How to pursue your passion without quitting your day job
Aisha Stroud ‘09 works in indirect funding at America’s First Credit Union by day and DJs for weddings, corporate events, nightclubs and parties by night. Stroud decided in 2005 while at Auburn that she wanted to explore DJing.
Because she had always had a love of music and even started her own dance team at Auburn called Younique, she thought her musical talents would take her far.
There were very few female DJs at the time, so Stroud studied under Auburn local DJ Hardwork while learning the ins and outs of the job. She would meet with him after class and learn more and more about what it meant to be a successful DJ.
She performed on Auburn’s campus several times, as well as the local skating rink. There she learned that DJing was not only something she enjoyed, but something she was good at. A year before graduating from Auburn in 2009, Stroud wanted to change her major from engineering to something new, so she sat down with her counselor to discuss the best course of action to ensure she could graduate as soon as possible.
Looking at the classes she had already completed, her options were limited. Having to choose between anthropology and organic gardening, she chose to graduate in anthropology, a decision that would later help her understand how Human Resource Management works.
“A lot of the things I learned in anthropology tie into what I do and what I learned in human resources,” Stroud said. “Anthropology is the study of life and you need to be able to understand the philosophy of life to understand different kinds of people.”
Having worked at Auburn Bank for two years while she was in school, Stroud went straight to work at Wells Fargo for five years after graduating before starting at her current position at America’s First Credit Union, where she plans to move into HR in the next few years.
Stroud connects her college studies to what she does now by learning to understand people better. Studying anthropology allowed her to master interacting with all kinds of people — a skill she uses every single day.
Because she was focused on graduating school, she lost track of DJing her last few years of college, but picked it back up in 2012 when she was working at Wells Fargo. Now, as DJ Gorgeous, she has been consistently DJing and building her brand for the last six years.
“College was where I learned how to DJ. Auburn prepared me for what I do now because I learned how to conduct business in the most professional way. It’s where I grew up from being a teen girl to an adult woman.”
When she first started off in 2012, she took just about any gig she could get. With her current popularity, she is now able to be more selective, mainly performing for weddings and parties.
Some of her regular gigs include performing at a local sports bar and Top Golf in Huntsville, but for the most part she sticks to DJing weddings and private events.
Stroud hopes to inspire others in everything she does by showing that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and accomplish your goals.