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Keaira “Key” Perry ’14, MSA ’15, FLDP II, Pricing/Proposal Analyst, BAE Systems

“I wanted to make sure Merrimack knew how much it meant to my family and me to have been given such an opportunity at an amazing college.”

As Key Perry began planning her future and prioritizing her long term goals, the thought of attending college seemed too much of a financial burden for Perry and her family.

After discussing with friend and former teammate, Courtney Parker ’13, Perry was convinced by Parker to visit Merrimack’s campus. Perry took some time to visit Merrimack College during a crisp fall weekend and had the opportunity to meet with the Merrimack College Women’s Softball coaching staff and team.

Perry was invited back to campus and was accompanied by her father and brother to meet with the coaching staff for a second time. During that meeting she was extended a full scholarship to Merrimack College with the opportunity to play on the Merrimack College Women’s Varsity Softball team. The opportunity to attend Merrimack was a dream come true, and she was certain to take full advantage of the generous opportunity she was offered. Perry made a promise to herself that she would make a positive impact at Merrimack by becoming heavily involved with the activities Merrimack offers to its students.  

To say Perry excelled during her time at Merrimack would be an understatement.  She was a member of the Women’s Varsity Softball team for four years and became Captain during her senior season. In conjunction with her outstanding athletic career, she was heavily involved with multiple student activities on campus. For example, Perry participated in the Poker Club, Relay for Life, Accounting Club, Orientation Committee and became Vice President of her class in 2014. Perry majored in Business Administration and worked diligently at her course work. As a child she experienced reading difficulties, and her mother and father taught her about basic economics and accounting. Through her experiences as a child, Perry was passionate about accounting and finance and focused on her strengths in those areas as a career path.

Perry completed her Bachelor’s in Business Administration at Merrimack in 2014 and shortly after began pursuing her Master’s degree in Merrimack’s Masters of Science in Accounting program. In 2015 Perry became a member of the first graduating class of Merrimack’s MSA program, where she was selected to be the graduate school Commencement speaker.

While pursuing her MSA during the evenings, Perry was also part of a full-time financial leadership development (FLDP) program as a defense/aerospace contractor at BAE Systems. The FLDP program is a three-year development program for talented individuals who will experience diverse one year rotations and learn how to become a future leader at BAE Systems. Perry is still a member of the FLDP program at BAE Systems and will complete the program in 2017. By 2016, Perry will have started the process of obtaining Certified Financial Planner and Certified Fraud Accountant certifications.


What is the best advice you could give current Merrimack students?

Opportunities are everywhere at Merrimack but it’s up to you to always be open-minded to new ideas and receptive to meeting new people.  Whether that be attending big or small events you never know who you can run into.  Take it upon yourself to introduce yourself to people and then follow-up with them.  I found that so many people are willing to just help you out along the way.  But it starts with you asking questions, asking how they got to where they are etc.  Following up with them is key… you never know who that person is or who they know. 


What is your Favorite Merrimack memory?

Being a part of the flash mob during orientation was awesome!

(see the flash mob video here: )


Why are you Merrimack Proud?

They gave me a shot.  I am so grateful for everything I learned, everyone I met, games that I played in, clubs I was a part of.  I loved it and felt right at home from the first time I arrived on campus and had my things delivered to 264 Ash. To have been given the opportunity to be the graduate commencement speaker.  I am forever Merrimack Proud.

Be sure to view Key’s Commencement speech: