Christian Villescas '16 in charge of design of Sperry Topsiders

Christian Villescas '16 in charge of design of Sperry Topsiders

Christian Villescas ’16, a Mechanical Engineering major who also completed internships in the Department of Sport Management, has been working in product development for Sperry for more than three years. More recently, Villescas has held the position of Product Developer 1, using his skills to turn shoe design into a reality.

“My job is basically to serve as the bridge between the engineering aspect of our shoes and how to turn that into a marketable product,” Villescas said. “I’ve been lucky enough to work under some of the best and most multifaceted developers in the industry.”

Christian Villescas '16

As a former athlete for Rice’s track & field and cross country teams, Villescas has used his motivation to learn about sports equipment as well as his engineering skills to develop high-quality footwear that athletes can wear to maximize their potential. With his flexible schedule, Villescas continues to run competitively and has his sights set on completing the six World Marathon Majors with a goal of finishing each race under three hours.

While at Rice, Villescas landed quality internships and experiences, including the Footwear Product Management Intern position at Saucony and being the Management Assistant at the Houston Marathon. Villescas attributes many of his accomplishments to the internship program in the Department of Sport Management, led by Tom Stallings.

“I really think other departments at Rice should do what the Sport Management department is doing,” said Villescas. “Tom provided me with all the right resources and directions, so I was well-equipped to handle any application processes and nail the interviews.”

Villescas has successfully turned his lifelong passion for running and footwear into a career and has fully embraced the saying “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Read more about Villescas here.

Akash Tarkunde, a junior from Sugar Land, Texas, is majoring in Biochemistry & Cell Biology.