March 30, 2009
Charles Hampton competes in the solitary sport of distance running, but it hardly fits his demeanor once he leaves the track each day.
The senior from Scottsdale, Arizona has kept up a dizzying pace with a variety of invaluable internship opportunities on top of campus activities as he pursues his dream of a career in Sports Management.
"I've always been very involved all through my life," Hampton said. "I had originally thought I would study engineering, but I found that I wasn't happy with that direction. When I found Sports Management, it was a great fit because it was an extension of so many things I was already interested in and was able to work with so many great people," he added.
Hampton began his college career at the University of Texas, but found himself limited in his opportunities."Texas was too isolated in terms of athletics and that wasn't for me. I like being able to have multiple interests and branch out," he noted.
During his time at Rice, Hampton has been in position to take advantage of some unique internships, including one that had a secondary advantage.
"I had heard through a friend about the opportunity to work an internship with the College World Series in 2007," Hampton recalled. "I really didn't know what to expect when I went there, but it's such an amazing event that has so much community support and energy behind it. I had a lot of responsibilities which was great experience, and then to top it off, Rice made the field that year. I had friends suddenly wanting to come up for a visit," he laughed.
The following fall, he was selected as the first intern in a new program developed by the Houston Texans that placed him in the nerve center of the NFL team's decision-making apparatus. For nine months, he worked as an administrative aid for Texans President Jamey Rootes.
"It was a little overwhelming at first, but I gained a greater appreciation for what someone like Jamey Rootes goes through on a day-to-day basis," he noted. "It is so much more than just wins and losses on the field. The Texans do such a great job with the total fan experience and I have tried to take some of that approach to our projects here on campus," Hampton added.
Hampton has participated in a number of projects to try and increase the attendance of the student body at athletic events. With the Owls posting a 10-3 record and a bowl win in football, his timing could not have been much better.
"I see things changing here for the better. You see more people in athletics gear, and I think everyone has a great feeling when our athletes are successful."
He has reflected on what he left behind in Austin, but remains convinced that he made the right decision.
"When I was at Texas, I saw the same smaller group of people all the time. I felt like I knew no one outside of athletics. But here at Rice, it's so important to take advantage of all the people you can meet. It's an invaluable experience and I would not trade my time here for anything in the world." he stated.
As someone who has tirelessly compiled a wide variety of experience in advance of his moving into the workforce, Charles Hampton has positioned himself well to be one of Tomorrow's Leaders.