To honor Black History Month this February, Noodle is celebrating a number of our Black colleagues in a series of "Profiles in Diversity." We are incredibly grateful to our colleagues who have shared their stories with us here. We hope they inspire you like they inspire us.
Abe Perry leads us in Noodle's mission to lower the cost of education, enrich our culture, and catalyze change in higher education.
Meet Managing Director of Enrollment Management Abé Perry
“I inspire team members to be confident in their leadership as well as assertive when they need to be.”
As a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader with over 10 years of experience driving strategic partnerships, sales, and performance at an educational technology company, Abé Perry has coordinated with staff and leadership to develop and consistently exceed targets for improvement. Perry proactively established goals and motivated cross-functional teams to achieve them. Leveraging her business acumen and sound decision-making skills, she has also optimized internal operations and boosted partnership engagement.
What elements or traits does a great leader exhibit?
A great leader should be a self-starter, a great problem solver, a good collaborator – definitely someone aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. A great leader is also someone who can champion the growth of employees on the team.
How has your personal leadership style evolved over time?
My style has evolved over time to become more transformational; to lead from a place of encouragement to help my reports become leaders themselves. I like to collaborate and get to know them, to encourage them to use all their talents to add value to what they’re doing. I inspire team members to be confident in their leadership as well as assertive when they need to be.
What is it about your background or career experiences that successfully positioned you for your role at Noodle?
My passion for helping others and success at another Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was in a start-up phase. As an Admissions counselor, I mainly worked with military-affiliated candidates and my husband was deployed at the time, so the work was very important to me. As a Vice President of Admissions, my responsibilities included managing a portfolio of social services degrees, and managing a large team across different time zones.
How do you build momentum as a leader among diverse stakeholders at Noodle?
My focus has been to encourage the enrollment team to be thoughtful about how we approach things, and not rush to make sudden changes. I’ve also worked at being transparent with my leadership and with communicating throughout the company. I worked to standardize the process of enrollment external hiring.
How do you support the success of your teams?
I am responsible for my teams’ performance, to make sure that the teams are supported and have the right resources to be successful. In the end, I hold enrollment teams accountable. I value documentation of processes and procedures, so I’ve worked hard with my teams to establish clear lines of accountability. I developed a mentorship track within the enrollment department which laid the foundation for the leadership roles we have now. We are now able to properly support our enrollment advisors and be better thought partners to our Universities.
Describe how your career has been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places or experiences.
Prior to joining Noodle, as I mentioned, I worked at another OPM where I focused mostly on the social services vertical. As I moved up in that organization, I found myself managing individuals who were already established in their positions and programs in other verticals, like MBA, Law, and international relations. The challenge was to think outside the box and revise our traditional way of doing things in order to improve performance. I took some risks that people didn’t think could be successful, but they paid off. One example concerned an International Relations and Law program that partnered a Mexican university with a university in the U.S. When I first came in, I took strategies from my previous work to create standards benchmarks and a procedure to drive students through each step in the process. These changes led the program to meet and even exceed enrollment targets in some quarters. This diverse experience has made me a more well-rounded leader.
What are some of the most effective tools in your leadership arsenal?
My organization skills, being a quick decision maker, an ability to problem solve, and an ability to recognize and champion the strength of others.
Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.
The fact is I don’t really enjoy public speaking. There’s always been a lot of public speaking in all the positions I’ve held, but I’m really more of a one-on-one person.