Cyrenna, a Website Production Associate in Washington, D.C.

Reading time: 3 minutes

Ms. Cyrenna Cooper Your Corporate Black Girl

I've grown up in the DMV for a large part of my life. I graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, with a concentration in Public Relations. Such is life, nothing goes as planned. Once I graduated I envisioned myself working in a PR firm in D.C., working with a variety of clients. However, I ended up at my job now, as a Website Production Associate. This is my first “big girl” job and the beginning of my career path, but I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

Be yourself! Don’t try to “blend in” with the work culture to make those around you happy. Stay true to yourself.
— Ms. Cyrenna Cooper

How would you explain your job title to a child?

I create websites using WordPress for various branches that are apart of the nonprofit organization I work for. Branch members can send me any information they would like on their website, and I help them to maintain their sites.

What were important steps you had to take to be in your current position?

The important steps I took to get to my current position may be similar to a lot of other people’s steps. I interned in this position at the beginning of October 2017. By December 2017, I was made a temporary employee. Now in April 2018, I am a full-time employee. I already had some previous knowledge of WordPress and HTML coding that is beneficial to my position.

Do you know the percentage of black women working in your field, if so how much?

I’ve researched my field, and the number of Black Women in the IT field is around 3%, according to a study back in 2015.

What challenges have you experienced in the workplace?

With this being my first corporate job, there were a number of challenges I endured. I think one challenge that I really had to adjust to is that not everyone is like you, or is going to like you. I say this meaning that when I would walk the hallways, or run into someone in the kitchen, they’re not always going to speak to you, or even look your direction. I used to take this personally, but after almost six months I’ve learned that 

Another challenge I’ve experienced in the workplace is how to deal with questions. There have been times where in the middle of a project, I come across a problem and don’t know how to move forward. I always used to try and research an answer, but ultimately I had to build up the courage to ask for help when I needed it. I didn’t want to be seen as the new girl in the office who didn’t know anything. But I eventually learned that if you want to succeed, you have to put your pride aside and ask questions. It’s always better to ask questions when they come up, rather than having to fix your mistakes down the line.

What are some things that you love about your job/career? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I love that I’m able to use my work skills to help my creative projects. I run a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog. For both the websites I create for my job, and my own personal blog, I use WordPress. So I’m able to incorporate those skills in both aspects of my life.

What advice do you have for someone first coming into a professional space? It can be more than one.

Be yourself! Don’t try to “blend in” with the work culture to make those around you happy. Stay true to yourself.




To reach Ms. Cyrenna Cooper:

LinkedIn- Cyrenna Cooper