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Product Support Sales Representative

Meet Corissa

Corissa had always loved her career as a field mechanic, but certain sacrifices came along with it.

“I have three kids, and I missed out on a lot over the years,” she says. “I was in my second year of mechanics when I had my first daughter. I never wanted to pass up an opportunity to learn, which meant missing important moments. When this position came up, I decided it was time to try.”

“There are challenges being a woman in this industry, but the satisfaction of making your way through and finding success makes it all worth it.”
Bring it Home

Bring it Home

With Corissa stepping into the product support world, she focused on building trust with her customers in Fort St. John. “Building relationships is huge,” she says. “They have to know that you have their back. It doesn’t always make it easy, but I always do what I know is right for the customer.”

Spending her days interacting with people instead of machines was a massive shift, but Corissa emphasizes just how amazing her customers have been. Having more regular hours and making connections from the comfort of home is the cherry on top. 

“If my kids are sick, I can be here,” she says. “It’s still taking some getting used not to being out in the field, but I’m getting there!”

Corissa is grateful that throughout this transition, answers are always just a phone call away. “At SMS Equipment, you’re not left to learn everything on your own,” she says. “There’s often somebody to talk to who has been with the company for a long time. I get a lot of help from the service team and different branches. When I was a mechanic, there was a lot of independent problem-solving with less access to resources and, essentially, people. Taking on this new position has left me with a new sense of feeling entirely supported.”

The Start of the Spark

Corissa fell in love with mechanics at 14, inspired by her brother’s keen interest. “I knew what to expect going into a traditionally male-dominated trade and that I had to prepare myself mentally,” says Corissa. Although there were some trying moments, Corissa’s instructors and team members saw her determination and caught on that she wasn’t going to give up. “They challenged me more as my confidence grew and my knowledge got better,” she says.
When it comes to the skilled trades labour force, Corissa has learned that you must advocate for yourself—which sometimes means you can’t hold anything back. “By doing that, I have worked with many great techs over the years and built some amazing friendships,” she says.
Think Outside the Box…with a Box
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Think Outside the Box…with a Box

Corissa’s passion for machines was introduced to her through family, and it looks like that tradition is only picking up momentum with Corissa’s daughter and a unique school project. The assignment? Build a vehicle from a cardboard box and have it sturdy and stable for a drive-through movie. “She had her heart set on a dozer,” says Corissa. “She did it all herself, and I was just the supervisor!”

After the successful build, Corissa’s daughter announced she plans to be a mechanic when she grows up. “She passes me tools and is always following and listening,” says Corissa. “If she wants to do it, she will!” 

Like her daughter, Corissa has future aspirations too. “I love what I do, but I can see myself transitioning into organizing the service side,” she says. “I’m passionate about lining everything up to ensure customers get the best service possible.”
The Big Lessons

The Big Lessons

Corissa knows she needs a balance of confidence and honesty to do her best work as a woman in the industry. “If I don’t know something, I ask,” she says. “If I try and don’t succeed, I’ll ask for help. I’ve learned a lot that way.”

Corissa remembers a past colleague who once doubted her ability. “I almost gave up,” she says. “I threw my tool bag away and thought I was done. But something in me knew I had to finish this. And now, years later, I’ve come so far, and we have a healthy respect for each other. Don’t let anything that someone says get in your head or let you think you shouldn’t be in this field!”

Does Corissa have any other advice for any female looking to break through?

“Don’t give up,” says Corissa. “You can do whatever you set your mind to, and other women like me are always here to help.”

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