Texas Tech Alumnus Teams Up with Houston’s Millionaire Matchmaker
By Cara Vandergriff, Texas Tech Office of Communications and Marketing
Jorge Ochoa's education and passion for relationships helped land him a job at Rose Matchmaking, Houston's millionaire matchmaking firm.
Jorge Ochoa always knew he wanted to do something not considered "typical." As a child, his dream job was to be a performer. His free-spirited nature and outside-the-box style of thinking helped lead him down a creative path, though he didn't end up on stage like he thought he would. Instead, Ochoa is helping set the stage for other people's relationships. It may not be entertainment, but Ochoa's job working for Houston's Millionaire Matchmaker isn't too disappointing.
Ochoa, 24, was born in Houston, where he graduated from Spring Woods High School in 2009 and decided to continue his education at Texas Tech University. He originally decided to study nursing, but after a tough year that included the death of a close friend, Ochoa was forced to re-evaluate his life.
"Her death really hit me hard," Ochoa said. "I was so confused as to how that happened to her and why I was affected so much. I was left with so many questions; I had never experienced death before."
Ochoa's tough year nearly led to him dropping out of Texas Tech, but he credits Mentor Tech for helping him turn his grief and confusion into a newfound interest.
"I met with someone just to see what kind of programs they offered at the College of Human Sciences," he said. "That same day I ended up switching over to Human Development and Family Studies."
After his switch to HDFS, Ochoa took as many relationship-focused classes as he could to help him understand death, grief and the emotions people feel when a loved one passes away.
"I took as many relationship classes as possible," Ochoa said. "I even took courses in the psychology department to try to make sense of relationships."
Erika Brooks, service learning coordinator of the Teaching, Learning & Professional Development Center, recalls Ochoa being a standout student when he served as her teaching assistant for a women's studies class.
"Those classes are usually pretty unbalanced as far as the ratio of women to men goes, but Jorge had an open mind and really seemed to understand it," Brooks said. "He was vocal, confident, organized and very approachable – all of those things stuck out to me when he was a student."
Brooks said Ochoa learned a lot about relationships and gendered interactions in her class, knowledge she believes is helpful in his current career.
"My class was about gender norms, so it's interesting to me that he's a matchmaker because I wonder if and how he uses that knowledge to his advantage when he's working with relationships," Brooks said. "He was a good student – very outgoing and a go-getter; I'm sure you have to be like that to succeed in a job like this."
Ochoa credits the College of Human Sciences for opening a door that led him to this job.
"I didn't switch my major thinking, 'Oh, I want to be a matchmaker,' but as I went through the courses, I realized the possibilities were endless," he said. "My professors helped me along the way. They opened a door for me that allowed me to take my creative mentality and run with it, which landed me my current job."
Ochoa is an assistant matchmaker at Rose Matchmaking, a millionaire matchmaking firm in Houston founded by Jamie Rose. Ochoa helps Rose with the matching process by meeting with clients to discuss different aspects of their lives including highs, lows, desires and expectations.
"I love what I do," Ochoa said. "It blows my mind when I sit back and think about who I know and the people that I have saved on my phone. I get to shake hands, rub shoulders and build friendships with some of the most influential people in Texas."
Ochoa's favorite part of the job is being able to sit down with each client and hear that person's story.
"I hear the highs and the lows of being successful, of having a net worth of millions, sometimes billions," he said. "I hear about their most precious lessons learned and about their weaknesses and their strengths."
The most gratifying experience of his job is the life lessons he learns from each client. By getting the chance to have deep, personal conversations with a wide variety of people, it's easy for Ochoa to take away a lesson from each meeting.
"My job is different every day and there are so many interesting stories," he said. "One time, when touring the home of a very wealthy client, he showed me a mausoleum he had built outside his house for him and his future wife. Was I creeped out? No, only because given who he is and his company, it was pretty normal. Finding a match for him that wouldn't be creeped out was a bit challenging, though."
Ochoa said his career would not have been possible without the help of Mentor Tech and the College of Human Sciences.
"What I loved about my professors was that they taught me to think outside the box," he said. "They taught me the skill of self-discovery, which I believe is essential to being a well-rounded person."
The process of self-discovery was an important part of Ochoa's education at Texas Tech. The process of "real learning" instead of simply rote memorization was instrumental in helping him be able to think for himself. Ochoa believes what drives a person to success is the will to discover.
"In my case, the College of Human Sciences allowed me to discover my passion: human relationships," Ochoa said. "It offered me the tools to break boundaries of the classroom and provided me the opportunities to take what I learned and build new ideas."
The education he received at Texas Tech taught Ochoa that with a will to learn, a drive for self-discovery and the courage to break boundaries, anything is possible.
"Fast forward two years after graduation and I am still utilizing that skill," he said.
Though his adult reality turned out different than his childhood dreams, Ochoa is happy with where his path with Texas Tech has brought him.
"I'm not sure I want to do matchmaking for the rest of my life, but right now it makes me happy and I was taught the right skills to be successful," Ochoa said. "I just take it day by day."