April 15, 2010
By MOISEKAPENDA BOWER
Whether the commitments are longstanding or are relatively new to his cluttered extracurricular calendar, Rice senior distance runner Justin Maxwell doesn't deviate from fulfilling what has been requested of him.
Even when circumstances offered Maxwell an opportunity to reconsider those commitments, he did not waver. Those 4:30 a.m., wake-up calls to volunteer at the Houston Marathon were less taxing when Maxwell was a student at Westside High School, but the pledging of his time to Westside High School track coach William Vogt continued even after Maxwell matriculated at Rice. When Maxwell studied abroad in London during the fall semester and participated in coursework that didn't fully relate to his pursuit of a BA in mathematical economic analysis and BS in chemical physics, he remained steadfast to everyone involved.
"It was a great experience, and I very much enjoyed it," Maxwell said.
Maxwell interned with a debt purchasing firm (Arrow Global), an experience that opened his eyes to a potential career option. Almost serendipitously Maxwell grew into his position as a past senior class rep for the Martel College Parliament. He had volunteered his time almost immediately upon his arrival on campus, and as he gradually grew more involved, Maxwell gained a greater appreciation for the responsibility.
"I've always been someone who likes to get involved," Maxwell said. "Even before I decided to run for a parliament position I was attending parliament meetings fairly regularly and helping out with different events. I'm usually very open to helping out around the college with whatever needs to be done. I ended up running because I wanted a bigger role."
His craving for additional tasks is rather remarkable considering Maxwell will graduate this May with a double major and more than 200 credit hours. Beyond the coursework oversees, his internship with Arrow Global, and his multi-term stint as senior class rep at Martel College representing those without direct ties to student government and underrepresented in the voting process, Maxwell was a consistent contributor on the Owls' track team in cross country, the steeplechase, and at 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He even carved out some time to work for his father, Fred Maxwell, at SpawMaxwell Construction last summer.
"No one really knows how the college system works unless they have deep ties to Rice, so obviously I didn't anticipate being heavily involved with my college," Maxwell said. "But as soon as I got here I was more than willing to help with all kinds of stuff, so it didn't surprise me that I got involved. But at the same time it was not something I planned on doing."
The post-graduate plan appears more concrete: work in consulting or investment banking, pursue an MBA and then start a firm of his own. His father serves a model for developing a successful business, and Maxwell has achieved enough during his time at Rice to warrant belief that all his endeavors will dovetail at precisely the right place and at the right time.
By seeing through with his commitments, Justin Maxwell is positioned to become one of Tomorrow's Leaders.
"I look up to those guys, they push me every day."
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