Parts of the interview are in video format because I want you guys to experience Florcy. Also, part of our interview was conducted over lunch with her friend, Peuge (pronounced like purge) Benjamin, and so I transcribed the interview when the background noise was way too loud.
I know this interview is focused on Florcy, but I feel like I got to understand Florcy better by talking to Peuge. No faster way to figure out what a person is like when they are around their close friends and family, right?
I hope you guys enjoy this interview!
Name: Florcy Morisset
Location history: Born & raised in New York City, moved a lot (Pittsburgh, Southern California, Philadelphia, DMV aka DC Maryland Virginia), and now in Boston
Current job: Senior Project Manager at Dell EMC
Previous careers: Entrepreneur, former Art Gallery Owner & Curator
Undergrad: Studied Psychology & Biology at Duquesne University
MBA: Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and Design Leadership MA from Maryland Institute College of Art
What are your personal mission statements?
- Being [a certain] type of thinker and being able to say, “I am pragmatic in a situation… not so blinded that I can’t be open-minded and creative.” Be a visionary and think about things differently.
- This “L’Union Fait La Force” and this idea of coming together. Many together makes us stronger. This idea of collaborative spirit is so important. I want everyone at the table. I’ll bring the table just so we can all sit and talk.
- Do the work. Don’t be lazy. Don’t take shortcuts – don’t give yourself only 30 minutes when you know it’s going to take that hour to do it.
I really believe that these three things say: I’m going to work hard, I’m going to be collaborative, and I’m going to be creative with some structure and be open-minded. Then anything is possible.
I don’t know if that was a mission statement, but that’s my ethos of how I present myself, how I show up in this world, and what I bring to it.
Peuge: The crazy thing about me is that I could probably create mission statements for everybody else but myself. The reason for that is because I’m the last person I usually think about. So I guess my mission statement is, put others before self, promoting positive thinking, and being willing to open your mind to other possibilities. There are too many selfish people out there… too many people out to see what they can gain out of situations.
Based on our initial conversation, the conversation wasn’t about myself. It was just to get to know you, to understand where you were coming from, and to see how that allows people to open up more. I think if you’re more about others than about yourself, we can get to know more about what’s going around on us as opposed to being stuck in our woes.
(The first 10 minutes of meeting Peuge, he grilled me with questions and Florcy was on a phone call. So when Florcy came in and said, “Let me give some formal introductions,” he was like, “No need, I got it. I know her now.”)
How do you make opportunities happen?
Florcy: Opportunities are created through no’s. For instance, I didn’t think I could get an art job, so I opened an art gallery. I didn’t think the program would remove global travel for a 6-month rotation in another country, so I had to make my own case for myself. Then I said, “How can I turn that no into a yes?”
(Background: Florcy is in a rotational program that just removed global rotations. So she put together a business case for a go-to-market strategy for her team, showed the value of her strategy, and now will be heading to India for a couple weeks to make it happen. And all she wanted was to travel globally.)
For me, it’s not taking a no. It starts with a no, but not just taking the no for face value. It’s how to pivot it and make it into something else; how do you make it bigger than just me; how do I make it inclusive.
Peuge: There’s a quote, “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Knowing that nothing is given to us, there’s always the mindset that “I have to work twice as hard to get it.” Florcy is a black woman coming into the IT industry. Already there’s 3 strikes against her that she won’t succeed or that she won’t do well, regardless of the case competition or education. Given that she’s a driven person, no matter what industry she’s been in, it’s always been that “this won’t be given to me unless I make my own case”.
Florcy: I like that – it’s not about finding opportunities, it’s about making the opportunity. I saw it, and I’m not going to take no for an answer. You know… I think about these things and I just go do it. I don’t realize that they’re unknown. I just know that I want to get there, and I’m going to do whatever I need to do to get there.
It’s a very precarious situation. I usually do more than my counterparts, and that’s how I usually win out. I did have to get the tools and certifications, and I do have the experience, but I also have to sell those two and say, “Hey, look at my toolbox and experiences”! No matter what, I have to push it in people’s faces because opportunities will not always be fair.
What is the best decision you made… in the recent years?
Florcy: Joining Dell EMC even though it was going through a merger and acquisition. It’s like who runs into a burning building?! (raises own hand) I don’t know if it’s ego, selflessness, or just a willingness to help and learn – I think it’s a mixture of the three. Ego like you know what? I can do something here… I can make a change because they’ll be looking for change. The selflessness is this idea that I still want to be a part of this and I want to learn. There’s a story to tell no matter what. To tell a story of transition – there’s so much M&A in the tech sector and to say that I’ve been through one of the largest one ever, there’s a lesson there.
I just believe that risk – if you don’t try anything, if you don’t make a step, you don’t move. Period. To move from DC to Boston, it’s challenging me and the job is challenging me. As I see myself growing every day, I’m so sure I made the right decision.
Peuge: Quite simple. I learned to be more confident in myself. I recently decided to seek professional help. I did it for myself – I don’t regret it. It’s one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Florcy: (turns to me) I want to hear your answer.
Juliet: I think it’d be the decision to restart the blog. Part of it is that it’s a creative outlet. Sometimes there are so many things in the world that are happening that I’ll feel like I need to scream into a black void. So whether this blog picks up or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s going to be my baby. I want to use it to meet the people I want to meet, and talk to the people I want to talk to. It actually has brought a sense of peace to me, and I feel so much more comfortable to express myself.
My biggest takeaway from this interview is the confidence Florcy has in herself and her readiness to say, “This is what I’ve done. I’ve done some great work.” She owns herself and her experiences. I’m confident in myself, but I feel shy and awkward when it is time to show what I’ve done and learned. It’s easier for me to show off other people than to brag about myself – that’s something I need to work on.
Let me know in the comments below if you liked this interview & what other questions you would like Annie and I ask our interviewees next time!