Harvard FIG Magazine recently sat down with student Sarai Perez Camacho and interviewed her on how Pavé The Way® Jewelry pieces resonate with her style and story. Read her full Q&A below:

What made you start thinking that leadership was a scam?

I think I can probably focus on two points. One was in elementary school when they asked “What is your ideal career?” And a lot of people gravitated towards the presidency. I always was like, I’d rather be vice president, because I always saw presidency as like a role with little actual work, more like a role that was used as a scapegoat. It didn’t seem really connected to anything other than prestige. 

Now, as I’ve grown older, I’ve kind of maintained that viewpoint, because a lot of times when you see people in leadership, there’s the assumption that you should want to go up and rank, and that’s how you progress. That’s how you show you’re passionate about something. But a lot of the time, you just become more distant from whatever you were working on. 

So, for example, say you’re volunteering, and like to volunteer, then you’re like, alright, I’m going to go for the directorship. I’m going to become part of the board. And all of a sudden you find yourself never volunteering– you’re essentially just not connected to the thing that brought you passion, the thing that made you want to connect to this leadership role.

I was curious about your thoughts on how change can be effectively made without taking a leadership position?

It is possible. It’s mostly that you do what you feel called to do. And I do believe that some aspects of leadership can be helpful. But I think having less of these expectations, less of a hierarchical structure is good.

How do you see this at Harvard?

I definitely think power hoarding is an issue. In a lot of programs, every position that you can have is given this like it’s given a fancy name, it’s given this prestigious role. And it comes down to what rank you have, not how you contribute to the space.

I don’t know if having this culture also leads to an increase in competency in these roles, because people are aiming at roles not because of passion or qualification or desire, but more because they want to put it on a resume, or they want to be able to talk about it. Or just because they feel the pressure.

Could you talk to me a little bit about why you were drawn to these pieces?

I think the biggest thing was just kind of the contrast between the softness of the metal– the gold, the silver, the chain is delicate– and then the aggressiveness of the piece, the hammers and the saw. I like the contrast, and having them together and having them really says a lot about my aesthetic. I like having a mix of delicateness and more heavy handedness.

What role do you think jewelry plays in your life?

I personally love wearing jewelry. I like that sense of adornment, and being purposeful in what earrings you want to put on that day, what necklaces you want to put to really set my mood for how I’m going to act and what kind of persona I’m going to be putting forward. I think it’s something that’s essential when I’m creating an outfit that I’m going to walk out in. I feel naked without my rings.

Read the full Harvard FIG feature and more at harvardfigmag.com

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