Different paths, similar success await Deussner, Kane-West
May 24, 2009
Former Texas tennis standouts Jonah Kane-West and Bernhard Deussner have a few things in common. They both wound up at UT and took long, winding roads to get there. They both played tennis at Texas. As of Friday, May 22, they were graduates of UT's prestigious McCombs School of Business. Both plan to stay in Austin for a little while. And, they have at least one more thing in common: success will most assuredly follow them
Kane-West made sweet music on the tennis courts during UT's second-straight run to the NCAA Final Four this month. In the meantime, the native Virginian will forego one instrument for another. In his case, good hands at the net translate into good hands on the piano.
A talented pianist with an appreciation for blues and jazz, Kane-West composes music as well as he plays it. His degree in international business will be useful for him in the long term, but music lies first and foremost in his immediate plans.
"For the near future, I plan to pursue music full-time, and I think that having the degree from McCombs will help me maximize that experience," Kane-West said. "Hopefully, I can take music to a level where I can make my living doing that as my real dream career in life.
"In terms of international business, I can see myself down the road living and working in another country. Living abroad and experiencing different cultures have been passions of mine. In an ideal world, I'll be playing music in another country and making some money doing it."
Kane-West did not begin his college experience in Austin. Just prior to his sophomore season at Tulane University, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and devastated the Tulane campus. The storm forced many of the school's student-athletes to temporarily re-locate to Texas A&M to resume their studies.
Word came later that Tulane would have no choice but to suspend several sports, including men's tennis. Looking to continue his education and his collegiate tennis career, Kane-West found UT's McCombs School of Business and the city of Austin much to his liking. With an offer from Texas coach Michael Center to join the Longhorns' men's tennis program, Kane-West headed to Austin.
"When I started at Tulane, I never imagined I would be at Texas, but it ended up being the best thing that could have ever happened to me," Kane-West said. "I fell in love with the tennis program, the city and the school. I don't plan on living anywhere else but here for a little while. Austin is a very special place. My experiences...it's hard to choose words to describe them. My time here has just been amazing. I'll look back fondly on those experiences."
Deussner, a native of Vienna, Austria who completed his college tennis eligibility in 2008, looks to put his finance degree to work immediately.
"My plan is to start to work in the financial services industry," Deussner said. "I had two second-round job interviews last week. "With one opportunity, I would be working with a hedge fund, and the other would be a with a brokerage dealer. Both institutions are here in Austin, so I hope I'm able to work with one of them."
As with Kane-West, the road to Austin was a lone one for Deussner, who did not know a soul when he arrived in Austin nearly five years ago. Deussner remembers his time at UT fondly and is eager to make more memories in Austin.
"My experiences here have meant a whole lot to me," Deussner said. "I had never been to Texas when I got here, so it was a completely new experience for me. I had such a great time and met so many great people. I didn't take me long to love the state of Texas and to love UT, and I'm glad I'm here. I think my degree will open a lot of doors for me in the future."
"The coaches have been great to me," Deussner said. "They have helped me not only on the court, but off the court. I have learned a lot about life from Michael and Ricardo. What I learned about life from them is more important than what I learned from them on the court. You have to be prepared to be successful when you leave school, and these coaches have helped prepare me for the next step."