Engineering firm director gains new insights from program

Photo by Dan Toulgoet
Photo by Dan Toulgoet

No two days at work are the same for Nicole Cook. She juggles multiple responsibilities as the director of operations at SES Consulting, a Vancouver-based engineering firm whose mission is to design solutions for the low carbon transformation of existing buildings.

When Nicole was looking for professional development courses, SFU’s Business Management Certificate stood out.

“I had checked out a few other courses that were available and I really liked how relevant the courses were to my role,” she says.

As a member of the executive team, Nicole has a say in the company’s future and the ability to implement new strategies—work that she finds both rewarding and challenging. One of her biggest current projects is a complete redesign of the company’s IT systems and infrastructure. She’s also overseeing changes to payroll and vacation policies. 

“COVID threw entire systems out the window, so it kept us on our toes,” Nicole recalls. “It helped us re-evaluate what our processes were and how to improve them.”

Her favourite aspect of being in a leadership role is the people she gets to work with. She speaks appreciatively of her team and how she mentors them.

“I enjoy being able to offer guidance and leadership to my team members, and seeing them develop and reach their potential in their respective roles,” she explains.

“It’s good being a part of other people’s vision and helping them get to where they want to be.”

Since she’s also HR manager, as well as involved with the company’s IT, finance and marketing sectors, she found each course exploring those topics to be useful. Nicole completed the program with the Business Strategy course, which pulled everything she learned about business management together. 

Her exposure to a variety of management areas during the program also informs the advice she offers to those who hope to advance in their career:

“Broaden your knowledge as much as possible. With roles becoming more integrated, companies are looking for talented people with a wide range of skills.” 

By Bernice Puzon