Senior Director of Corporate Development, Demandware

Zachary Cook

MSI
2015


Profile

Q: What skills did you build in the D'Amore-McKim MS in Innovation program that you are applying at your current job?

A: I’d say the best skills I’m applying now are around formalizing the processes that help identify, develop, and bring innovations to market. While my company is very innovative, new product development advances have previously been driven by engineering. This degree program has helped me standardize that process in a way that the business side of our company supports.

Q: What would you say to a colleague considering enrolling in the MS in Innovation program?

A: I would highly recommend this program to colleagues with creative minds who want to help their companies continuously innovate and adapt to new market forces. Many struggle with how to take an idea through to reality and this program is hyper focused on that process.

Q: Why did you choose the D'Amore-McKim MSI?

A: I had always wanted to go back to school and had even enrolled in other programs but never completed them as they didn’t feel quite right to me. Having been learning on the job for the past 10+ years I felt that now was a good time to step back and learn the formal processes to help me be most effective. I was not interested in the many “entrepreneurship” MBAs as my focus is not developing a new business, but rather focusing on improving existing ones. An MS in Innovation was the perfect way for me to achieve that goal.

Q: What was your biggest take-away from earning your MSI at Northeastern?

A: My biggest takeaway has probably been that there are opportunities to innovate everywhere—we just need to be open to the hard work required to capture those opportunities. Too often companies set the course and follow it for as long as they can. Innovation can be uncomfortable as it shakes up the existing ways of doing things—but it is essential in the long-term success of a company.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

A: Who has the answer to this question??? Coming out of the MSI program, I think it’s safe to say that very few people could have predicted what happened over the last 10 years, never mind what is going to happen in the next. My only hope is that I have the same passion for innovation in 10 years as I do coming out of this program. If that is the case then I’m confident that wherever I am in 10 years I will be adding value to the business I am involved with and helping it navigate the constantly changing tides of innovation.