Alumni Snapshot: Q&A with Torey Cole '11

Alumni Director Carrie MacVean Grimes '91 and Torey Cole '11 met at a New York City alumni reception in 2016. They are excited to be collaborating on a new Young Alumni Mentoring Network for Severn! 
When did you graduate from Severn? 2011 
Where do you live now and how did you end up there? What stops did you have along the way? I live in New York City. In high school, Crystal Tran '11 and I talked about living in the city together one day so it has always been a dream of mine. After I graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in May of 2015, I stayed in Boulder for an internship. Over the course of the year I had a few internships at advertising agencies and eventually decided that New York City would be the best place to have a career in this field. Crystal and I moved into the city of July 2016 and we have been here since. 
Please tell us about your professional/career journey: My Mom works in advertising as a producer. Growing up I always knew I wanted to join her in this field. I majored in advertising in college and after graduating I got an internship as a strategist at an agency called TDA Boulder. After seven months, I moved to another agency in Boulder called Crispin Porter & Bogusky working as an Account Management intern on their American Airlines account. Once I decided to move to New York City I found an opening for a role as an Assistant Account Executive at an agency called McGarryBowen on their United Airlines account. After two years at McGarryBowen I left to work at Team One working on their Lexus account as an Account Executive. I have been working here since November 2017. 
What did/do you enjoy most about your career? What I love most about working in advertising is the culture that surrounds it. It is a fast paced and innovative industry that attracts like-minded people who are ambitious and creative. Working for Lexus has been very interesting. Growing up, my dad and I shared a passion for cars so it has been fascinating learning the backend of how this industry works. 
What influence did Severn have on your life’s path? Your career path? Severn set the foundation for my work ethic. The Severn community is incredibly competitive in the best way. Everyone pushed each other, whether it was a fellow classmate asking what I got on my test or a teammate challenging me in the last round of sprints during lacrosse tryouts. Nobody ever gave up and that set the standard incredibly high. I continue to strive every day to set the bar a little higher.  
 What are your favorite things to do in your free time? Some of my favorite things to do in my free time include running and exploring the city. One day I left my apartment in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and ran to the Brooklyn Bridge, over the bridge and into DUMBO where I sat and looked out at the One World Trade Center. Whenever I am stressed out or just need to get out for a long run, I lace up my sneakers and head to this spot and it has become one of my favorite things to do. When I am feeling a little lazier I love to stroll around and explore the many neighborhoods of Manhattan. I have also compiled an extensive list of restaurants that I have been slowly checking off. 
If you could give advice to the Class of 2018 what would it be? Go for it, do it, try and fail. On the other side of your failures you will find success. 
Tell us about two things that bring you joy in life. People and food. Before moving to the city, I was warned that the people here are generally rude and at times, they are. But I have found that if you smile at someone and ask them how they are doing they usually reciprocate this small act of kindness. I have met so many people from different walks of life and it makes living in this crazy place worth it. I am also a “live to eat” kind of person. I am grateful for the endless food options here and I am constantly looking for the next best spot. 
What teachers had the most influence on your at Severn? Mrs. Leuver was one of the best teachers I have ever had. To this day, I still remember a vast majority of what she taught me. She made American History fascinating. Her energy was infectious and she knew what interested her students and how to make learning fun.  
What is one of your favorite Severn memories? One of my favorite Severn memories was my senior year when we played St. Mary’s under the lights at their stadium. At one point, I was tripped and embarrassingly slid what felt like 10 yards, across the turf. Suddenly the Severn portion of the student section started chanting my name. It was hilarious and gave me the encouragement to jump back up and keep playing. We ended up winning in overtime and all of the Severn students rushed the field. 
What is the most valuable asset you inherited from your Severn education? Grit. 
Did Severn have a lasting impact on who you are today? If so, in what ways? Severn has had a lasting impact on who I am today in so many ways. The friends that I made at Severn are still my best friends to this day. I don’t know what I would do without them. Severn was academically and athletically challenging. I pathetically shed tears over more math tests than I am willing to admit and the hours spent sprinting on the turf have molded me into the person I am today. Giving up was never an option at Severn and it isn’t in the “real world” either. 
What 3 words would you use to describe Severn School? Foundation, community, character. 

Torey will be partnering this year with Alumni Director Carrie MacVean Grimes '91 to launch the Admiral's Young Alumni Mentoring Network. Stay tuned for details or email if you are an alumnus who graduated between 2006 and 2013 and are interested in mentoring a new Admiral alum!

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