Rollins

Meeting the Moment

March 05, 2024

By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS

Parker Magness at Newlab in New York City
Photo by Scott Cook.

Parker Magness ’18 came to Rollins knowing he wanted to fight climate change but not knowing what direction he would take.

After serving as an AmeriCorp Fellow and as a clean energy intern for the New York state government, international business major Parker Magness ’18 landed a position as business development manager of membership at Newlab, which helps startups scale and commercialize emerging technologies designed to solve pressing challenges. In this role, he’s focused on climate tech, improving the sources of energy and energy storage and designing sustainable materials for everything from buildings and roads to textiles.

“From my major in international business to the exposure to different topics at Rollins, I learned how to connect people and ideas,” says Magness. “My role at Newlab leverages my skills to assist people developing exciting technology in everything from networking with government and industry collaborators to fundraising, creating business models, and expanding internationally.”

Parker Magness at Newlab in New York City
Photo by Scott Cook.

Seeing Connections

“At Rollins, I developed broad knowledge and learned how to be open-minded—to observe and predict how processes and systems affect each other, even if they weren’t designed that way. I learned that nothing exists in a vacuum and that there’s a lot of interplay between people and players and industries.”

Skills-Based Learning

“I learned skills in presentation, storytelling, and public speaking. The ability to sell an idea or an object or oneself is priceless. The courses I took and challenges I overcame throughout the gen-ed curriculum and my major helped me build these skills, which I rely on every day.”

Future-Proof Foundation

“Learning how to adapt and shift perspectives was so important. Being agile in your understanding and application of your talents and skills will help you adapt to your current career path and job market, but it will also prepare you for the one you didn’t even know you wanted or one that hasn’t been invented yet.”

Students wearing caps and gowns walk to a commencement ceremony on Rollins College’s campus.

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