Alumni Spotlight: Torrey Payne '09

For Torrey Payne '09, a software engineer with Uber, days are filled with writing code, reading code, and collaborating with teammates to build features for apps. Given the international nature of the company, his work takes place at high speed and involves teams from across the globe – something he is comfortable with from his time at St. Anne’s-Belfield School.

“The international presence at the School exposed me to a lot of diverse people from the entire world,” he said. “Making those connections has had a lasting impact on me in immeasurable ways and motivated me to do my own exploration and connect with so many people in so many places.”

In addition to his fellow students, Payne credits the teachers he had at the School as having a great impact on his current career. He names Mrs. Robertson, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Bartholomew, and Mr. Johnson specifically for their support.

“Mr. Johnson had an immense impact on me and my family; he was so supportive, and had a strong connection with my mom, insisting that she get me a laptop to help get my work done, among other things that I needed as time went on. He had my back when I struggled, and our homeroom was very close with each other,” he said.

“Mrs. Robertson and Mr. Taylor had an immense impact on my ability to critically read and participate in conference. They really raised the bar academically for me. When I think about how prepared I was for college, I think back to those two. Finally, Mr. Bartholomew, the man who gave me the confidence to pursue my academic dreams. Mr. Bartholomew inspired me to dig deeper into math and really made me feel confident in my academic abilities. I always believed in myself as a student, but Mr. Bart really made me believe I was a good math student. He motivated me to believe that I really could be good at something. I can't say enough what that means for young people. That motivation never left me and it pushed me through so many doors that eventually led me to software engineering at Uber.”

After graduating for the School, Payne went on to earn a two-in-one degree, a B.A. in mathematics-economics, from Reed College. While there he worked in the university’s sports center, and wrote his senior thesis on the impact of three-point shooting on NBA player salaries. In the future he hopes to combine this love of sports with his career and find a position in the front office of a professional sports team.


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