Get a job! How (and why) Andrew Cohen moved to Boulder

Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen was a man with a dream. A dream shared by many entrepreneurial, outdoorsy types who also happen to work in the tech industry: he wanted to move to Boulder.

But this 26-year-old web and interface designer, based in the D.C. area, knew that he needed a job first. So, in September 2011, he created a website–I’–a simple, yet slick landing page that quickly paved the way to a bright Boulder future.

We’ve all read stories about savvy people using social media to score jobs. There was the guy that designed his own “Hire Me” campaign for Krispy Creme, the woman who launched a “Hire Me Chipotle” site, and countless others who bought targeted Facebook ads.

But does it actually work?

Just ask Cohen, who was hired in November as Lead Designer at the Boulder startup, Next Big Sound. Almost immediately after I’ went live, it was featured on several local sites like The Denver Egoist and

It was also tweeted. A lot.

“Within a few days, I had about 100 emails, several job offers, and a lot of startups contacted me,” he said over coffee at Atlas Purveyors on Pearl Street. “Unfortunately, I have a massive backlog of people I still have to get coffee with.”

Cohen, who had been working freelance for the last two years, was particularly drawn to Next Big Sound, a company that tracks data across the web for bands and music industry professionals. “I’m a huge music head,” he said. “I absolutely love music, and I’m always looking for new stuff. The idea of helping them [the music industry] understand this digital space, making their lives a little easier, has always appealed to me.”

Transitioning from client work to a startup was easier than expected.

“I never thought that working at a startup, working on the same look and feel all the time would appeal to me,” he said. Within two days [of working at The Next Big Sound], I knew it was perfect and I loved it. It’s the first time I’ve been at a job and I thought I’ll be there for a long time.”

Boulder’s relatively small, but booming tech scene differs significantly from the diffuse atmosphere in DC. “Networking in that town was very hard, very scattered,” he said. “You could get in with some core people in the tech scene and make some great friends that way, but then it spirals out and becomes ridiculous. People were willing to help you out, but there was a lot of competition.”

Cohen hasn’t been able to get out and enjoy the natural scenery or partake in his favorite sports like mountain biking, trail running, rock climbing, snowboarding, and soccer since moving to Boulder two weeks ago. He tore his ACL this past summer and is recovering from surgery. Despite being benched this season, he’s loving the Boulder vibe. “The scene is amazing,” he said. “The community seems very open to helping you…I feel like people here are willing to be open about what they’re doing…everyone’s really passionate; everyone’s really serious about what they do. But at the same time, everybody realizes that we’re all here to do the same thing–enjoy the outdoors, enjoy a nice balance.”

Now that he can call Boulder home, Cohen says he’s willing to sell the I’ domain to another hopeful.

Any takers?

[note color="#C3DAE3"]This story was originally published on Dec. 16, 2011.[/note]