March 6, 2019

Career Success for All: Scaling Reach through Group Career Coaching

By Sasha Greenfield, Associate Director NYUSPS Wasserman Center for Career Development

The NYU School of Professional Studies Wasserman Center for Career Development is enhancing their career coaching model to reflect the changing world of work—where people are staying in jobs for shorter tenures, needing to constantly refresh their skills, and working to later stages in their lives. As a school tied to industry and sectors and being in the heart of NYC, the tendency to jump right into the action stages of career development is quite attractive, and most of the time left for the end of the academic year. While 87% of NYUSPS students reported using the resources of the Wasserman Center for Career Development while at NYU, there was a distinct need to engage all students multiple times throughout their academic experience to ensure good career and professional health.

"I like Group Coaching because I know I’m not alone in my job search. We can share different perspectives and encourage one another."

Student Testimonial

Adopting this model meant ensuring students had the opportunity and mindset to engage in all stages of career development, not only when they were looking for a job. It also meant providing students with the space to reflect on what their prior achievements were before NYUSPS, and what they were currently working on inside and outside the classroom. With the intention to get more students thinking about their career early on, a Group Career Coaching series was launched focused on preventative topics: Developing your Professional Identity and Connecting Your Professional Identity to Your Career.



While the sessions contained different learning outcomes, the common thread was peer-to-peer engagement. Students were expected to drive the conversation and take ownership of their career wellness. Sessions included a mix of guided discussion and coaching, partner and group activities, individual reflection, and career curriculum. Similar to an individual coaching appointment, students set goals, deepened self-awareness, took action, and held themselves and each other accountable.

“The amount of interaction and discussion was great. I learned that the way to know more about yourself is by talking about it with different people.”

Student Testimonial

The initial pilot proved very successful—students actively participated and the demand from students outweighed the supply. Students also responded well to the new format. 70% ranked their overall satisfaction with their session as “Excellent” or “Good.” They identified the best parts of the session to be “listening to the insights of their peers” and provided feedback that it was “a valuable networking and community building experience.” Some indicated they preferred group coaching over an individual coaching session. Group coaching not only allowed scalability of services to reach more students, but also helped students realize they are not alone in the career-related issues they face.

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