Sometimes all we need in life is the chance to jump on an opportunity when it comes our way.

Here at Rubicon we’re strong supporters of an organization called Seizing Every Opportunity (formerly Sponsors for Educational Opportunity), which was founded in 1963 by investment banking consultant Michael Osheowitz as a mentoring program to help students gain admission to competitive colleges and universities.

For over 50 years, Seizing Every Opportunity (SEO) has been an innovator in education, mentorship, and positive peer pressure to turn untapped potential into newfound greatness. In 2014, co-founder of the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Rubicon investor, Henry Kravis was named chairman of SEO. Rubicon® board member and Founding CTO of Uber, Oscar Salazar, is an enthusiastic supporter of the organization.

From SEO Scholar to Rubicon Employee

Among SEO’s over 14,000 alumni spanning 46 U.S. states and 48 countries is Rubicon employee Ryan McKenzie. With a longstanding passion for sustainability, Ryan gained an internship at Rubicon’s Atlanta headquarters in the summer of 2016 with SEO’s help.

“I first found out about SEO in the lobby of the Howard University School of Business,” said Ryan when we sat down to speak with him recently. “I had never heard of them before, but we had a great conversation and I was immediately sold on the program. Their passion for helping young minority students succeed was inspiring to me.”

An accounting major at Howard, McKenzie quickly turned this internship into a full-time position on Rubicon’s Data Integrity team which, he told us, came about in no small part thanks to the skills he learned as an SEO scholar.

“In the SEO Career internships program you’re matched up with an internship, then you’re put through a rigorous two week training course, which varies depending on if your internship is based in finance, technology, or corporate and business services,” said Ryan. “During the program I learned skills ranging from financial modeling, to corporate valuation, to advanced Excel shortcuts, as well as public speaking skills, and advice on how to better prepare for an interview.”

Rubicon Welcomes SEO Interns

Rubicon has had a number of SEO scholars serve as interns at the company’s Atlanta headquarters, many of whom have gone on to work in finance, law, and other industries of their choosing.

“The SEO Career and SEO Scholars programs do amazing work, we are proud to support them in all they do, including enthusiastically recruiting talented interns such as Ryan to our company,” said Rubicon Founder, Chairman, and CEO Nate Morris. “It is an honor for me personally to work alongside and learn from these remarkable individuals.”

Asked what his involvement with SEO looks like nowadays, Ryan told us:

“I personally still donate to the program, and I’ve let SEO know I’m always happy to do alumni coaching whenever there’s a new SEO alumni in Atlanta. After everything SEO has given me, I think it’s important that I pay this forward in any way I can.”

If you would like to find out how you can apply to be an SEO Scholar, an SEO Career intern, or if you’re interested in donating to the cause, take a look at the Seizing Every Opportunity (SEO) website.

Elizabeth Montoya is Vice President of Investor Relations at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.