Alumni in Motion: Cole Bevis (2012)


Mia Johnson

Mia Johnson’s “Alumni in Motion” column profiles graduates of LFHS who have found themselves in unique career fields across the country.

This week’s Alumni in Motion column features Mr. Cole Bevis. Many of you may know of the Bevis family. Cole has three younger siblings that will have graduated through Lake Forest High School: Luk, a sophomore in college; Cosette, a senior at LFHS; and Nicolette, a soon-to-be Scout currently in 8th grade at Deerpath Middle School. During Cole’s four years at the high school, he played on the football and wrestling teams for the Scouts. He was the captain of the wrestling team during his junior and senior year. Cole did not stop there, however, as he was also a Teacher’s Assistant for Mrs. Fallon’s Wellness for Life class. While doing exceptionally well with his grades got him to be a part of the National Honors Society and the Cum Laude Society, Mr. Wanninger’s English class, Madame Song and Madame Sperling French classes, and Mr. Patel’s AP Chemistry were his favorite and most memorable classes he took at the high school. Cole, as an average teenager, loved to play a game of golf with his friends and spend his Sunday nights at SHYG. Cole graduated in 2012 and went to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. There, he studied Computer Engineering and Business. He also was involved in greek life and served as a vice president in his fraternity.

He is now finishing his Master’s degree in Computer Engineering and will be graduating in December of this year. Previously, Cole has interned with Texas Instruments, Boeing, Linkedin, and Google. Starting in 2018, Cole will be heading to Google as an Associate Product Manager where he will work with software engineers, designers, and marketing and business leaders that will lead to designing and creating new features for Google products. Cole will also be able to work with the software engineerings and Google users as well to analyzing competitive markets coming up with the next big thing at Google.  Things like virtual reality for Google Daydream, redesigning part of Gmail, improving Google Maps, and even adding new and improved functionality to Youtube will all be on Cole’s agenda moving forward. He will be headquartered at Google’s California office in Mountain View, San Francisco.

I got in touch with the soon-to-be Google employee and had him answer some questions about future Google gurus for any high school student that is attempting to land their dream job through hard work and passion.

Are you doing what you thought or wanted to do when you were in high school?

“In high school, I didn’t have a clear image of what I wanted to do. I knew I was interested in technology and engineering as a field of study and I was excited to develop a strong problem-solving background, which I thought would apply well to the business world. My role at Google will be right in line with what I could’ve hoped for in high school, but it took me a few years of college and a couple internships before I had a clear picture of my desired career path.”

What is something that you would say to yourself as a senior in high school?

 “What I’d say to my senior in high school self would be to slow down and enjoy my final year at home and not be too eager to move on to college. While college is a fun and exciting time to grow and learn, time with family and childhood friends should be cherished.”

Can you give some advice to all LFHS students?

“My advice to high school students would be to always try your best and to push yourself academically, athletically, and in extracurricular activities, but not to let yourself be defined by those things. When you get to college, no one cares or even asks what your high school GPA was or how many clubs of which you were a member. You should join clubs, play sports, or do extracurriculars because you have a genuine interest in them–not because you think they’d look great on your college application. Being busy shouldn’t be your goal. High school is a great time to try new things and discover what you like, not spend four years working on your resume that will essentially be wiped clean as soon as you start college.”

What is a fun fact about you?

 “In my senior year of high school, I had reconstructive back surgery and was forced to use a rolly backpack to carry my books. I purchased one with pink zippers and zebra print and used it throughout my senior year, even after my back was healthy enough to return to a normal backpack.”

What do you think the best thing about working at Google will be?

“The best thing about working at Google will be the company culture. The company provides a lot of fun perks (like what you may have seen in the movie The Internship) as well as great work-life balance. Google is very focused on creating exciting and challenging opportunities for each employee and you have a substantial role in deciding what you will be working on. Also, the free food, nap pods, and multi-colored bikes are fun touches as well.”

Any words of wisdom to someone interested in working at Google in the future or some kind of computer engineering job?

Getting a job at Google (or a similar company) is difficult, but not impossible. For someone in high school that is interested in working there during or after college, there are some things that you can do to set yourself up as well. First, be aware of what types of jobs that they offer. The biggest one is software engineering, but they also have marketing, HR, and other general business roles. It’s quite difficult to get a job doing something you don’t have the background or skills for, so make sure you line up well with a position that the company offers. Second, once you identify the role that you are interested in, do everything you can to show that you’d be great at it. This goes well beyond getting good grades and focuses more on having experience in other internships or projects that display your skill. It’s one thing to say “I love coding” and another to show someone the cool projects you’ve built or apps you’ve designed. And lastly, ask for help! No one knows the company and interview process better than someone that has gone through it, so being active on LinkedIn or networking events is a huge advantage!”

Cole is someone who has taken something that he was interested in to his dream job. Starting his career at Google is pretty exceptional. He will soon be living in The Internship movie. He is a great representation of someone following their dreams. Everyone should take Cole’s advice to never stop working at something you truly care about because, in the end, the results could be worth waiting for.