COOP inspires new career paths for first-generation graduates

I grew up as an only child of immigrant parents in a small town in Northern California. I became the first in my family to graduate from a four-year university in the United States. Graduating was a huge milestone for me and my family, but I didn’t have the resources or family experiences to broadly think about my career.

I felt drawn to marketing as a way to connect and build relationships through storytelling, but no one from my family had experience in the field. As a first-generation Filipino American, commercials, billboards, and magazines never featured people who looked like me.

I ended up completing a degree in nursing and worked as a school nurse for four years. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic. I decided to change careers and revisit what interested me growing up: marketing. Around that time, I also learned about COOP, a nonprofit organization that aims to address underemployment for a diverse group of first-generation college graduates by training them in three tracks: digital marketing, data analytics and financial services.

I applied to the digital marketing track and COOP placed me in a 12 person group, where I received more than 200 hours of rigorous digital marketing training on Google Ads, SEO and SEM led by COOP cohort captains who currently have jobs at top companies in the industry. COOP gave me the support and tools I needed to start my new career.

Following my COOP graduation I attended a Google and COOP-sponsored Talent Match event, where I interviewed and was hired by a digital marketing agency.

COOP changed my life, and I’m now in a role where I market to diverse communities, including Asian Americans. I’m proud to play a part in ensuring that our marketing is representative of people like me.

COOP and Google’s Talent Match have shown me it’s important to take risks and believe in yourself, even if it means changing your career or pursuing your passions. With hard work and determination, you have the power to shape your own story.

Companies in the New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey area can register for an upcoming Talent Match event December 7th. For more information about COOP, explore their website.

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