Realizing Your Passion and Staying the Course
In her office at Dynergy Energy Management, where she serves as Managing Director, Energy Division, Christine Yoo Jin Choi sits behind her desk, sipping coffee from a Seneca mug. Behind her, Seneca awards line her shelf. It is clear that she has a strong connection to Seneca, and that the College played a critical role for her in a time of personal and academic growth.
Christine and her parents made a life changing move from South Korea to Belleville, Ontario in 1998, because of her father’s business in the auto industry. Her brother had been in a car accident so they stayed in Korea as long as they could, but needed to be settled in their new home for the beginning of Christine’s school year. They arrived in Canada one day after her first day of grade 12.
“I didn’t know any English then,” says Christine. “I just sat there.”
The challenge of a new language didn’t stop Christine from graduating with marks high enough to enter a university science program. However, university wasn’t a good fit for her at that time, and she abandoned her studies. Yet, with amazing support from her family and friends, Christine decided to continue her studies. This time, she came to Seneca, earning two certificates in Building Environmental Systems and a diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology – Building Sciences.
“I was always fascinated by architecture, and I love buildings,” says Christine. “I also wanted something more practical and meaningful. That’s when I chose Seneca.”
Today, at Dynergy – an energy management company – Christine works diligently in a senior role, providing comprehensive energy and environmental solutions to clients seeking sustainable development opportunities. She also gives back to current students by teaching part-time at the Centre for the Built Environment.
Going back to college took a big leap of faith for Christine, and she was skeptical it would work out. During a class break on her first day of school, Christine consulted one of her professors, and confided in him her uncertainties. He told her to “hang in there.” Hesitant at first to take his advice, Christine is now glad she did.
“I took his word for it,” she says. “And, I’m glad I did, because I found my passion.”