|By||| Nov 15, 2012 | Featured|
Meet oDesk’s Vice President of Marketplace Operations, Matt Cooper. Before reaching the online desk of success, Matt was a member of the executive team at Accolo, Inc., a technology firm and recruiting services. His skills and talents elevated the business from a single-employee to one of the top 50 companies on the 500 lists of Inc. He has also co-founded a boutique strategic consulting firm inclining early-stage companies. He actually started his career with investment banking at JPMorgan Securities.
Matt applies his leading expertise and highly-developed skills in the field of operations, finance and strategy, in leading oDesk’s management, risk, marketplace operations, customer support and services teams. Clients and contractors get support and assistance they need during his stewardship, and this support is enough to succeed on oDesk.
Matt is not just the usual “Matt” as his success is not all about just charm and luck. He earned it well and proved it best. Did you know that he holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University? Yes! Aside from that, he also graduated as Magna Cum Laude taking up Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, at the same university.
Matt Cooper’s role and contributions at oDesk
oDesk’s Market Operations team has four (4) facets: customer service, trust & safety, enterprise solutions and partnerships. Matt has been managing all of the four functions mentioned for the last few years. But for the sake of growth, he accepts the transition of roles in which he will focus more on enterprise solutions and partnerships.
“The best thing we can do to grow oDesk’s services is deliver an outstanding experience to both contractors and clients.” Yes! They invest their time and resources in ameliorating the “match” – they make sure clients reach the profile of the best contractor they need, and that contractors find the right client and jobs related to their field of expertise, skills and experience.
Improving the “match” between clients and contractors can be done through better search, clear signals and portrayal of skills and expertise, and services and support to help both ends.
Matt recognizes the fact the oDesk is not always as easy as it should be. After all the brainstorming they thought of ways to make contractors’ and clients’ experiences more convenient and easy.
On the number of Filipino contractors on oDesk and the most popular field of business
According to Matt, oDesk has more than 500,000 registered Filipino contractors. Administrative, customer service and data entry jobs are what these contractors consider as most popular categories based on hours worked. They also see great demand in technical sectors. Philippine-made software, mobile apps and game development might not be too far ahead.
The importance of the Philippines in the bigger scheme of things
I love Matt Cooper’s revelation. He said Filipinos are “very important.” He stressed out that within three hours a Filipino contractor can already be actively working on oDesk. Clients find great talent in the Philippines, Matt says:
Online jobs bring tons of advantages compared to a day job, Matt believes. Similarly, for many oDesk hourly contractors, their hourly rates are usually higher than their previous local employment. Matt encourages aspiring talented individuals to work with the world. Exposure form people with different races and culture can add the work-life balance we sometimes need in life. Working from home or any place will also give us more time for our families.
Advice for Filipino freelancers
“Start small and stick with it!” Matt advises, adding that Filipinos should have a positive outlook. Getting the first job is the hardest part, but once one has reached the first step, it will be easier to move forward. To gain a reputable profile, it is better to apply for small fixed jobs at first to get used to the oDesk environment. Start with a lower rate, but not too low. Once your work diary is active and you have good feedback scores, you can increase your rate. Success in on the way.
Matt looks forward for potential and aspiring technical contractors. oDesk acknowledges that the non-tech jobs are dominated by Filipino contractors. However, Filipino contractors can also improve skill sets, in order to be more qualified for the highly competitive web and game development fields, which are reportedly among the fastest job categories for Filipino contractors. BPO firms and IT outsourcing companies usually train contractors for this purpose, and Matt advises freelance professionals to undergo training for skills improvement.
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