Not only is John Perkins, Career Coordinator for Career Services and Internships, a master in karate, he’s also highly skilled at coaching students on how to be successful in their future careers. Before joining the USI community in October 2018, Perkins left his hometown in Fort Branch, Indiana, to attend Purdue University where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in organizational leadership and supervision. After graduating, Perkins spent the first eight and a half years of his professional career working in corporate and agency recruiting in places like New York, Louisville and Madisonville before returning to the Evansville area to be closer to family.
Perkins now lives in Fort Branch with his wife, two children and his wife’s 73-year-old grandmother. When not spending time with his family, you can most likely find him marking things off his bucket list or working with students on campus. Let’s learn more about John Perkins and how he prepares students to fearlessly pursue future career success.
What are your responsibilities here at USI?
I work in Career Services where we focus on coaching students in job and internship hunting, resume development, interviewing skills and coordinating fairs and networking events.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love coaching the students. I enjoy seeing them grow out of their comfort zones and progress further in their professional development, taking steps forward towards success.
What are a few things on your bucket list?
I’d like to travel to Europe visiting the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Greece. I’ve always wanted to visit the pyramids in Egypt and the Holy Land in Israel. A few other things I’d like to do is skydive, run a competitive obstacle course and write a book.
If you could relive one moment in your life, which would it be?
Earning my black belt in karate. It was the culmination of years of dedication, hard work, self-discipline and determination through testing. Throughout the testing, I was perfectly conditioned and prepared, nailing all the moves and techniques, performing at the top of my game. When I was done, before any official “pass” was said, I knew I did my best and left everything I had on the table.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Warning: Internal monologue currently underway.
If you could have one song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
“I'm Only One Call Away” – Charlie Puth
Who is your role model? Why?
Tony Horton. Tony is famous for his work with BeachBody as he developed the program P90X and released it at age 45. At 62, he’s often outperforming people half his age. I’m currently in a beta group for Tony Horton’s next major fitness program that will come out later this year. Having spent the last eight months in his first two beta groups with another three months for the final group, I’ve learned to take a holistic approach to fitness, nutrition, supplements and mindfulness. He has taken his work and the lessons he’s learned and applied them to all aspects of his life, leading to a healthy lifestyle.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your past self?
Be present. Throw out the trash and noise. There is no failure if you learn from mistakes, so focus on learning and not worrying about the past. The future is what you make of the here and now, worrying about it won’t help. Focus on being present.
If you could share a meal with any four individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
Milton Friedman, Bruce Lee, Abraham Lincoln and Dan Millman. Milton Friedman is a world-renowned economist and while I have no formal training, I’ve always had a fascination with economics. Bruce Lee on the surface was a famous martial artist but beyond he was an incredible teacher, philosopher and trainer. Abraham Lincoln faced one of the greatest challenges of the Civil War in a young and divided nation, all while obtaining and remaining his reputation as a man of character. Dan Millman was a collegiate level athlete who wrote the book “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” all about living and performing your best.
What piece of advice would you give to students?
Push yourself. Test your limits, and push your boundaries. We grow when we walk outside our comfort zones. Always remember your reason why—why you picked your major and the things you are doing now to reach your final goal. It is never too early to start searching and networking as career hunting and progression is as much about relationships as it is about performance.
This Getting to Know You feature was written by Tobi Clark, a student worker in University Communications.
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia