Coles Headshot

Tehresa Coles '14

Director, Enterprise Relationship Management, The Ayco Company

Hometown: Troy, NY

Major: B.S. and M.S. in Accounting

Current Involvement: I enjoy traveling and working out, so those are the kinds of activities that tend to fill my time outside of work. I play in a basketball league during the summer over on the Sage campus and am a member of a local gym where I weight train, run and take occasional body combat classes.

Involvement while at Siena: I was on the basketball team during my time at Siena which also gave an opportunity to be a Student Athlete Mentor (SAM). I valued this position and felt it was an honor to represent my team in a group that focused on making life at Siena the best that it could be for myself, fellow athletes and the other students on campus. 

How do you involve yourself in your community?

Over the years since graduating from Siena, I have stayed involved in my community by attending volunteering at local organizations like In Our Own Voices, the Regional Furniture Bank, the Chron’s & Colitis Foundation and the Albany Indoor Rock Gym. Many of these opportunities are coordinated through my employer’s community team works initiative. 

Describe a typical day in your life.

On a typical day, I will wake up around 6:45am and be at the office by 8am. Throughout the day, I will have conference calls with corporate contacts and strategic internal meetings or I will be on the road traveling to meet with one of my clients. Once the work day comes to an end, I’ll head home and get ready to go to the gym with my fiancé. We’ll spend between an hour and an hour and a half there and then come home to have dinner. After dinner we’ll usually relax on the couch with a glass of red wine and watch one of our shows before going to bed.

How did your Siena education prepare you for the work you’re doing today?

My Siena education provided me with the tools that I need to succeed in my role as a Relationship Manager. The computer skills that I learned have helped me be efficient in my day-to-day tasks and stay organized. The various case studies and business projects that I was tasked with, taught me to think critically and helped me be able to use creativity to come up with solutions to client problems. Learning and working with peers from many different backgrounds and experiences broadened my view of the world and helped me to more deeply understand the importance of thoughtful communication, perspective and empathy.

Describe your professional progression since leaving Siena.

Upon leaving Siena, I began working with an audit and assurance firm as an Assurance Associate. Within a year, I decided that I wanted my career to go in a different direction and began working at Ayco in a role that has allowed me the opportunity to be client facing and travel. 

Siena Favorites

Professor: Leonard Stokes 

Class: Cost Accounting

Location: The MAC because most of my time was spent on the basketball court with my team and coaches or in the training room recovering or getting ready for a game/practice. I spent many hours studying and doing homework in the locker room here. It was basically a second home on campus

Study-break Food: A quesadilla burger from the wrap-shop

Residence Hall: Hines Hall 

Class Year: Senior year because that was the year I was able to complete my M.S. in accounting while having a stand out basketball season with my teammates. We played almost the entire season with just seven healthy players and made it to the championship game of the WBI.

Food: Limmy’s omelets 

Favorite Memory: Traveling to Italy and Denmark with my teammates and playing against the Danish and German national teams.

Advice for current Saints: 

Don’t take this time for granted. Your time at Siena will certainly arm you with the tools that you’ll need to be successful in your future professional endeavors, but it will also teach you valuable life skills and expose you to an array of experiences, cultures and people who you will never forget. Be open minded and don’t be afraid to expose yourself to something new. There are many great clubs and teams on campus. Join one or go watch a sport that you’ve never seen before. Your years at Siena will fly by, so do yourself a favor and get as much as you can out of them.

Career advice for current students: 

Take advantage of the career center on campus and form connections with your classmates and professors. The career center will help you not only with developing your resume but also with finding great internship and long-term career opportunities. If you are anything like me, you will probably leave Siena with lifelong friendships. The value of those friendships is immeasurable but in addition to being a part of the Siena family, you also will have access to a wide network of potential future bosses, business partners, colleagues and maybe even employees. This network helped me start the career that I have today and I am sure that if used wisely, it will help you as well.