Multifaceted and hardworking, Terri Burns wears many different hats. Associate Product Manager at Twitter, contributor at Forbes, and chair of Tech@NYU are just a few of the roles Terri currently occupies. With natural leadership qualities and an itch to get things done, Terri spends much of her time pondering ways to improve people’s quality of life through tech and embarking on projects that accelerate that goal. Terri shares insights with writer and Girl Genius Sequoia Holmes on how to be “The Only” in tech spaces, and how creativity is a driving factor in the technological field.
Some of her biggest influences are women - particularly Black women who are dominating in their field of work. That list of people can range from co-workers to CEO's of major companies. Powerful women of color influence and motivate her to continue to make advances in the tech community.
Terri thrives on boredom! When she feels that what she's doing isn't exciting anymore, she becomes motivated to move on to a new idea, and keeps her on her toes.
People tend to warp the definition of creativity as simply creating something from nothing, but Terri views it as creating something given a number of constraints. She says "That's how I view the tech industry. Whether you’re a software engineer and you spend your days coding, or you’re a product manager and you’re figuring out new features for the product, you’re given a number of rules, a number of constraints, a number of resources and from that you have to build literally anything."
When asked about being "the only" in the tech community, Terri says, "I think that now that I've gotten older I've accepted that in order to improve my situation and the situations of other people, someone has to be the only, and up until this point I've been okay with biting the bullet and continuing to exist in these very homogeneous circumstances in which I'm the only one."
Terri Burns exudes confidence, and creativity so it's no surprise that she has accomplished so much at such a young age. The exciting part about this young woman's story is that it has just begun, and there are no limitations to what she will accomplish in her life time. Check out her website, and follow her on IG/Twitter!