Almost everyone has a special person in their life who – at one time or another – has encouraged them to do more and be more. For Edward Perry, he too, experienced this point in his life when he says his career was not moving at a fast enough pace.
“This person tapped me on the shoulder when I thought I wasn’t progressing forward, and told me not to give up,” he recalls.
It was this encouragement that later motivated Perry to transition from his successful sales and marketing career into one that focused on teaching so that he could inspire students with the same motivation that fueled him. Today, Perry is one of Evergreen College’s professors in the Business Administration in International Trading program, where he draws on his 25 years of global work experience from New York, San Francisco, Germany and Spain to offer students a global perspective of the curriculum.
“As you grow older, you want to build a legacy using the skill set you have in order to bring others to the next level,” he said. “Teaching offers a way for me to give back to the community.”
Perry began teaching at Evergreen College in February 2019, and previously was educating others in a corporate environment, including both classroom and online modules. He notes that as his life priorities changed, he was drawn to the idea of further utilizing his skills from the workplace as a professor.
“To be able to utilize my experience in a classroom environment to support other people and their growth is one of my aspirations in my life,” he said.
Currently, he says the best part about teaching is transforming someone from a mindset about how they’ll never move forward to a realization that they can do a lot more than they once thought.
“The mindset I often see among my students involves a limited perspective of capability and potential,” he said. “The most fruitful part of teaching is enlightening students about what is possible for their careers, not only in Canada, but in the grander scheme.”
Perry recalls how many international students come to Canada with a limited view of the career success they can achieve in a new country. His goal, through teaching, he says, is to demonstrate how far they can go in their careers, and enlighten them to what’s possible.
“In my instructional path, I provide examples about senior management roles and it has enlightened people about being able to do more than work in a donut shop, but rather manage an entire business.”
Perry says providing these examples to students is not always possible, especially in institutions with large class sizes. But at Evergreen College, where many students are new to Canada, the smaller class sizes are ideal in order to deliver individualized attention and support each student’s development.
“The college provides a unique opportunity for newcomers in Canada to explore what is possible in Canada and tap into it,” he said. “We’re able to help people acclimate to Canadian society, teach them how to interact in a Canadian workforce and bridge any gaps quickly so they can be happy in the workplace.”
While he hasn’t been with the college long enough to see a full cycle of students through to graduation yet, Perry says he looks forward to hearing from alumni who have achieved success in their careers because they applied learnings from his classroom.
“As a professor, I hope that I’ve exuded the passion that is needed in order for my students to be successful in business,” he said. “For the students who pick up on that passion, I’m willing to support them in moving to the next level.”
Evergreen College’s Business Administration in International Trading diploma program prepares students for an exciting, global career in just two academic years. The combination of theoretical classroom work plus an internship ensures students have a solid foundation in international trade, including the manufacturing, marketing, legal and financial aspects of business. For more information, visit the program page here.