Kevyn Cooper spent five years as a paramedic in the military, and when he came home from deployment, he was rudderless. Having lost his passion for medicine, he took a job as a bartender. He felt trapped and knew that he needed to make a change. Now he’s grown his earning potential exponentially thanks to Elevate, and he was happy to explain to Career Karma how it all happened.
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before attending the program?
Before I was enrolled in Elevate, I was working both as a bartender and doing odd jobs. I had a degree in nursing and worked as a paramedic for about five years but after I left the military, I was too burned out from medical duty to return. I had been living off of my military disability and just getting by. It was harder for me to transition into civilian life than I thought, and I felt like I had no motivation.
What motivated you to explore a new career or upskill in your existing field, and why did you decide to pick this program?
A few years after transitioning from the military, I started looking back at my life and what I had been doing for myself. I pride myself in always improving and learning about myself but after evaluating my life, I was stagnant. I couldn’t be a bartender my whole life. I knew I was intelligent and I knew I had the ability to be greater. I’m too young to retire.
A friend of mine linked me with Elevate, and Norman, the CEO, quickly emailed me and scheduled a zoom interview. In those first five minutes, he won me over… He got me thinking about what I was actually capable of, what my aspirations were, and how he could help me achieve them. From that point, I didn’t want to go with a different course.
How did you finance your education, and what were some of your biggest considerations when making this choice?
I chose to pay for it with an ISA. I didn’t have the funds to pay for it upfront or monthly because I didn’t have that much passive income.
What did you like about the program? Are there any highlights that stood out to you?
I loved the informality of the course. At this point, everyone in my class feels like family. Even after I graduated, I’m still a part of the course curriculum. After feeling at home and understood, I knew that I wanted to be part of the journeys of everyone that came after me.
The hand-picked educators that Elevate employs are another highlight. Each person is a master in tech sales with different skill sets, and they are available to help you with any task from classwork, practice, interview prep, and beyond.
How did you fit the program into your schedule?
It was two hours a day, two days a week. Fortunately, my schedule was flexible enough that I was able to work around it. I still had to plan around it because I was in the middle of moving and transitioning from one bartending job to another.
Can you give us any examples of projects that you worked on during the program?
One of the more memorable projects was on the third week of class. We were learning how to do research on prospects (individuals most likely to buy a product) and compile a list of them. Once we had a list of about 80 to 100 prospects, we had to cold call them. We had to sell them a pizza.
Do you have any advice for someone considering this program?
I can’t suggest this bootcamp enough. It has literally changed my life. Before this course, I had no skills or education that would allow me to attain a job like the one I have now without having to go back to college. Elevate has opened doors for me that I never knew existed.
How did the program support you in finding a job?
The program trained me in the skills that I needed to excel in this job. I was hand-picked based on my personality to apply and interview for a position and then I was coached in how to interview with them. The educators were patient and allowed me to find the skills I needed to ace the interview process.
Was the job search process different from what you expected?
It was much different. I’m used to applying, interviewing with a manager, and then being told yes or no. For this role, most jobs require two or more interviews, mock scenarios, and in-depth questions. These were interviews where you had to research and prepare ahead of time.
How many companies did you interview at? How did you choose which one to work with?
I interviewed with almost 20 companies. Once I optimized my LinkedIn, I couldn’t go a day without five or more interview requests… The company I ultimately decided to go with aligned with my goals and like Elevate, it’ll help me grow and achieve them.
How are the skills you gained from the course useful in your current career?
I am confident in my email writing, cold calling, and prospecting skills. The skills I learned helped me optimize my abilities to speak with others and outshine my fellow employees. I might be new to the role, but I approach the job as if I have years of experience.
I rely on all the lessons that I’ve learned in Elevate on a daily basis to remain competitive and excel in my job. Instead of feeling lost, I feel confident in my skills and can stand alongside other SDR (Sales Development Representative) professionals and match or even exceed their level of success.
What do you think is different about your life now versus before the program?
Before the program, I felt lost in my finances and my career… Now, I can financially provide four times more than I have ever been able to do. I have so much less stress about my future. Instead of guessing at my future, I am planning my future. It’s almost overwhelming having all these options and choices. My family now has every opportunity I never had as a child.
What do you find fulfilling about your current line of work?
I love that I can use my mind. I’m not a robot. I’m not breaking my body with manual labor. I’m not just a service worker. I don’t go to work feeling like it’s a dead end… Now I’m challenged every day. Every challenge pushes me to grow and learn. I can now be myself.
What do you enjoy about working at your current company, are there any specific perks you enjoy (work hours, pay, time off, etc)?
As a brand new SDR, my compensation is amazing, with limitless earning potential…My retirement and investments are locked in and look juicy. They give us unlimited PTO and frown if we don’t vacation every two months. My leadership is out of this world, and they are available and willing to help me out any time I need it
Do you have any job search advice for someone considering a career in your field?
Apply everything you learn in an SDR bootcamp. If you master the basics and be confident, you will stand out and employers are going to reach out to you. You will have so many opportunities. This is an industry that is exploding and wants to hire you.