Meet JJ Perino ’08

This All-American applies lessons learned at Montana Tech to achieve his goals.

JJ Perino

"Going to Montana Tech was a totally unexpected outcome for me," stated the Helena native JJ Perino. He had been to Montana Tech for football camps, but wasn’t sure Butte and engineering was a good fit for him. After his senior season, then Oredigger football coach Bob Green invited JJ for a campus visit. "I remember telling my Mom this was a waste of time that I wasn’t going to go to Tech," remembers JJ. "Six hours later I’m sitting in the press box looking over the football field and mountains as the sun set. At that moment I knew this was the place for me!"

As with all students considering college, JJ was faced with the reality that he just couldn’t financially afford to attend college. JJ was preparing to join the Navy as an alternative and completed all of the paperwork for his mother’s signature. "I grabbed the mail and threw it on the front seat of the car and just happened to look through it at a stoplight. That’s when I saw the scholarship letter to Montana Tech!", said JJ. If he hadn’t grabbed the mail that day, he would have joined the Navy and his life would have been very different.

JJ enrolled at Montana Tech pursing his engineering degree and excelling on the football field receiving First Team AFCA All-American, First Team VCN All-American and First Team All-Conference in 2006 and 2007. After graduating with his bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering, he accepted an internship in Nevada. The economy was crashing and JJ was thankful just to have a job. After 4 years working in his chosen degree field, JJ knew he needed a change and applied to Arizona State University to pursue his MBA.

The decision to obtain an advance degree was not an easy one. JJ remembers the hardest challenge of pursuing his education was deciding what he wanted to do.

"You really only get 1 or 2 or at best 3 chances to pick a direction, and then you’re stuck with it." said JJ. To help him navigate through that challenge, JJ focused on the process of building skills that could apply generally; got comfortable being uncomfortable, invested the time and energy checking in with his goals and vision; and had faith in himself.

"The full time MBA program was intense, but I was ready for the challenge after going through the engineering program at Montana Tech while playing football," stated JJ. Montana Tech was a critical part of JJ’s career. "Montana Tech taught me a lot about hard work, prioritizing, and critical thinking. The engineering program taught me a lot about how to think, not just what to think." continued JJ.

Currently JJ is President and Principle Consultant at TwoTen Strategy, a boutique strategy consulting agency he founded in 2018. When asked what advice he would give to current and future students, "I would tell students to work hard at being uncommon. Strive to be different." JJ continues, "Work hard, enjoy the process, be good to people, and believe in yourself!"

We are on the lookout for stories to share with our Oredigger community, if you know of a person or story to be featured please email spanisko@mtech.edu.