The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) named Kristina Coburn, marketing manager of the truck bed cover division at RealTruck, as the newest #SheIsSEMA spotlight member.
Get to know Coburn in her interview with SEMA below.
SEMA: What do you enjoy most about working at RealTruck?
Kristina Coburn: I love it for being such a large corporation but they keep the family feel.
SEMA: What is the most challenging part of running your business or job?
KC: The most challenging part of my job specifically is managing the several bed cover brands while making sure they all keep their unique brand voices throughout the market.
SEMA: How many years have you been in the industry and what was your first industry job?
KC: I have been in the automotive industry just under 10 years and it all started way back when at 4WheelDrive Hardware. I got hired in to be a customer service rep and fell in love with Jeeps and off-roading.
SEMA: What are three qualities that got you to where you are today?
KC: Three key qualities that I believe helped me get to this level in my career would be organization, addiction to problem-solving, and the big one—passion. The passion to be better personally, professionally and help my team and company.
SEMA: Being a woman in the industry, what have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments?
KC: I hate to say I have had challenges just because I am a woman in what they call “a man’s industry.” Times have changed for the most part I think, but the biggest challenge was coming into the industry as an adult falling in love with it, and having to play catch up alongside colleagues and peers who, for the most part, have been living and breathing this industry since they were children.
SEMA: Who are your role models or mentors in the industry?
KC: Easy! There are two women in this industry that I have looked up to for several years, though they may not know this or know their stories and leadership have inspired me to grow and also get more and more involved in the industry as a whole. They are Erika Marquez and Marla Moore.
SEMA: What is the best career advice you have received?
KC: My grandmother would always tell me a situation can make you better or bitter. This works in my everyday life at home or in the office—something happens or just doesn’t go your way. Choose to be better, not bitter.
SEMA: Have you always wanted to work in the automotive industry?
KC: I stumbled into this industry about 10 years ago looking for office work to help build my resume. I was answering phones for 4WheelDrive Hardware, a Jeep-focused business, and fell in love. As I started to focus on my career and growth it was suggested to me to network and volunteer for a SEMA network. I got linked up with SBN and it’s all history from there. The people in this industry are amazing and always there to help you learn and grow and be involved.
SEMA: Who was the most influential person on your career or goals?
KC: My mother.
Do you know, or are you, a woman with a career in the automotive industry? Fill out a #SheIsSEMA spotlight form to submit a self-nomination or nominate a colleague and highlight how you or she is contributing to the specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are automatically eligible to be considered for SBN's #SheIsSEMA Woman of the Year award, featured on SBN's social media, SEMA News and recognized on the www.sema.org/she-is-sema website.