In Fords in Four, we ask an alumnus four questions; he shares insights and stories. In this blog post, Cory Siegfried '08 shares how mentors from Haverford have played a part in his education and career path. He also gives advice to current students about learning how to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Do you have a faculty member from Haverford who really influenced you?
My favorite teacher was Ed Hallowell. My experience in his class during Fifth Form was transformational because I ended up pursuing an English degree in college. He taught us how to read different texts, books, and poetry. I found it captivating and wanted to learn more. Reading authors like Dickinson, Emerson, and Thoreau…the way that Ed Hallowell talked about them made them so interesting.
That was something I experienced throughout my entire tenure at Haverford. All the teachers are so passionate about the subjects they teach that it’s easy to find them interesting. You can get really involved in a subject because they take the time to talk to you and answer questions. I always enjoyed talking with the faculty because they were so well-rounded and experts in their space. These teachers had boots-on-the-ground, real-world experience in their fields and they were sharing what they were doing. We would have these incredible conversations and classroom lessons because of what they could bring to the table.
How did mentors from Haverford play a part in your career path?
A lot of my mentors have been Haverford alumni.
When I finished graduate school, I went to work for a very good friend of my dad’s, Edmond Walters ’79. My dad (Steven Siegfried ’80) was a Haverford alum, and so was Edmond – they played basketball together at school. So I went to work for Edmond at eMoney Advisor. After my time at eMoney Advisor, I went to work for Matt Gillin ’85 at Relay Network. His brother, Steve Gillin ’87, was my boss during my tenure at Relay, so we all had this unique bond. It’s so interesting, because we would talk about the values we were taught at Haverford at such an instrumental age, like the Honor Code, working as a team, and working hard – and we share all of those. Now, I’m working with Edmond again at a new venture he started called Apprise Labs. I’m employee 15 at his small company.
It’s a special bond that we share, a mutual respect. We went through one of the most transformative and challenging high schools in the country, and as a result these fellow alumni trust me with a lot of responsibility. The more and more I think about it, the more I realize it’s all around me in my life. The number of Haverford graduates I interact with on a daily and weekly basis is astounding.
It’s a special bond that we share, a mutual respect. We went through one of the most transformative and challenging high schools in the country, and as a result these fellow alumni trust me with a lot of responsibility.
How do you give back to your community? What philanthropic efforts have you been involved in?
I really got involved in philanthropy because of my mom, who was heavily involved in the Academy of Music. When I moved back from UVA, I didn’t know too many people, so my mom advised me to get involved in some of the local Young Friends groups. I got involved in the Young Friends groups with the Academy of Music, the Barnes Foundation, the Art Institute, and Rittenhouse. It was such a great way to network in the city and support good causes that helped support the upkeeping of Philadelphia’s cultural landmarks. My friend and I ended up planning events where we brought all those Young Friends groups together so they can have a platform, co-advertising, and get a lot of people in one space.
Once I moved to the suburbs, I’ve started getting more involved in the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, which is a foundation that benefits inner-city and underprivileged children who learn values through the game of golf. There are so many success stories out of First Tee about people who are going to college because they golf, or giving them opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. I’ve been with the organization for less than a year, but the game of golf has given me so much. Golf was really what got me to Haverford, where I played for all four years, and led to UVA recruiting me for their varsity golf team. Golf opened a lot of doors for me, and now I’ve got an opportunity to help others open the same doors. If this game can be an outlet to help others, that’s the best part of it all.
Golf was really what got me to Haverford, where I played for all four years, and led to UVA recruiting me for their varsity golf team. Golf opened a lot of doors for me, and now I’ve got an opportunity to help others open the same doors. If this game can be an outlet to help others, that’s the best part of it all.
What advice do you have for current students?
Talk to your teachers more. They are extremely smart individuals who are there to educate you and lend a helping hand. I didn’t really have that perspective when I was in high school and I feel like I took it for granted thinking all schools and teachers were like that. Our faculty was outstanding, and all of them are have real-world experience and advice that they can share with you.
I would also tell students to get involved in as many extracurriculars as you can because you never know when you’re going to find what you really like. Branch out with different groups of people. Be comfortable being uncomfortable in different settings. When you find yourself in new situations, challenge yourself to be uncomfortable. If you’re afraid to join a group or ask a question, don’t let that fear deter you. Most of the time people are thinking the same thing you are and were just afraid to ask. Being comfortable being uncomfortable should be something you want to experience, especially at that age and especially at The Haverford School, because it provides an opportunity to grow.
Cory Siegfried is a 2008 graduate of The Haverford School. A lifelong golfer, Cory competed on Haverford’s golf team which won numerous Inter-Ac titles. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and was a four-year player on the men’s golf team before pursuing his MBA at Villanova University. Cory works in Berwyn, PA, as a VP of Sales for Apprise Labs, founded by Haverford graduate Edmond Walters. Prior to Apprise Labs, he worked at Relay Network, also founded by Haverford graduates, Matt and Steve Gillin.