IT leader embraces discomfort

Alum Lindsey Perry, who lends her expertise to the Department of Information System’s Executive Advisory Board, shares what made her uncomfortable as a student — and successful as an IS executive, wife, and mom.

Henry Van Dyke’s quote, “Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to,” is highlighted on Lindsey Perry’s company bio.

“This means you must constantly push yourself to achieve your goals even when it feels a little uncomfortable,” says Perry, who earned her undergraduate in business management and MBA from W. P. Carey. “It was something I struggled with as a student.”

Today, she’s head of IT at Televerde, a global demand generation company that provides sales and marketing solutions for software and IT-related clients. Her role includes directing the company’s information technology, business intelligence, and data operations.

Perry says she’s a data- and business-oriented IT leader that helps her clients and their businesses navigate technology. And her advice to students interested in a similar career path: “Learn everything you can about data and how to leverage it as a strategic asset.”

She lends her expertise to the Department of Information System’s Executive Advisory Board, which is comprised of local and national professional business leaders, including chief information officers, vice presidents, partners, and department and systems managers who are potential employers of information systems students.

Here she shares what made her uncomfortable as a student — and successful as an information systems executive, wife, and mom.

Question: What do you wish you knew as a college student?

Answer: It’s important to understand the basics of all business disciplines. It’s easy to get caught up in only what interests you. Both business and technology change at such a rapid rate that it’s important to understand the primary drivers and responsibilities throughout all business functions, so you can provide integrated ideas and solutions regardless of where you sit in the organizational structure.   

Q: How can W. P. Carey students work smarter?

A: Learn project management skills. I often preach that this is one of the most important skills to learn regardless of your job function. Learning these principles as a student will help you break down plans to achieve complex goals and better assess your progress along the way.

Q: If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?

A: I would get more involved at school and build a better network base. The coursework is an important aspect of college, but at a young age, building relationships and trying new experiences is just as important. Meeting new people and trying new things helps you understand your strengths and opportunities for improvement. It can give you a jumpstart on figuring out your career goals, and at the very least help make lasting relationships.

Q: What are you trying to accomplish this quarter?

A: We are heavily investing in our systems and marketing technology capabilities. Presently, we are completing a multi-year, modernized systems development and data transformation project that will help our business provide market-leading insights and sales acceleration.

Q: What should keep students up at night?

Digital transformation and how to leverage information innovatively to create opportunities and drive strategy.

Q: How do you balance your work and home life?

A: I use timebox management. For example, the next hour will be for work and then the next two hours will be with family. This creates focus and allows me to be in the moment. She says family adventures with her husband and three kids, and sunrises on the jogging trail usually fill those two hours with family.

Q: What business books are on your nightstand?

A: I have a Harvard Business Review subscription and find something relevant in each magazine edition. I’m also reading Laszlo Bock’s “Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead.”