Q: What is your name?
A: Elizabeth (Lizzy) Cook
Q: What are your pronouns?
Q: Where is your hometown and where are you located now?
A: Hometown is Conifer, Colorado. Currently located in Denver, Colorado.
Q: What did you take at OC? When did you graduate?
A: Bachelor of Business Administration and graduated in 2016.
Q: What got you interested in your program
A: I wasn’t sure what I “wanted to do with my life,” and the business program seemed like it would provide a solid foundation for me to go figure it out.
Q: How did you find out about the program you took at OC?
A: I was previously attending UBCO and the program was a bit too theoretical for me. I looked into OC online and it looked like the program would be more practical and hands-on.
Q: What is your current position?
A: Senior Program Manager, QA - Airbnb
Q: How did your training at OC prepare you for what you’re doing now?
A: More than anything, I have found that business is all about people relations. My time at OC surrounded me with many different personalities in various situations. Learning how to work with all sorts of people prepped me for every role I have had since.
Q: What was one of your most meaningful memories during your time at OC?
A: Strategic Management will forever be the most meaningful class full of the best memories. It was a night class and after three hours of learning some truly very useful business practices, many of us would go out and get a drink (or two). I made some of my best friends in that class.
Q: What do you think has been the biggest turning point for your career success?
A: I have found that saying yes to projects and roles that many others would say no to has served me very well. At one point I was in sales at Airbnb making a good amount of commission and doing very well. A role to handle high-profile escalations came up and though the role was not glamorous or high paying, I saw it as an opportunity to make it something special and applied. Being the only applicant, I got the role. I was able to grow that position into a small team, learned a huge amount about the business at large, and set myself up for success in more strategic positions.
Q: What advice would you pass on to current/future students?
1. Be easy and enjoyable to work with. Your colleagues, even those you manage, will likely play a role in your future success. Spend the time creating solid relationships with those around you.
2. Say yes to the things others would say no to. It will help you stand out from the crowd.
3. Put yourself first and say yes to extra work and stretch projects sparingly and strategically. It is easy to think of a great company as a “family” and put aside your own needs like work-life balance. Remember you work for a business and the objective (more often than not) is to make a profit - they will take what you give. If you give in a way that serves both you and the company, you will set yourself up for long-term success and avoid resentment.
Q: When you’re not working, what are you doing?
A: Riding my Peloton, taking my pup for a hike, drinking wine (I SO miss Okanagan wine), and spending time with family and friends.
School of Business
The Okanagan School of Business provides a career-oriented and innovative approach to education so that learners of various ages, experience levels, and cultures succeed. Our unique business programs have a strong focus on integrating theory and subject-matter knowledge with practical applications through business competitions, community-based course projects and work experiences.
OC Alumni Association
The Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is a non-profit organization that celebrates alumni by creating connections and opportunities. Founded in 1988, the OCAA aims to connect alumni with each other and with the College, while supporting the College's mission statement of transforming lives and communities.