Deposit Operations · February 21, 2023

Emily Cochran

Emily Cochran

Now working as a Deposit Operations Representative for Marine Credit Union (MCU) in Davenport, Iowa, Emily Cochran was born and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Emily attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois from 2008 to 2012. “I became a Midwesterner,” Emily shared and added, “I never left.”

Having a diverse and unique past, Emily shared that she studied German and Scandinavian studies and had “close to” a minor in Latin. She also minored in music. Emily played the cello for 26 years, “since I was wee little,” she said. She explained that she enjoyed studying musicology, music therapy, and medieval music in school. “I didn’t have a trajectory in mind,” she shared for her undergraduate degree but was interested in graduate school.

Emily said she had applied to and had been rejected by seven or eight graduate schools. So, for eight years, she worked several jobs outside of her field while also teaching cello in her own studio.

Emily still has a love of and a passion for collecting vintage rugs after working with a “Moroccan gentleman from the Mideast” cleaning and repairing rugs. One rug that she owns was woven by the Baloch people of Iran. “It’s so precious,” she explained because one doesn’t see rugs that old intact after 120 years. “It’s a lost art,” she said of the rugs.

Along with the rugs, Emily has several other unique interests including studying medieval times. “Poetry, stories, sagas and legends,” she said those times in history, she explained, have always interested her. “I was always into it,” she shared saying her interest started with video games such as the Legend of Zelda and with reading the Redwall book series as a child.

In college, Emily even studied in Germany for an entire school year. While studying at the University of Halle, she saw the house of Martin Luther, the namesake of Lutheranism, and the bible Luther wrote by hand, what Emily described as the “most incredible thing” she had ever seen.

Later, Emily shared that she also managed a video store, was a bartender, and also worked for a while at what she referred to as “the most popular pizza place” in Davenport, Iowa. In 2019, though, everything changed.

Emily explained that she was in the process of finalizing her divorce from her now ex-husband. And in 2020, she added, “We all know what happened.” Due the pandemic, Emily lost her job as a bartender. “I immediately got laid off and it was my descent into madness,” she shared. “Those were the roughest years of my life.”

Emily shared that she had been drinking a lot while working around alcohol and that her family had a history of alcoholism. “I grew up in a broken household,” she shared. “I didn’t want to go down the same path my dad went down.” And unfortunately, she shared that drinking was “encouraged” at the punk bar where she worked: “Heavy drinking,” Emily added.

Emily was looking for other work and in June and July of 2021, she was a hopeful candidate for a position at the German American Heritage Center & Museum in the Quad Cities. She made it through three interviews. And on July 16, after not hearing back about the job, Emily called them, and they told her she didn’t get the position.

Emily said that she felt “stuck” at the pizza place and after feeling she had been rejected so many times in her life, tragically, she drove herself to a field in Muscatine, drank a fifth of Jameson, and swallowed old prescription pills. “I overdosed and died,” she shared.

Emily explained that someone found her, she still doesn’t know who it was. “I remember being dragged out of my car,” she said. “I couldn’t open my eyes. I must have blacked out.”

She woke up in the hospital after being in a coma, and was told that she had been dead for five to ten minutes and was brought back to life. During her two weeks stay in the hospital, her boyfriend at the time broke up with her.

“I struggled a long time with anxiety,” she shared and was later diagnosed with autism as well. “I had been in therapy for a good 10 years. Now I am just trying to maintain.”

“On July 16, 2021, the day of my overdose, I quit drinking,” she shared.

She called that event “a huge dramatic exit” from the life she had been living … working around alcohol. Soon after Emily found herself supervising at a local cleaning company where she found that she enjoyed helping people. And after a short time with a mobile phone company, Emily said, “It was a godsend that I received an email and was recruited to MCU.”

Emily said without everything that she has experienced she wouldn’t have what she has today and wouldn’t have met her “wonderful coworkers.”

“I’m thankful and grateful I’m here,” Emily added. “I was rejected from jobs, but somebody gave me a chance.”

Going through what she has been through, Emily shared that she now is able to help others. “The big take away,” she said is, “don’t do it. Seek help. Reach out to someone. You will be surprised.”

“It’s been a crazy ride,” Emily added of her experiences so far. “I appreciate every boring day.”