Fisher students learned important life lessons from an important speaker — the global head of human resources for Bloomberg, the international information company.

Ken Cooper was on campus as part of the Fisher Leadership Initiative’s “Leading Through” speaker series. The series connects industry thought leaders with students to discuss today’s business challenges, successes, opportunities and innovations.

Cooper spoke about a wide variety of topics — including his professional journey, a variety of impactful experiences, diversity in the workplace and his honest take on millennials.

He gave a brief account of how his career began with a small startup known as Innovative Market Systems. The then-unknown entrepreneur behind it was Michael Bloomberg, and the organization eventually evolved into the now-famous financial software, data and media company.

Cooper shared some of the unique aspects of working at Bloomberg — there are no internal job titles or personal offices, and desk sizes are all the same, even for Bloomberg himself.

Beyond sharing the trajectory ­— and multiple roles — within his own career, Cooper related with students, telling those who are working while attending classes that their effort will be worth it. He discussed a variety of world-shaping events including the stock market crash of 1987, the dot-com boom (and subsequent bust), 9/11 and the Great Recession. He shared lessons learned from each of those difficult events — namely resiliency in the face of adversity.

An HR professional, Cooper drew parallels between attitudes directed at millennials today and the start-up culture when Bloomberg was launched. Within two years of joining the firm, none of his friends were in the same company they had started in. They switched jobs just as much as today’s young professionals.

That message resonated with Ranjoy Choudhuri, a first-year MBA student.

“That hit home to me because being in the millennial generation, we’re given that tag that we’re not loyal,” he said.

Cooper also spoke about workplace diversity. Many studies show, he said, that a diverse workforce leads to stronger organizations, stronger businesses and more profits. He shared stories of how managing a diverse team requires greater leadership skills because of conflicting viewpoints. But these contrasting viewpoints often lead to new ideas.

First-year MBA student Andris Koh was impressed with Cooper.

“He is a humble person and he’s always willing to learn the best from others, and I think that’s important as you venture out into the business world,” she said.

Chris Schoo, a second-year MHRM student, said hearing Cooper speak about his human resources experience at Bloomberg was an amazing opportunity to gain insight from a top-level professional.

“One of my biggest takeaways is how important it is to have a firm understanding of the businesses you are supporting and the culture of the organization,” Schoo said. “As an HR professional, you are the steward of the culture that drives the success of your organization. Understanding how to navigate and cultivate the right culture is paramount to driving the success of the organization.”