||Name: Tegan Perry
MUM Degree: BS, Sustainable Living, 2010
Job: Chief Operating Officer / Co-owner
Company: Galaxy Ninja
Home: Netherlands and Fairfield, Iowa
Field: Social media and Internet promotion
MUM Standout: Vice President of Student Government
Tegan Perry cofounded Galaxy Ninja, a boutique Internet marketing and social media promotion firm, in 2010. With a name like Galaxy Ninja, a prospective client might expect an immense, devastating attack on their business problems, resulting in soaring solutions. Judging by one recently completed project — a stunning website developed to promote a new master's degree in filmmaking at Maharishi University — clearly the company has proved that they wield considerable talent.
Tegan’s route to Internet marketing was not a direct one. Her first stop after graduating from MUM was a job in Ukraine in sustainable agriculture, a full-time position that grew out of an MUM internship.
In Ukraine, Tegan assisted on projects focused on improving composting methods and using soil microbiology techniques to create higher crop yields. After the project concluded, Tegan traveled to Vlodrop, Netherlands, home of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of MUM, and of the campus of Maharishi European Research University (MERU), where she met up with MUM classmates Asher Fergusson, Eric Carter, Joey Del Re, and David Jung — who would become the cofounders of Galaxy Ninja.
Founding a Company
While in Vlodrop, Tegan & Company began working on social media and Internet marketing projects to promote the TM organization and increase views of videos of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Transcendental Meditation on websites such as YouTube.
Encouraged by their successes on these projects, the team returned to Fairfield, Iowa (home of MUM) to start a company in earnest — Galaxy Ninja.
Over the next years, contracts were landed and work accumulated. Galaxy Ninja helped the firm Conference Calls Unlimited achieve a Top 5 ranking on Google — higher even than free conference call providers, and Wikipedia and Skype. For TM.org, Galaxy Ninja orchestrated a robust social media campaign on Facebook and YouTube which led to dramatic increases in people learning the Transcendental Meditation technique.
The company became expert in search engine engagement tactics, search engine optimization (SEO), online advertising, web design, conversion optimization, and content marketing, helping organizations including the David Lynch Foundation, iPhone Life magazine, Green Building Supply, and Centerpoint Investment Strategies.
Today, Galaxy Ninja employs a small, young, distributed workforce with employees and contractors in Fairfield, Iowa, Sante Fe, New Mexico, and Herkenbosch, Netherlands. Tegan and coworkers occasionally pick up stakes and work in locales as exotic as Istanbul, Turkey, where she and her husband, David Jung, and Asher Fergusson worked for a month in 2012.
An ‘Implied Focus on Health and Creativity’
While at MUM, Tegan says she benefited from MUM’s growth-oriented atmosphere and philosophy. “There were two things I found to be particularly helpful,” says Tegan, 25. “One was learning how to self-direct. That came out of some of the directed studies programs I participated in under the guidance of my MUM professors. The other was the emphasis on relationships. One of the best things for me was the people I was thrown in with. I knew those relationships would be valuable. They were and still are.”
Tegan gained in self-knowledge while at MUM. “I learned amazing life skills — skills I won’t have to ‘unlearn’ later in life. Skills that have allowed me to connect to my spiritual sense, to stay healthy, and keep stress levels down. Sometimes I notice those things missing in my peers who went to other universities.”
Currently, Tegan runs Galaxy Ninja from the outskirts of Herkenbosch, a small town in the Netherlands, where she lives with her husband, David, who is Dutch. However, she is considering a return to Fairfield to pursue further education. Does she miss Fairfield?
“I miss the strong sense of community and the implied focus on health and creativity you find at MUM and in Fairfield,” she says. “It's something I didn't fully realize until I moved away.”