From coffee to career

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

- Carlos Chicas Berti

Page Cey poses in front of a window-sill flowerbed full of red roses.

Finishing the last year of her degree online wasn’t what Paige Cey had in mind when she started the bachelor of commerce program at UVic’s Gustavson School of Business, but that unexpected change of plans has put her on the path to a career she might not have envisioned without the impromptu switch to remote learning. As UVic’s November convocation approaches, Cey will be attending her graduation ceremony online from her temporary home in Lisbon, Portugal. 

Her path to Portugal, she explains, started with a cup of coffee. “I remember very clearly in my third year being told to take advantage of my position as a student to network as much as possible. I took that advice and challenged myself to do a networking coffee once a month with someone I admire,” Cey recalls. “When the pandemic hit and people had more time at home, I suddenly had the opportunity to access and talk to some really incredible professionals. I quickly decided to turn the conversations I was having public by recording them and starting my own podcast.”

Inspired by Girlboss Radio, a podcast with stories of success from women in business, Cey decided to take a stab at a similar venture herself. She created the Pick Her Brain podcast as a place where female entrepreneurs and professionals could chat, tell their stories and share advice. Now with over 45 episodes aired, Cey has been able to record conversations with local and international businesswomen who inspire her—from Victoria-based tech entrepreneurs to international fashion bloggers. 

I remember being nervous to stand out and do something different. It can feel embarrassing to put yourself out there, but I am so glad I did. From my very first episode, I received so much support from my friends and classmates and have been able to reach so many founders and women in business that I admire.

—Paige Cey, UVic class of 2021

Her work has won her listeners, and a lot of praise. Earlier this year Cey won the Rising Star category in BC Business’s Women of the Year awards, all due to her work on the podcast. “Being selected as a BC Business Women of the Year recipient was an absolute honour. It feels really incredible to see your hard work be recognized by other people. Anyone who has a podcast will tell you it often feels like talking into an echo chamber, so it was extremely validating and gratifying to have my podcast be so supported.”

The podcast was a learning experience for Cey, and it also helped open new career doors she would have never expected. “I interviewed Girlboss' new CEO, Lulu Liang, for an early episode of the podcast. I ended up keeping tabs on the company and when I saw they were hiring I referred a friend I thought would be great for the role. Soon enough Lulu reached out and asked what I was up to post-grad. She essentially built a role for me based on my experience and interests when I said I'd love to join the company. It was a huge reminder to me of how important it is to build and nurture your network,” adds Cey. 

Cey now works as the marketing and content coordinator for Girlboss, a media company whose goal is to advance the role of women in the workplace and nurture entrepreneurs. “Working for Girlboss has been an absolute dream,” says Cey. “I have been a fan of founder Sophia Amoruso and the Girlboss brand for as long as I can remember, so it's surreal to now be a part of the company.”

The icing on the cake? Cey will now be taking on a role producing Girlboss Radio, the show that had originally inspired her to get started with podcasting. 

As she contributes to shaping Girlboss’s new chapter, Paige reflects on how the last two years of her BCom degree have shaped her. “Working and studying remotely allowed me to get experience I could've never imagined during a typical co-op, or doing school in person. I've been able to build my own podcast, freelance for a marketing agency and work countless remote startup jobs—and all that experience led me to where I am today,” she says.

Although the online path was sometimes difficult, Cey is now in a unique position of taking her work remotely. Over the last few months she’s been stationed in Europe, helping keep Girlboss running and catching up with some of the international experience she had missed for the last two years. As for the future: “I hope to one day start my own business, whether or not that's a side-gig or a rebirth of Pick Her Brain, so stay tuned for that.” ​


In this story

Keywords: convocation, business, international, administrative, student life

People: Paige Cey

Publication: The Ring

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