Everything kind of just grew from there.”

Originally from Gloucester County, Virginia, Dick had all the hallmarks of someone who grew up in a small town. She longed to live in a city, and when the time came to apply to colleges, she only applied to VCU.

“I really wanted to be in the city. That was the whole [reason] why I wanted to come here, it was in the middle of the city,” Dick said. “I remember my dad driving me up here, and we were getting off at the Chamberlayne exit near Belvidere, and he said, ‘This is it, this is what you wanted.”

She lived on the top floor of Johnson Hall, which she said she dreaded at the time.

“It was the oldest. And when I started, Brandt was brand-new and I wanted it,” she said.

She enrolled as an undeclared freshman and worked with academic advisors to figure out what she wanted to study.

“My roommate studied mass comm, and that kind of made me want to do it, too,” Dick said.

She said after taking her first introductory communications course, she declared mass communications as a major.

While at VCU, Dick worked at the Career Center as a student ambassador and at The Commonwealth Times. She sold advertising for the paper and said that at the time, it felt like she was making so much money.

“Honestly, it was the best job ever because you would just hustle and you would get a check for like a thousand dollars,” Dick said. “It was a lot of money to me.”

In 2017, Dick was named as one of the 2017 Top 40 under 40 by Style Weekly Magazine and 2017 10 under 10 by the VCU Alumni Group.

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