Intercomrade Spotlight - Matt Coplai (2)

Intercomrade Spotlight: Matt Coplai

Intercomrade Spotlights is a series that features stories of Intercom employees, exploring their careers, passions, experiences, and hopes for the future.

Matt Coplai (1)

Meet Matt Coplai, Outbound Sales Development Representative at our Chicago office. We chatted to him about his journey to Intercom, his hobbies, and of course, Taylor Swift.

What did you do before Intercom?

I’m originally from Baltimore, Maryland, but went to school in Kent State, Ohio, where I originally majored in theatre. When I graduated,  I wanted to move to a big city. Chicago was very affordable and close to Kent. 

I was a professional consultant for my fraternity for a year after college, and traveled all the way down the East Coast from Georgia all the way up through Ontario, Canada. I had a lot of neat experiences but travel gets tiring, so eventually decided to stay a little more local. That’s what brought me to Marriott and my degree in hospitality. 

I also lost 80 pounds at the time, and kept it off. They were opening a new Equinox gym in Chicago, and I thought “Well, now I’m really super into health, fitness, wellness, and inspiring other people to do that.” So I applied. I was there for two and a half years and then COVID happened.

Why did you decide to go into sales?

I was thinking about what I wanted to do, and I kind of had this young-life crisis. I didn’t want to be an actor, but I didn’t know what to do instead. Sales stood out. It’s a different way of performing – you’re selling a product instead of a character and you’re also talking to people. It’s very people-oriented. The performance isn’t fake, but it’s polished and you can practice what you’re doing. You need to memorize your lines and your data. You need to make it nice and presentable for people so they buy your stuff.

“Sales stood out. It’s a different way of performing – you’re selling a product instead of a character and you’re also talking to people”

How did you find your way to Intercom?

It was pretty cool. A sales manager at Intercom came to Equinox for a membership and decided not to take it. So I kept him in my pipeline for a year. I would follow up with workouts and say “How about now? Come in, try this. What do you think?” 
Eventually he gave in and joined. He said, “I’m so impressed with your follow-up and your sales. You need to come work with me.” COVID had majorly impacted gyms so I was looking for a new job, and he referred me.  

What sold you on Intercom?

The way people talked about it was very appealing. It’s the most real company I’ve worked for. I can take a call right now in jeans, a t-shirt, and my slides. We’re professionals, we do our jobs well, and we take things seriously – but we don’t have to be in suits. We can talk like people. It’s such a fast-growing company, too. I didn’t realize because I wasn’t in tech before. This is the real deal.

How would you describe Intercom’s culture?

I would say it’s relaxed. I wouldn’t use the word fun, because I think fun implies we’re not taking things seriously, but I think relaxed is accurate.

“The message is essentially, ‘Here’s your job. Here’s what we need you to do. Make it your own’”

At Intercom, they give me the freedom to be whoever I want to be, do whatever I want to do within the constraints of my job and company standards. The message is essentially, “Here’s your job. Here’s what we need you to do. Make it your own.”, which is very much my style. I’m really excited to be here. Every person I meet is so great and easygoing. 

What are you involved in at Intercom?

I’m one of the leads of InterProud, Intercom’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), and it’s fantastic. 
When I first started, I was looking for ways to get involved, and I’d never even heard of an ERG. I wanted to do something for Pride. 

Then I found out about InterProud. There are hundreds of people involved, and they actually have budgets for this. This is a legit thing.

What does being an ERG lead entail?

It involves a lot of planning and behind-the-scenes work. Our biggest event is Pride. We also do speaker series’ where we invite speakers in from organizations that align with our values. Then we’ll fundraise and partner with other ERGs for side events.

Does health and wellness still play a big role in your life?

Yes. It’s taken a different form here, and because of COVID-19. Before, it was a major part of my life. Now it’s about finding time when it works in my schedule. 

It’s allowed me to create a healthy lifestyle rather than a daily habit that I have to check off the list. I focus a lot more on wellness, asking myself, “How’s your mental health? How are you feeling?” I meditate a lot and focus more on my food. I love to cook.

Do you have any advice for people who want that type of wellness lifestyle?

Feel your feelings, and then feel comfortable enough to express them. We had to put our childhood cat down the other week after 20 years. I told my manager, “I’m not going to be available for a couple of hours. I’m emotionally distraught, and would rather not get on camera.” And it was totally fine.

Do you have any pets of your own now?

Yes, I have a cat – his name’s Theo. He’s the coolest cat ever. Cats don’t like their bellies rubbed at all usually. And he will come over, lay down, and just roll over. I’m like, “Dude, you’re a freaking dog.”

Matt Coplai and Theo Intercomrade Spotlights

Matt and Theo

Besides hanging out with Theo and focusing on health and wellness, what do you do in your spare time?

I recently moved from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom; from living with a roommate to living by myself. That’s been really fun because I get to design the whole place – I get to pick out furniture and paint. It’s also a ton of work. After work I’m usually on different design sites, deciding what I want to build or get, or spotting different ideas on Pinterest.
I also love traveling. I love to cook. I’m big into reality TV. And I love Taylor Swift, we have the same birthday. Folklore is fantastic – such a vibe. 

Where did the love for Taylor Swift come from?

I don’t know, honestly. Ever since I can remember, we’re talking country Taylor. I’ve loved her ever since then, and then just followed the whole stream of Taylor’s reputation.
1989 is probably one of the best albums of our time. People don’t realize it because we’re living through it, but that will go down as a classic album.

Taylor Swift guitar pick Matt Coplai

Matt caught Taylor Swift’s guitar pic during her Reputation tour. He said, “I have it in a safe protective case and it’s my most prized possession.”

What’s your favorite memory at Intercom?

My whole first month was great. I was kind of like a deer in headlights. It was funny, because I would be like, “Wait, we get to do that? That’s okay?” Lunch was provided. I had just been in more traditional settings in the past. I loved that whole exploration process, and I’m still learning about life here and how great it is. 

Do you have any advice for anybody who’s coming from a traditional business setting and wants to get into tech or a more relaxed environment?

If I had known that I wanted to go into tech, I would have done a lot more research of what life in the industry was like. But I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I did a lot of research on Intercom, but not much on the tech industry itself. 

So, that would definitely be something I would do: Learn what your life is going to look like in whatever industry you’re interested in.

Interested in joining Intercom? We’ve got open roles on the Sales team with Matt, and across the company. Take a look.

Intercom careers