7 Lessons That 25-Year-Old Corporate Superstar Cole Clark Says Accelerated His Career

Zinger Key Points
  • Cole Clark suggests readers engage in the uncomfortable and build perspective through diversity.
  • "Have the attitude where you say: ‘I don’t know but I’ll figure it out.’ This way, you’ll go farther than a lot of others,” Clark says.

Graduates are often faced with the same problem. In short, regular 9-to-5 jobs may appear as a hindrance to personal growth and fulfillment, says 25-year-old, New York-based executive Cole Clark.

“It breaks my heart when kids, fresh out of college, see 9-to-5 jobs as bad,” he says. “They see it as preventative.”

Clark, who recently became a leader at AmygdaLaunch, a Loeb.nyc company, is looking to flip the script to show his young colleagues they don’t have to fit a specific mold.

Here is Clark’s story and his lessons for creating financially and emotionally fulfilling lives, today.

Lesson 1: Seek Challenge And Bet Big

Clark, who spends much of his free time in sports and modeling, was lost like many others near the tail end of his undergraduate years. He was studying neuroscience and biology at the College of William & Mary.

“I did not know what I wanted after graduating. I was a sophomore and sick of cleaning tables over the summer and wanted to gain real internship experience.”

Sports were off the table in spite of Clark being an NCAA Division I athlete and, though "brains were cool," Clark remarked, there was something bigger calling, even though he was not aware of what that was yet.

The photo was retrieved from the College of William & Mary. Pictured (middle) is Cole Clark.

“I began volunteering, attending incubators local to me. That helped strengthen my resume.”

Fast forward, Clark applied to a plethora of internships, one of which included Loeb.nyc.

“They had misleading directions on how to actually apply,” he chuckled. “After submitting an application, I called to make sure they received my materials. By happenstance, I came into contact with HR [human resources] who said that showed great initiative.”

Clark was as hands-on as he could be. He showed promise and elevated quickly, securing a leadership spot at AmygdaLaunch, formerly 3x3.

The company, the name is the combination of amygdala, the portion of the brain responsible for the evaluation and mediation of risk, and a product launch, is helping beverage and alcohol brands de-risk and turn more competitive through data.

“We give you foresight so you can fail and kill losing products quicker, reducing the span of time it takes for you to get a successful product to market.”

Lesson 2: Perspective Through Diversity

For Clark, athleticism remains a core escape. He’s very active in a workout group run by mentor Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc TTWO.

Beyond bonding and developing relationships through workouts, Clark added a new perspective by taking a step out of his male-dominated role. He started modeling, represented by Wilhelmina Models, for the likes of Le AlfrePuma SE PUMSY, New Balance, Speedo and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc DKS.

“This is an eye-opening experience that’s changed the way I operate. I’m more sensitive to the fact that women have a significantly different experience in a male-dominated field,” he says.

Not that others have to model, too, but Clark suggests readers engage in the uncomfortable and build perspective through diversity. “Seek growth through multiple dimensions,” he adds.

Photo by Mariano Restrepo. Pictured is Cole Clark.

Lesson 3: Intention And Support Networks

Clark’s method for avoiding burnout involves nurturing a sense of self and building a curated life.

“Be intentional regarding those you surround yourself with,” he says. “Ultimately, having a rock solid support network, which many out of college lack, helps with inspiration and out-of-the-box thinking. Try and really foster those relationships.”

Lesson 4: Discipline Breeds Freedom

“Having no plans or goals to execute, you leave yourself at the whims of others. Only you can control how you spend your time and energy.”

Having a True North — passion and timeline — it becomes easier to respect the process and persevere when the going gets tough.

Lesson 5: Being An Exceptional Leader

Leading, especially when you’re one of the younger people in the room, can get messy. Accept responsibility and don’t throw blame when things go wrong.

“It’s a lot easier to assume the best in people. When something doesn’t go right, you avoid a lot of the arguments and ego,” Clark said was a core tenant of his leadership style.

He added that if you’re in a nascent space or have a small team, get scrappy and learn quickly.

“You don’t need to know how to solve every problem. Have the attitude where you say: ‘I don’t know but I’ll figure it out.’ This way, you’ll go farther than a lot of others.”

Lesson 6: Applying The Scientific Method

Though school helps Clark little today, it provided him a foundation for approaching problems.

“At AmygdaLaunch, when looking at new products we want to develop, I’m thinking creatively but grounding myself in the quantitative and qualitative.”

Lesson 7: Computer Science Is The Future

If he were to return to school, Clark says computer science is the way to go. It’s a fascinating space and Clark had already learned the Structured Query Language (SQL) and Python himself.

“It’s faster and more productive. It’s helping me go to market far quicker at AmygdaLaunch.”

Check out Cole Clark on Instagram and TikTok @cole.a.clark.

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