5 Questions with Lisa Cook

Hometown: Cary, NC
Graduating Class: BSIE ‘13
Career Overview: Lisa Cook started her career with BMW as a co-op student in both Spartanburg, SC and Munich, Germany. After graduating in 2013, she moved to Charlotte and joined EY’s Technology Advisory Program. Finding her niche in the banking and capital markets industry, Cook joined the Enterprise Intelligence team in 2015 where she worked with large banks on enterprise-wide data solutions. She most recently accepted a job with Bank of America’s Enterprise Data Management Team in Operations Infrastructure.

What is the single most important experience or understanding you gained in the ISE department?
The unique and important perspective that industrial engineering taught me is that every business problem has a technology component and every technology problem has a business perspective. Bridging the gap between the two is a unique skill that ISE students develop.

What is the most pressing issue facing human society that engineers should be working harder to solve?
Accessibility. Accessibility to medicine, healthcare, clean water, facts and data. Often times, not intentionally – as a society we accept status quo as reality because that is the way it’s presented to us. When we start breaking things down to understand why things are the way they are, we start to uncover opportunities to improve the world around us. These are very complex issues that facing society. Integrating engineering concepts with social sciences will present opportunities to overcome unsolved societal challenges.

What would you like to accomplish in your career?
My goal is to be the type of leader that helps others achieve things that would never be possible without them. I want to be a heart shaper, life changer, difference maker. If I can do one of those things, I will have accomplished something greater than myself.

What is the best book you ever read?
One of my all-time favorite books is Freakonomics by journalist Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt. I was fascinated by the power and interconnectivity of data, statistics, and socioeconomics.

What advice do you have for current ISE students?

  1. Pay homage to the Power of 3 in senior design
  2. Always ask why and never accept status quo
  3. Be the change you wish to see in the world – Gandhi
  4. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about