This month I have the pleasure of featuring my classmate, fellow Nashvillian, fashionista, Board Member, Scholarship committee member, and so much more Dr. Cierrah Perrin! She is so BOMB! She has a skill set of balancing everything from working full-time in IT as a Principal Business Architect, Doctorate Degree, Law Degree, Professor, Luxury Re-Seller, and Author. In addition, Dr. Perrin is so giving! She has helped me in so many ways, for example, my Comp Exam, constant dissertation encouragement, scholarship fund, scholarship committee, and donating a BRAND NEW Dell laptop to giveaway for this organization! She has accomplished so much and I am so glad I have a chance to get to know her, she is phenomenal!
It is an honor to feature here especially because she has done a lot for this organization so I feel it is important for you to get to know her! Since she is so well-rounded we will cover a range of topics including: how to be financial savvy, how to save, IT career, education, fashion, and becoming an author!
1. What is your educational background? And why did you choose that particular educational journey? What inspired you to pursue your Doctorate of Education degree?
I received my Bachelor's degree from Alabama State University, Proceeded to study Intellectual Property Law at The John Marshall Law School Chicago; and lastly a Doctorate of Education at Argosy University.
2. What inspired you to go into the IT field? And what do you do specifically currently?
I started off as a technical writer about 10 years ago. I always loved writing. I lost my passion for the law while in law school but wanted to still use my degree after graduation. My career advisor suggested that my specialty in Intellectual Property law would complement the information technology field. I started off with a lot of contract work while in Chicago. Due to the job market at the time I made the decision to move to Atlanta. My career took off from there. I love technology and the fact that it's challenging and always changing. I travel with my career so it's very interesting seeing different places and being exposed to various cultures.
3. What advice would you give mentees looking to pursue an IT or technology-related career?
I would advise mentees to network, stay abreast of skill sets, and get certifications. The IT field is a small-big world. Once you circulate through several companies, you'll start to see the same people, hear the same names. It is important to make connections and don't burn bridges. Be aware of your social media presence and find a mentor in the field.
4. What was your inspiration to resale your high-end label items? And share your budget friendly method of buying your high-end fashions?
My inspiration to resale my high-end labels came from the fact that some things are "trendy" and only last for a season. I'm very financially responsible and people would always ask me where I got my things. One day someone wanted to buy something I wore but it was sold out in stores. I sold it to her. From then on it has come residual income for me. I take pride in what I wear. I like a lot of nice things, but I'm also aware that the value can decrease immensely over time. I thought why not resale for lower than retail and give someone the opportunity to wear something dope and make a little money along the way.
5. What is your advice on being financially savvy? And how would you describe your saving method?
Save what you can. I advise people to always pay yourself first (savings), no matter how little you think you make. One will be surprised at what they can save after they realize how much money they waste. I describe my savings method as methodical. There is a method to my madness and I'm obsessed with a certain number. So until I get there, I pay myself and invest where I can.
6. What encouraged you to become an author? How did you come up with your topics? What advice would you give someone looking to write a book?
I always had a passion for writing. I had a diary and wrote poetry as a younger girl. I knew that there was a book in me because I was also an avid reader. I base my topics on my experiences and what will help others. In my first book, so many people praised my transparency, I think that it is important to go beyond the perception that people may have of you. I try to do that in my writing. My advice for anyone trying to write their first book, start somewhere. Dedicate the time when you have the itch to write. Never force yourself, be driven by your passion to share a story not to get words on paper. It will reflect in your book.
7. What is your formula to all of your success at a young age? Law School, Doctorate Degree, Career Advancement, Author, Professor, Fashionista, an expert in your field (dissertation), and so much more!
I would tell them to be committed to their goal but flexible to their approach. There is more than one way to get it. You just have to figure out what works for you. Everyone's story and journey is uniquely their own. What works for one person may not work for you. Figure out your formula, change when you have to; add a little of this, take a little of this out. Don't get bogged down by numbers and what others are doing. Focus on what is in front of you and learn from all of your experiences.
8. What advice would you give someone looking to possibly pursue a Doctorate Degree?
My advice for anyone wanting to pursue a doctorate is to be clear why they want it. Evaluate if it's financially worth the investment. A doctoral degree is very expensive and there should be a clear plan for what one wants to achieve. No need to acquire massive debt if one is unclear on the direction they want to take or if the same goals can be achieved with a masters degree. Also, they should evaluate the rigor and discipline it takes. Many people start but don't finish for the same reasons. This is not a decorative degree, it takes a lot of sweat and tears.
9. What has been the biggest challenge in your career? And how do you overcome it? What has been the most rewarding? And how do you remain humble?
My field is not very diverse. There are both, a gender gap and a lack of minorities. It's challenging being the only one that looks like me at times. However, I am respected because of my work ethic and my skill set and I appreciate that. I see IT corporate America as an opportunity for me to be a beast. I get to go hard and be in the boy's club, it's good for my ego. However, I'm also an adjunct professor, I provide information to help students accomplish their goals. Now that, that's good for my soul. It balances me out. How do I stay humble? What other way is there to be? I know as quickly as things come they can go. Humility is a must for me. I was laid off for 3 months about 4 years ago. That whole experience reshaped my perspective as well.
10. What is your best fashion advice?
Be you, somebody is going to feel it!
You can keep up with Dr. Perrin via social media:
Personal IG: @she_vs_her
You can also order her book: https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Straight-Dr-Cierrah-Perrin-ebook/dp/B078QMWNDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523840233&sr=8-1&keywords=woman+to+woman+cierrah+perrin
*use promo code: crown to save a checkout
I have really learned a lot from Dr. Cierrah! She has really been helpful and supportive! She is truly a jack of all trades! And I am a beliver in having multiple streams of income and she lives it oh so well!