Nov. 6, 2007
For Jonathan Cary, the prospect of attending Rice University was a big deal.
The senior, who expects to graduate in May with a degree in managerial studies and sports management, grew up with his mother and younger brother in Palestine, a small town in east Texas.
"Football was my vehicle for getting here." explains Jonathan. "For most athletes the ideal situation would be to go to a state school or a "football school" but for me it was different I wanted to graduate with a top notch education and play football. I guess I was different in a lot of ways coming out of high school because the characteristics in a school I was looking for were things like graduation rates, class sizes and student teacher ratios, thus I chose Rice."
With workouts and then class followed by more class then football meetings, football practice, dinner, Jonathan's days are filled. But, what is so interesting in talking to Jonathan is the effort he has made to establish relationships with professors, studets and people outside of Rice.
"I've been able to learn a lot and I think a lot of that has to do with the relationships that I have made. I feel like I've learned more outside of the classroom from talking and being able listen to people than I have in the classroom. I sill have relationships with professors who's classes I took my freshman year."
Jonathan has had a number of jobs during the summers while at Rice. He worked as a research assistant to a Rice Mechanical Engineering professor, who is a NASA consultant, last year and aided in a report that was sent to NASA on the team's behalf.
"It was really cool being able to work with a rocket scientist." He studied and helped manipulate the heating analysis data for the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia, which exploded. At Rice, Jonathan was a member of the stat department's research team, VIGRE (Vertical Integration of Research and Education), where he incorporated data from his Columbia analysis at NASA into is research project and presentation.
Last summer, Jonathan interned with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in the Houston Branch. He shadowed the bank's assistant VP, Donald Bowers. In conjunction with the Bank, Jonathan also assisted with Houston Urban League to coordinate Youth Baseball Clinic with the Houston Astros. While at the Fed he learned the basic functions and the importance of quality relations with surrounding financial institutions.
Jonathan has also interned in corporate sales and marketing with the Houston Dynamo MLS Organization as well as with Enterprise.
"One of my main goals while being here was to never become complacent. I never wanted to make excuses as to why I could not be qualified in a certain area. I took it upon myself during the summers to supplement what I learned in the classroom with real world experiences so that when graduation time comes the transition from student to adulthood would not be that hard."
And now Jonathan is looking either to go into commercial banking or sign on with a consulting firm.
"I have being able to learn about a lot of different things. So I think with consulting it would be pretty neat to work in a job where you learn how to solve new problems everyday." he says. And things are looking good for Jonathan. He has already started the interviewing process well before graduation, and expects to have a job before that time comes.