Friday, October 2, 2009

Jill Perrin - Human Capital Management

Jill Perrin - Human Capital Management

Jill is a Vice President with The Business Talent Group leading the complex process of helping businesses to find the skilled executives they need for defined projects. She has had a career that has included significant roles, principally in the area of marketing, with major corporations such as GE, American Express, Quaker Oats and Altria/Kraft/General Foods.

Jill's undergraduate degree in Economics is from Stanford University and her MBA from Harvard University.


I was born in Texas but went to college in California and graduate school in Boston and I currently reside in New Jersey. I have a 6th and 8th grader who love to read and I have been an avid reader since I was a kid. My love of books was driven in part by spending every night with my dad reading before going to bed. I was an Economics major in college. I bring this up as I really should have been an English major - I far better enjoyed my Literature classes than Economics (thinking about the strength of character possessed by Desdemona or Ophelia is far more interesting than pondering the multiplier effect!). I have had a 25 year business career - my love of books and reading has helped me learn to write well, a skill critical to my current role in Human Capital Management. (I feel certain that I subconsciously sought a work role which requires strong writing skills - skills developed in great part through my love of reading).

Which books did you read (or were read to you) as a child that you remember best and why?

I have a vivid recollection of reading both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn out loud with my father. (I was about 10). And rolling on the floor belly laughing in the living room over the scene where Tom feeds his medicine surreptitiously to the cat, which in turns goes bonkers and clings to the ceiling etc. I read this scene out loud to my kids a few years ago - to the same affect. The humor was passed down through the generations.! We had tears streaming down our faces. And any of the Dr. Seuss books were great fun. A particular stand out is Oh the Places You’ll Go.

Which books had the most influence on your thinking and character?

Character - a tough one to answer. Female protagonists which were atypical were always neat. Pippi Longstocking comes to mind. And I can remember being enamored with Wrinkle In Time. The Alexander Dumas books have tremendous lead characters and a good deal of excitement - The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo (one of my all time favs).

Are there any books you have read to your children which you would recommend?

There are a few magical books / magical moments related to books which come to mind. As toddlers I read the kids the book I'm So Busy Said Busy Bee which has a squeaky bee you push on every page when done reading. To this day I can use the same tone of voice and start saying "I'm so.... " and the kids immediately have smiles on their faces and finish my sentence using the same tone of voice. It was great fun. And it pulled the kids into the center of the book / the process of reading together - it was their "job" to squeak the bee at the end of every page. Ergo they had to pay attention, follow the story, and help catapult us forward.

Some books we loved at our home and read OVER and OVER and OVER again are: The Quiltmaker’s Gift, Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, Max The Taxi Dog. These 3 are stand outs as the stories are wonderful, the visuals gorgeous, and are books parents don't mind reading time and time again. From school my kids were turned on to the Magic Tree House series (fiction and nonfiction so something of interest for all), Series of Unfortunate Events, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Once they started on any of the series they were on a mission to finish all. It went fast! My daughter (age 11) has a strong interest in plays and acting - I came across a WONDERFUL series called SHAKESPEARE CAN BE FUN which takes key Shakespeare plays, translates them into a rap / rhyming format understood by all and provides pictures drawn by kids with captions related to the story. (Captions can be something like: "Yo Othello! Why are you trustin' Iago - He's mean man! Get a clue!") These have been tremendous read aloud books for 3 - 5th grade.

Are there any books related to your profession or calling that you think children ought to consider reading?

If you want to be an actor or actress the SHAKESPEARE CAN BE FUN series I wrote about above is a must. (And a GOOD time)!

What books are you reading and enjoying today?

Just finished "The Geography of Bliss" - a man's journey to find the happiest country in the world. And am in the middle of "The Piano Tuner", set in Burma in the mid 1800's where a British general living in the jungle commands that a special piano be sent to the jungle. Subsequently he needs a piano tuner to voyage there from London to tune it - the tuner is a shy / non-worldly person who then voyages around the world and into the jungle (and in turn opens up an entirely new life). Am in the middle of The 19th Wife, a novel about Mormons.

A few additional comments for both kids and adults alike to foster a love of reading (and guard your time for reading): 1) join a book club - it is fun, pushes you to read things you might never pick up otherwise, helps to keep you accountable; 2)subscribe to a weekly news magazine that also has human interest stories in it such as Time, Newsweek, The Week - there will always be fresh stories of interest to everyone coming to your home each week. This will make it easy to read. (We FIGHT over THE WEEK in our house / run to the mail box, hide it behind beds etc.); 3)under no circumstances allow a TV in the bedroom. It is too much competition with a book. And the TV will always win; 4) if book shelves get sloppy or books are strewn all over the house - BRAVO! You have created a safe place for reading. Don't stress if a room or car is disheveled because of books spilling out everywhere. Call it a success. And pat yourself on the back.

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