Sabrina Cowden: Receptionist to CEO

“Leadership to me is all about moving roadblocks and creating opportunities that allow your team to be successful – that’s my job as a leader.”

-Sabrina Cowden

Her Story of Success…

As CEO of Milepost Consulting, a sustainability-focused strategy and engagement firm, Sabrina Cowden exemplifies leadership and the value of finding a career you’re passionate about. While her path was not easy Sabrina shares how starting out her career as a receptionist at a computer software company that had great leadership and a culture of learning, she was able to take a seven-year career break to raise her kids, and still come back confident in herself and abilities.

When it was time to return to work and after turning down many jobs Sabrina settled on a temporary position that ended up lasting for six years. She eventually got her MBA and rose to the rank of CEO.

In this episode…

In this episode Sabrina explains the lessons she learned at her first job out of college that shaped the rest of her professional life (4:20). From creating a space where people can feel safe to fail (8:19) to finding good mentors (12:46), Sabrina unpacks helpful advice, both for leaders and for those who are just getting started in their careers.

Sabrina also points out that the lessons she learned during her career break were just as valuable as the ones she learned at work, and she describes the process of reentering the workforce with the goal of finding a job she was passionate about (31:11). Her success in doing this banked on Sabrina’s courage and ability to bet on herself even when it seemed risky or uncertain, and in the process, Sabrina realized she was capable of becoming a great leader (35:13).

Sabrina encourages other women to explore many different opportunities without feeling guilty, and she highlights the importance of being able to take responsibility for your own professional growth.