Lauren Talley '01

Lauren Talley '01

After graduating from Whitfield, Lauren Talley ‘01 attended the University of Denver earning a degree in Construction Management and Real Estate. There, she was a member of the Honors college, Pioneer Leadership Program, and Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. She currently lives in University City. As a LEED Accredited Professional, Lauren is the co-founder and principal of Cobalt Construction Consulting with over 18 years of construction management and general contracting experience in the greater St. Louis market. Cobalt provides construction project management, development advisory, and overall construction project consulting. Her project work includes commercial office, high-rise office, retail, industrial, manufacturing, laboratory, medical office, historic renovation, senior living/multi-family, and residential construction. She serves a wide variety of clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies, REITs, developers, private clients, and family-owned businesses. She is currently a Board member for Habitat for Humanity St. Louis and oversaw their new Headquarter relocation and construction. 

Describe how Whitfield prepared you for college and beyond. 

Whitfield was very demanding and time intensive--much harder than college actually. The classes and curriculum helped me develop time management, stress management, and overall planning and organizational skills. Having learned these at a younger age, I was much more prepared for living on my own in college and being in control of my time and workload. The content and quality of topics covered at Whitfield felt far superior to those of my college classmates, and it allowed me to achieve a higher level of success in school. 

What are some of your favorite Whitfield memories?

I thoroughly enjoyed Bonfire and Lip Syncs each year, eating on the patio on nice days, talking with friends in the hallway between classes, and late nights working on the yearbook with friends. These were all wonderful ways to bond with my classmates, and I appreciated this time with them.

What skills do you use in your career that you began forming at Whitfield?

The most important takeaway from my time at Whitfield was time management. We had demanding classes across the board, and I had to be very organized to keep all of the assignments and information together. This helps me in my work today tracking various jobs, tasks, and project milestones so nothing is missed and everything delivers on time. 

What opportunities did Whitfield provide you that you might not have had elsewhere?

I don't hear many people say this, especially in current times, but I had an incredible high school experience. There were challenges and obstacles, but I made life-long friends, learned skills I still use today, and grew in an environment where I truly felt encouraged, supported, safe, and able to thrive. I think my experience was incredibly rare, and I am thankful for it to this day. 

Describe your career. 

With Whitfield giving me a leg up in college, I spent most of my college years working in internships while in school. I started out getting coffee and making copies for various home-builders in the Denver area. When I graduated, I already had four years of experience to apply for a full-time job. I worked as a construction project manager for various construction companies in St. Louis building everything from power plants to firehouse stations. Many experiences led me to where I am today including being a young working professional during the recession as well as the Covid pandemic. Eventually, I scraped all my knowledge and tools together and started my own construction consulting firm, Cobalt Construction Consulting. We help companies manage large and complex construction projects. I love that no two days are the same; I am always challenged and our industry is ever-evolving and changing. I have had the opportunity to work with Whitfield alumni and their families over the years, and it is always fun to make that connection. I hope to change the narrative of how people view construction from corrupt and old school to transparent and innovative.