"Australia taught me that nothing is impossible".
Country of Origin: Chile.
State of Residency: NSW. Favourite place in Australia: Nelson Bay. Upon arrival: Surprised by Australia’s multiculturalism. Photo provided by Creative Creations
By Trini Abascal
Cristian Trujillo is the founder and director of CreativeCreations.tv. Australia was to be only the place to learn English but became the place to discover his passion and change his engineering career to become a successful video producer. His company has worked with high profile organisations including Tourism Australia, AMP, NSW Business Chamber, Ogilvy PR, Parking Australia and ProChile. Cristian believes great business is about making a difference by delivering outstanding work and giving back to the community. He is currently a National Finalist in the 2016 Irish Australian Business Awards in the category of "Start Up" of the year.
Tell us Your Story
In 2007 when I was at the top of my career as Senior Information Security Consultant at PwC in Chile, I realised my dream job didn’t fulfill my heart anymore, so I quit. I decided to take a break and do a masters degree. I applied for a scholarship in China. Everything was set for me to get the scholarship, but something was missing: I couldn’t speak a word of English. I was advised to study English and apply for the scholarship the following year. This was the trigger that made me think of going overseas. I enrolled in a 3 month English course in Sydney, choosing Australia over the US, Canada and England because of the upcoming summer season.
Once in Australia, I saw the possibilities this country offered and decided to stay. I extended my English course to a year and enrolled in a 2 year Advanced Diploma of Business - which guaranteed a further 3 years of student visa to stay in Australia. However, I had to get a job and since I couldn’t speak English, I found a job cleaning toilets and another one delivering milk overnight. It was hard work, but a fun new adventure. My day would look like this: the milk truck would pick me up at 2:30am Monday to Saturday to start the run, then drop me at school by 9:30am, where English classes used to run from 10am until 4pm every day. I’d then sleep for an hour in Hide Park before walking to Kent Street to clean 45 toilets from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Afterwards, I’d go home to cook, do my homework, laundry, etc. Next morning I would start again at 2:30am. I did this for 6 months until I could finally speak some English.
As soon as I did, I quit both jobs and started a business called “IT Advisory Services”, fixing computers and teaching people how to use them. All by myself I started to attract clients, mostly families and retirees. This job allowed me to practice my English and learn more about the Australian culture. Shortly after, I started servicing business with their IT systems. One day I went to UnseenTV (an online TV channel based in Sydney) to fix their network, and as I was working the CEO came to me and asked if I knew any video editors. I said: “I can edit videos, I can do anything”. I had an idea of how to do it as back in Chile I played in a rock band and made amateur videos of us. I showed them what I could do and eventually became a regular video editor and camera operator. In three years I learnt everything about video productions, becoming director and producer of a couple of their channels. This was a life changing experience and I loved it. I learned a lot and made great friends that still play an important role in my life.
By 2011 I had achieved what I’d thought was impossible when I arrived in Australia: fluency in English, graduating from the business diploma, passing the IELTS test and validating my Chilean engineering degrees. This allowed me to apply for Permanent Residency (PR) under the skilled professional visa. Once I received my PR I decided to quit video production and go back to IT, finding a full time role as Solution Architect for eNerds. All was going well until 1.5 years later I realised I was back in the same place I’d been in Chile, successful but doing a job I didn’t love. Straight away I knew my heart was in video production, so I quit my job, got a 40K loan and bought all the equipment I needed to start my own business and dedicate myself to my passion for video production.
In April 2013, I became an Australian citizen and founded CreativeCreations.tv, a company that produces high-end video content made with the extra care and precision of an Engineer. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I am on my way. I have achieved a lot, grown my network, and experienced unimaginable places across Australia and Asia. I still look forward to what is coming next - there’s so much more discover, experience and learn.
Lifestyle – I faced all the challenges that migrants face: having very little money, no English, being lost in the city, having no time to rest and eat properly, etc. Fortunately, controlling my beliefs has always been a big thing for me, so I added positive meanings to everything that happened.
Being nobody – When I first moved I faced the fact that I was nobody - nobody knew me and since I couldn’t communicate, my knowledge and work experience had zero value. After learning the language, I could show what I was capable of and things just got better and better.
Cristian and his Creative Creations Team –
Photo provided by Creative Creations
Loneliness – Even though I was excited about the challenge and the adventure of living overseas, it was a hard decision as for the first time I was away from my loving family and fun friends. I overcame this challenge by acknowledging it was my choice and that the experience would make me resilient. I also met beautiful people who later became like family.
Conversations and etiquette - It was difficult for me to restrict the way I express myself. I enjoy deep conversations and I’m very physical in the way I connect with people and express appreciation and love to others. I touch people a lot, and here that’s not the norm.
Piece of advice
Be resilient – Whenever you get feedback, be positive about it and learn. I remember once I was given a video editing assignment. When I played it to the head of production he stopped the video and said “this video makes me sick, I feel like vomiting”. He mentioned a list of elements that were wrong and said “come back in a couple of days”. Instead of going home I went outside and spent 2 hours fixing every detail. I went back in and asked him to check it again. After reviewing it, he said “this is perfect, who did it for you?” I then became a regular video editor for the company and this guy became one of my mentors and friends.
Establish your rules for success – I have three rules, which I also teach my employees: no apologies, no excuses and no complaints. People don’t need an apology, they need acknowledgement and a solution.
Stand by your values – No matter the situation, always work hard; be responsible even when no one is looking; never take advantage of anyone; and be kind and loving towards others.
Believe it is possible - Australia taught me that nothing is impossible. If you want it, just go for it. I remember arriving in Australia believing I would never be able to speak the language, be part of this society, and join the work force. Today I am an Australian citizen, have beautiful Australian friends and run a successful company that employs people, who after learning my story, get motivated to follow their dreams and have successful careers.
In the next few years...
Cristian plans to travel around the world making documentaries for charities and expand his video production business across Australia and Chile, so he can stay connected to both countries. If you wish to contact Cristian email us at firstname.lastname@example.org