Reed Stiles

Professionals - Evening

Professionals - Evening
Current Industry/Job: Energy/Reservoir Engineer
From: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Favorite quote and why:

I went back and watched Steve Jobs on the secrets of life for this one: 'Everything around you that you call life was made up by people, no smarter than you ... shake off the erroneous notion that life is there and you just basically live in it. Instead, embrace, change, make your mark on it. Change life to make it better because it's kind of a messed up world. Once you realize that; you'll never be the same."

It empowers me to make moves and try new things. I firmly believe that I have the opportunity to create big change - it's all up to me to figure it out. If I don't make moves and try new things, then passively living life as it is remains the only course.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor and why?

Tim Ferriss - He's about 15 years older than me; wouldn't mind using him as a guiding light in my business and personal career. He's a big supporter of being a generalist but having strong competencies in many different fields. He motivates me to create new things and find my passion. I like that he's introverted but can pretend to be an extrovert.

Best memory from your first year in the MBA program:

Seattle trek - Value added: networking with fellow Professional students, the Rice alumni in Seattle and many new industries that we experienced. Also, Seattle is a neat city with great food and culture!

What story does your family always tell about you?

I never wore a coat growing up, despite the cold weather in Arkansas. Teachers were concerned that we were unable to afford coats, but my mother assured them that she sent me to school with a coat every day and I just decided to not wear it. Also, I would wear shorts in cold weather. I must have had the "it's 5 o'clock somewhere" attitude.

What advice would you like to provide incoming students?

1. Don't leave Houston your first semester. Cancel or avoid planning out-of-town trips. Instead, make new social plans with your new classmates.
2. Plan on going to PCF as many times in a semester as you can. Fear of being tired at work on Thursday is a weak excuse.
3. Be a "Yes-man" or "Yes-woman." Sign up for a club immediately and start attending lunches, after work presentations and other Rice events. The REFS (Rice Energy Finance Summit) was incredibly cool, highly recommend. I talked about the Seattle trek above; good example of an event that a lot of people skipped and later told me they wish they had attended.

Any additional unique facts you would like to share:

So far the only new business venture that I've launched since starting Rice has been a podcast with my best friend where we recap episodes of ABC's The Bachelor...what a time to be alive!