A person looks into the camera, framing his face

Beyond Excellence: Dorian Canales

As one of the few liberal arts colleges in a major metropolitan area, Rhodes offers students the opportunity to explore career paths well ahead of graduation. Memphis is a hub of healthcare, business, and culture and Rhodes' many partnerships in the city provide endless possibilities. 

An economics major, Dorian Canales is an intellectually curious student who seeks new challenges to strengthen his skills. This past summer, he worked as a global planning and engineering technology intern at FedEx Express and attended the Harvard Business School Summer Venture in Management Program.

“Rhodes has helped me develop a strong foundation and the necessary transferable skills to thrive in any industry,” says Canales. 

In the FedEx internship, Canales assisted various teams while creating an Excel method to update the distribution of lines and a SharePoint site that better manages and shares important documentation. He also installed expensive technology that allowed package scans to be processed more efficiently.

Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Canales and his family migrated to Memphis when he was seven years old. “My family and I came here to pursue better opportunities. We have relentlessly worked hard to contribute to this society in any way we can,” he says. “I hope one day I am allowed to visit my beautiful country, because one of my goals is to empower my Honduran community and provide them with resources to achieve their goals.

Even for a Memphian, Rhodes offered Dorian new experiences and new ways to discover purpose within his community. He has served as a tutor for area elementary and middle school students for Rhodes’ Learning Center, as well as for Streets Ministries and Memphis Athletic Ministries.

Canales is president of Men of Distinction, which fosters community among the male students of color at Rhodes and provides them with the tools to be successful on campus and off. In addition, he is president of the Highschool Outreach Program, which promotes post-graduation options to students in underrepresented high schools in Memphis through workshops on ACT preparation, financial aid, and admissions essays.
His other leadership activities at Rhodes include serving as a Class of 2020 Senator, where he is a part of the Student Services Committee. Also a Finance Student Trustee, Canales says, “We tackle critical questions such as ‘How do we strategically make investments in our future, while prudently managing current operations?’ and ‘How will we financially support expanded student residency?’”

“I am thankful that prestigious institutions such as Rhodes, Harvard Business School, and FedEx Express have given me the opportunity to demonstrate how I can make a difference in the world.”