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An Interview with Jason Perlioni '94

We interviewed Sallyportal’s No. 1 fan, Association of Rice Alumni Board of Directors member Jason Perlioni ’94. Jason is an avid Sallyportal supporter, having been one of the original visionaries, champions and, now, an active mentor. He has served Rice in multiple volunteer capacities, one of which being an Owl Edge Externship host. Thank you, Jason, for all you do for Rice!

Q: Do you have a mentor?

A: Multiple mentors. I leverage their expertise and advice depending on what I need, whether it’s career advice or advice on how to best manage the people on my team. When you grow in your career, you have a broader network of people who ultimately take on the form of mentors. As a student, I was able to find guidance from folks who I sought out. Sallyportal makes this so much more accessible now.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your career background.

A: Management consulting for four years before going to business school at University of Chicago. Then I went to Northwestern University’s endowment office where I started my investment career. Short stint at UBS in their asset management business as a portfolio manager, and then I went to Pritzker Group where I was CIO for 10 years. Now, I am making the move to take over the CIO role at Johns Hopkins University.

Q: What is the value of the Rice community to you?

A: Most importantly, the network of Rice alumni and folks that you never knew — because they were many years before or after you — invariably have a common characteristic of curiosity and intellect that stands out relative to folks that you meet over the years from other schools and other backgrounds. You’re almost always able to connect quickly and have shared experience. It’s amazing how quickly the Rice folks that you meet out in the world become friends relative to others. That’s something really fun and neat about meeting other Rice alumni.

Q: What’s your favorite Rice memory?

A: At the end of O-Week, we had They Might Be Giants play a concert and that was fun. Being an O-Week advisor for several years was one of the most memorable and exciting parts of my Rice experience. One of the coolest memories was my senior year when we beat UT on the field for the first time in 29 years … that is an amazing memory.

Q: You’re currently ranked No. 1 on Sallyportal! How did that happen?

A: I think other folks need to be more active on Sallyportal! But at the same time, in some small part it’s a little bit my baby, and I want it to be successful. I keep active on it in order to spark connectivity between alumni. One example of how I’ve been active: a student reached out to me seeking jobs and networks in the Bay Area. I emailed her back and we spoke on the phone as well. I connected her to a fellow Association of Rice Alumni Board member who heads the San Francisco Rice chapter. The next day, they were having a regional network gathering so I prompted her to go to that. It was exclusively through Sallyportal that that connection was made and she went to this event, met tons of alumni there and quickly became part of the alumni community in San Francisco, and now has a job. Sallyportal had a big part in that process, and just two years ago, that would not have happened in the same way. When students and alumni use Sallyportal, that will only help the whole network grow.

Q: What professional advice do you have for current Rice students?

A: Don’t worry about the money; focus on your passion. Do something you love to do and go after it. While you’re young, you have so much freedom to take risks because if you fail, you can pick yourself up and do something else. Follow your passion and the rest will come.

Q: Why should Rice alumni and parents be active on Sallyportal?

A: The more active we all are, the tighter and more connected we all become. We are a small group of people in a very big world, and technology is giving us a chance to be more connected than we otherwise would be.

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