COOP Alum Spotlight: Dzmitry Urban
The COOP Alum Spotlight is a series highlighting the alums in our community. These alums share stories of their journey, experiences, and lessons learned.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Dmzitry Urban. I am a COOP alum and Ambassador of C12. I graduated CUNY BC in 2016 with a degree in Political Science. I am currently a Decision Science Analyst at IPG working on the Coca Cola team.
How did you hear about COOP?
I was on my way to work. At the time, I was an intern with the NYC Department of Transportation trying to pay rent and finish up college. While on my way to work on a crowded B train, I was doing my routine morning email cleanup when a title caught my eye: “… Google HQ…” — go on. After reading the email and going to the COOP signup page I had to get two things: my old resume, and a linkedin page. On COOP’s apply page, they had a question about whether I would fight 100 ducks or a horse sized duck…the logic behind why a horse sized duck is an easy opponent had to be explained. Startups… Don’t ask…
Finally at my desk I got my linkedin set up, found my old resume, finished up the application and kinda forgot about it all. I was pretty miserable future plans wise, and I was doing something that was interesting but ultimately a dead end situation. Just like a lot of recent grads I was somewhat lost as to what the next step looked like. I started my college career going for one thing, but it all changed again and again as I was trying to find something that I enjoyed doing. After some internal strife, I changed my major to something I felt I would be good at — reading a lot and arguing a lot, political science. At the same time I knew that tech related things are my passion and as such I landed an internship in the IT field. The reality of working at the DoT was that I did not have the ability to grow at the desired speed. Things move a certain type of way in the public sector. Signing up for COOP was something I did hoping for some guidance and overall change in my now-lack-of-a-plan life.
Several weeks later I received this email:
That was my first interaction with Monica who would be instrumental in helping me be where I am today. After a few emails back and forth I got to meet some potential COOPers and Monica for an in-person interview. Snacks (Kalani’s dog) was supervising from the outside.
Some time later, while in the middle of nowhere upstate NY I got this email
Things were getting interesting. Quick note — I still had no idea what exactly COOP does, digital marketing is a small phrase that covers a lot of things, and what’s up with Google?
Fast forward to August and I am finally at TFA meeting up with everyone during the traditionally awkward first day mixer.
Coop teaches hard skills. You will walk away knowing excel and adwords as well as analytics. But what they really teach you is the soft skills that you will absolutely need to excel in life. From a group of somewhat shy and awkward strangers, my cohort, as the others from what I observed, have become a mini family. Involved and supporting each other, encouraging, helping, listening and generally being there. And most of that formed within the first few weeks.
6 months after the program is over we still find ways to meet up
Now, does the program work? Yes, absolutely.
From visiting Google —
To having a place to find solace from the world —
To getting noticed by companies —
To getting rejections from HR people —
To finally finding your spot —
This program allows you to get to where you are going. It holds your hand, but you are very much at the deep end of the pool and you will have to swim if you want to succeed. COOP will still be there, watching, making sure you are ok. Also we have a group of Ambassadors who do their best (I promise we are) to keep people in touch after we “graduate”.
Now, those are my personal examples, and I am sure each and every one who went through the program could have their own slideshow of their journey. For those who are on COOP’s slack channels, the good news channel as well as their private cohort channels hold the history of both successes and “areas of improvement”, as well as a source of inspiration and constant validation that this is for a reason, that this works.
I am now part of a big company, working on a major brand, being able to pay off my student loans and start saving money — something that I would not have imagined a year ago. And the best part — I have COOPers interviewing to join the team I am on! Can’t wait to see what COOP can achieve in a few years.