Perry: 21st century Renaissance woman

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Brittany Perry wastes nothing – neither opportunities, networking contacts nor waking hours. And in her mission to achieve her goals, she certainly is not wasting time. Nor is she wasting her talents, skills and knowledge in pursuit of her careers.

Brittany Perry in front of Library
Brittany Perry

Yes, careers – plural. Perry sees no reason to restrict herself to just one. This is an empowered young woman who realizes her potential to make a difference and who feels a deep responsibility to do so. She sees herself as a “global change agent,” with no limits to what she can accomplish.

Things didn’t start out that way, however.

Perry’s family includes medical and law professionals, so she initially pursued medicine. She was nearing completion of a degree at another college when she realized that health care was not for her. She decided to take a year off to reevaluate what she wanted for her future.

Perry transferred to GGC in 2011, ready to own her education and take charge of her success, according to Dr. Jennifer Wunder, director of GGC’s Honors Program.

After deciding on a business major and connecting with faculty mentors like Dr. Doug Johnson, professor of leadership and management, Perry found her stride. Her grades improved, earning a place on either the Dean’s or President’s lists every semester. She served as a School of Business senator in the Student Government Association and was a founding executive board member of the National Society for Leadership and Success.

Determined to get started as soon as possible on her career plans, she buckled down with a challenging schedule and graduated a semester early as the first alumnus of the GGC Honors Program.

Brittney Perry with former President Jimmy Carter
GGC students Brittany Perry and Vivian Mosley pause for a photo with President Jimmy Carter during the Honors Program’s visit to the Carter Center.

“When Brittany came into the Honors Program as a charter member, she wanted to know what she could contribute to the program,” said Wunder. “She maximized every opportunity provided her. She is a 21st Century Renaissance woman.”

Perry attended a board of councilors meeting at the Carter Center, meeting the former U.S president. She also attended Leadercast, the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit and several conferences, seminars and virtual events related to financial literacy. Through these events, as well as an Honors Program course focused on global change and leadership, Perry not only met numerous local and national business and civic leaders, she engaged with them in thoughtful discussions that continue today. Her network of contacts rivals those of any corporate CEO.

Through internships at TBS, Perry worked with well-known figures and contributed to post-production activities and promotional strategies for various prime-time television shows. Her experience in the entertainment industry inspired her to develop her own show, focused on topics of financial literacy and community awareness. Her drive, energy and ability to tackle complex issues have caused some to refer to her as “a new Oprah.”

“Brittany is exactly the kind of student for which GGC was built, and she’s precisely the sort of role model other students need. They already see her as an accomplished business person. She is a first-rate embodiment of our vision and mission and what’s possible when we all work together to make that vision a reality.” – Dr. Jennifer Wunder, director of Honors Program

Perry is pursuing a master’s degree in accountancy from Wake Forest University on a scholarship. One of the reasons she selected Wake Forest was its similarity to Georgia Gwinnett’s educational experience – including smaller class sizes, active learning, case-based research and high interaction with deeply engaged professors committed to student success.

Brittney Perry at Commencement with Dr. Jennifer Wunder
Dr. Jennifer Wunder and Brittany Perry celebrate Perry’s graduation as the first alumnus of the GGC Honors Program at the December 2013 commencement ceremony.

Perry plans to obtain her CPA license and work at a major accounting firm. She also plans to create a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the viability of small businesses by helping their owners develop financial literacy. She wants to help clients create sound business plans and avoid pitfalls related to asset valuation, financing growth, risk management and other business management issues.

Through these initiatives, she hopes to provide business owners with the knowledge needed to succeed, thereby building stronger communities. She wants to particularly focus on helping business owners in underserved groups.

“It is imperative that everyone has a level of financial literacy,” Perry said. “If you go into business, you need to be able to ‘speak business.’ These people need someone in their corner – everyone needs some educational foundation in life. What is knowledge if it is not shared?”

Perry has strong awareness of her own brand and already leverages it to creatively connect her experiences and relationships to ensure that she achieves her goals. She has no doubt she will succeed, and her infectious enthusiasm leaves no doubt for others, as well.

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