Richard Rathburn

Senior Associate Director, Industry Engagement

My role at UC San Diego

I work to increase opportunities for our students and alumni by engaging a variety of stakeholders within the Life and Physical Sciences industries. I help employers create recruitment and engagement opportunities for candidates interested in those areas. I serve as a bridge between industry and the campus community, helping to fulfill partnership/involvement needs.

My career path

I have over 10 years of sales, marketing, project management, and consulting experience. The common thread behind all of the positions I’ve held has been working to build and manage relationships. After about seven years in the retail management space, I returned for my MBA from the University of San Diego. Following that, I transitioned into project management and consulting before I found my way to the Higher Education space. I have spent the last two years within the Industry Engagement function of Career Services and love it. It is the perfect space to combine my passion and my expertise in a very fulfilling way. 

The rewards in doing what I do

The most rewarding part of my job is being able to positively impact students’ lives by creating more opportunity for them to pursue their career dreams. Knowing that there is one more job to apply for, one more company engaged on campus, one more event to attend, or one more speaker series to listen to, leaves me fulfilled. 

My words of wisdom to students

Accept and understand that you may not know everything and that is okay! Some of the top leaders I have encountered throughout my career have communicated one simple thing. “I know what I don’t know!” They build teams and surround themselves with people who compliment their strengths. They are humble about where they came from and how hard it has been to achieve what they have. They are willing to help those who are looking to development a strength or skill they possess. They go into every conversation open to learning new things, no matter if it’s a janitor or CEO. Take some time to really think about what you don’t know, or what you aren’t great at, surround yourself with people who possess the skills you do not. Heightening this sense of self-awareness will help you to be successful in teams and work well with others. It will also give you a great “lesson learned” or “opportunity statement” during interviews!

In my free time...

I like to hike and be outside. I prefer the mountains, but I won’t complain about the beach. I also play tennis and work on art projects all the time. I love taking something old and creating something new and wonderful from it. I am passionate about positive social change and how we can contribute as individuals, and as a community, towards positive change. 

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