Dr. Alvin Perry.
Dr. Alvin Perry ’12 wasn’t sure he had the academic ability to pursue a doctoral degree. “I lacked academic confidence,” the serial entrepreneur and author explains. “Getting a C was fine in my family, but I learned that I needed more.”
Perry went to college, then on to his MBA He learned about Walden when a college fraternity brother enrolled in a PhD program at the university. “That was the linchpin,” Perry says.
He was intrigued by Walden’s focus on entrepreneurship and decided to enroll for his DBA. “I thought, ‘They might kick me out, but I won’t quit!’ ” he recalls.
To ensure his success, Perry focused on building academic confidence through the connections he made at Walden. Dr. Emad Rahim, a professor and entrepreneur he met during his first residency, ultimately became his ongoing mentor. “We collaborated on an academic paper about entrepreneurship,” Perry explains. “Before I graduated, I was published in an academic journal and presented at a conference—all through my connection to Dr. Rahim.”
He also connected with fellow students who helped him through tough moments. “Walden is a virtual classroom, so I made as many friends as possible at the residency so I could draw on them for support,” he says. “I ended up calling many of them to discuss assignments or compare notes on our program.” As a result of his tenacity and networking, Perry was invited to speak at a residency in 2012. “On my way there, I received word that my degree was conferred,” he says. “I introduced myself to the students as Dr. Perry for the very first time.”
His connections brought him full circle, from an uncertain but determined student just starting out to a successful graduate standing in front of students. “I’m always happy to provide advice to students; I want Walden to become the Harvard of online education.”
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