Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Volunteer Spotlight: Torquil Carlisle

First year mentor Torquil Carlisle is from London, England. Torquil says his adolescent years were “the same as growing up anywhere else,” but after living in the United States for two years now, he has noticed differences between the two countries. “In the U.S., everything is much bigger – buildings, restaurants, portions,” he says, “…there is an emphasis on size.” However, London is bigger, busier, and more international than Chicago. He also says things in the U.S. are much newer and Americans are “very friendly” and “very positive.”

After graduating from high school, Torquil took a “gap year” off before starting college. This is common in Europe and the time is often spent working and/or traveling; Torquil did both! He worked in a pub for six months and then he traveled around the world. He went to the west coast of the U.S., New Zealand, and countries in Asia. He spent the majority of his time in Austrailia where he drove around the entire perimeter of the continent (about 3000 miles). Just before finishing, his car crashed into a kangaroo, which is a common occurrence in Austraila. There are more kangaroos than people. Interesting fact: the bars attached to the front of vehicles for protection are sometimes called “roo bars”… as in kanga-roo.

At The University of Oxford, Torquil studied German and Czech languages. Straight out of school, he got a job in international tax with Grant Thornton, an accounting firm which he still works for to this day. In the same way that individuals have to pay tax, companies have to pay tax. Therefore, if a company has operations in more than one country, it has to pay tax in more than one place.

Last week, Torquil welcomed Christian Palacios and Nicole White to his office for Career Week. As a tip for high schoolers, he says, “You really can’t start thinking too soon about a career. Take small steps now to slowly get an idea of what you’re interested in. Things like work shadowing are a great opportunity.”

A benefit to working for an international company is that you may have a chance to work abroad. Two years ago, Torquil transferred to Washington, D.C., before moving again, six months later, to Chicago. He lives in Lakeview and loves to play soccer, ski, and run. In the fall, he will begin a two-year, full-time master’s in business administration program at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

At Cabrini Connections, Torquil works with 7th grader Donald Stewart on Wednesday nights. He says Donald is “bright and conscientious,” and, though he often is without homework, they always find something constructive to do, like reading short stories or President Obama’s speeches. He likes that we are organized and structured and he especially appreciates the one-on-one format.

Thanks for the high praise, Torquil. The program wouldn’t be what it is without mentors like you. For those interested in learning more about Torquil and his home country, he will be giving a short presentation toward the end of next week’s session (Wednesday, April 14th). He hopes to see you there!

1 comment:

  1. What a nice profile! In the short time I have known Torquil, he has proven to be a person who contributes to the world around him for the benefit of us all. I see even greater deeds in his future. Thanks to him for what he does for us all.