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Meet Business Leader, Sean Cook


Central’s small classroom sizes and 19-1 student to teacher ratio has paid off for Sean Cook, a 2008 graduate of the Communications Department who says his time at CWU was worth every penny.

“CWU felt right to me, and [it] embodies a lot in who I have been my entire life with the underdog type persona. Eventually, I chose Central because I liked the idea of a smaller, more intimate learning experience. It was important to me to connect with my teachers and get to know my classmates.”

Cook was very involved at Central, taking part in athletics like men’s rugby. The team generally won versus Division I and Ivy League colleges around the region and on the national level.

“CWU Rugby helped me have an outlet outside of the educational space” Cook said.

Although rugby was his main passion, the classroom quickly became a close second. The relationships he built with his various professors were an important part of his time at Central, helping him to succeed in his public speaking. With a new honed skill, he was able to become a part of the Emerging Leader’s Class. This class gave him an active role in the Ellensburg community, and he eventually became a delegate for Kittitas County. After being a delegate, Cook was then contacted about an internship with Students for Obama in 2008.

Cook has spent countless hours climbing the corporate ladder, and spending countless hours in non-profit and community outreach has helped him become a successful business man. He has grown into a business leader with nothing but motivation to continue to work hard for himself and his family.

“My degree opened me up to all the various styles of how people communicate/listen, both verbal and non-verbal. Specifically, my degree has helped hone in my natural ability to connect with people and become an effective communicator.”

His experience at Central shaped him into the man he is today and gave him a great college experience that he is able to apply to his daily work life. He also credits his time as a Wildcat, to how successful he is in his line of work.

“Central, in my mind, is the perfect experience for college students who are just trying to find their place in the world. This was a huge help in the transitioning from a young man to adult. Upon graduating I felt more confident than ever in my abilities and was prepared to take on the business world by storm.”

His first job opportunity arose because of his past relationships and network. After building successful long term business relationships and 11+ years of diversified sales, Cook emphasizes the importance of keeping relationships strong. It’s important to represent your company with pride and a continuous drive to learn new things.

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Networking is the key to the fast track to success in life after college, and this has proved to be true for me in getting started off on the right foot.”

Cook currently works for a company called MicroStrategy, a very well respected high-tech firm that has been around for several decades. He manages fortune 500 clients in the Pacific Northwest and helps them solve some of their most pressing needs in today’s business world. His primary focus is helping his clients become more productive and fundamentally sound with their business intelligence platforms.

Over coming challenges is something Cook continues to face every day. He acknowledges that with a good attitude, hard work and persistence, you can overcome anything.

“Realistically, I learned that to be successful I had to have ultimate confidence in myself to talk the talk and walk the walk. With the right mixture of being consistently positive and upbeat, being smart and working hard, you can overcome anything.”

Cook was just selected by Central professors, the department chair and the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities to represent the Communications Department as the Alumni of the year for 2016. Cook received this award for being a leader in business and nonprofit work.

He is knowledgeable and capable of providing solutions to fit business needs. He takes the time to understand what his client is looking for, then delivers the best possible solution.

Success isn’t always about winning, it’s about learning. Cook says, he feels that if you can ask yourself every day, “what did I learn?” and have a thoughtful answer, then you are living a successful life.

“It isn’t always about the outcome, it’s about the process and journey. The key is that we are continually improving and getting better. I use to think it was how hard you work but realized I could work until midnight and still fail. It is all about working smarter.”

Throughout his continued success, having the support from his family and friends keeps him motivated to continue working hard. He wants to be a good dad, husband, and continuous support system for his friends and family. In fact, when he’s not working he’s either spending time with his wife Kelsey, who is also a CWU grad, or extended family and friends.

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