“The best way to stay authentic, is to find your purpose and passion in life.” – Kevin Rice

Kevin Rice received a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut in 1973. He then went on to receive two master’s degrees from the University of West Florida and University of La Verne in 1977 and 1985. He spent 17 years from 1978 to 2001 as Director of Business Management for Lockheed Martin. As well as 17 years from 2001 to 2018 as Director of Project Business Management (Division Manager) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Rice has served as an adjunct professor of International Business, Corporate Finance, and Global Financial Management at the University of Redlands, Redlands, Ca since 1992.

Kevin Rice started his own successful business out of college. This allowed him to learn many great lessons regarding the business world. After a while, Rice sold his own business and took his wealth of knowledge to Lockheed Martin. Rice went overseas for 7 years, gaining even more knowledge and experience dealing with different cultures at Lockheed. Rice has worked around the world and back, traveling to over 60 different countries. After a very long and successful career, he decided to retire from Lockheed Martin and pursue teaching the youth.

He figured, since no one in his family was interested in what he knew about business, he would teach business students instead. Older generations might have the experience but it’s the youth that will come up with the new inventions of the future. Parts of his teaching to students involves the interview tips he shared with IBA. Rice recommends coming to any interview with 3 to 5 points you want to make by the time the interview is over, even if you’re not asked about these in particular. A key takeaway from his lectures is that people are more interested in what you’ve done, instead of just what you know.

Kevin also encourages students to ask questions during interviews, “the people who succeed are those who ask questions, and especially if they are relevant and advance the conversation.” The only off limit questions are those on profits, losses or benefits. He also urges students to not be intimidated by other people, letting them know that they’ve worked hard enough to earn their spots in those places and should demand the respect they deserve. That doesn’t mean disregarding the older folks however, he also points out that older people like to show how much they know so they will likely talk to you if you seek them out.

Finding someone you look up to and would like to talk to one on one someday is one way to find a goal or purpose. Once that’s done, finding a mentor who can help you meet that person is another important step one can take as a younger person. Other advice he had for IBA is to always try to see the larger picture, and be flexible and able to leverage all your skills, not just those learned in school. The importance of that last one can’t be stretched enough as it’s one students tend to neglect a lot. Before answering questions, Mr. Rice left us with a last piece of advice, the most important things to companies are their long term investment strategy, where their money comes from and how they’re doing today. Try to get yourself in positions where you influence these outcomes

Question: In the job force today what is the balance between experience and education? How high of a value do you have on grades in an interview?

Response: Grades don’t matter at all. Haven’t seen that much focus on what school you graduated from. Don’t worry so much about grades. It’s all about what you’ve done and how you got there.

Question: Can I have more insight on job interviews/ internship interviews?

Response: It used to be about what you know, now it’s about what you did. Be Prepared to answer your questions and questions that are regularly asked at interviews. Don’t ever answer the question, “what are your weaknesses?” What you do is turn your weakness into a strength. Lastly, make your passion clear during the interviewer, it’s what can differentiate you from other applicants. What’s your purpose for doing what you are doing should be cleared at the interview by the end.