CAPOD are now offering students one-on-one coaching sessions with professional coaches. I have had my first session with my coach and am writing this piece to raise awareness of the service and to give anyone interested an insight into how it works.
The coaching service, called Know You More, was created by Tim Mart. To register you need to give an email address and create a password – the usual things. Then a code is emailed to you which will enable you to register. This is where I had issues, as I was not receiving the code. Luckily, I got an email from Tim Mart after a few failed attempts asking if I was having issues. After explaining my situation, he then sent an email immediately and I was registered. Once you have registered you need to create a profile – name, email, university, course, availability, what you’re hoping to get out of the coaching – and then you are matched with a coach.
Your assigned coach will email you and introduce themselves and you then arrange a time for a chemistry session, to see if you’ll get on. The coaching sessions are generally an hour long, done through video chat, using Zoom, and your coach will send you an invite to the Zoom meeting once you have arranged a time. If you do not already have Zoom then there is no need to worry, as it is free and easy to set up an account.
Despite feeling nervous for my chemistry session, I had a great time. My coach, also named Tim, had a background in sales and has been a trained coach for a long time and was easy to chat to. The session was mainly about outlining what I hoped to get out of coaching or improve on. I said that I’m very anxious about giving presentations and doing interviews and would like to work on my confidence. We then spent the session discussing what sort of job I would like to do (HR or organisational psychologist) and the experience and skills I need to help me get that job. Tim asked me what I had done already in terms of work experience, volunteering, jobs etc. that could be used to demonstrate my interest in HR and organisational psychology. We then discussed how to relate these to those areas in a way that any potential future employers will (hopefully) be impressed by.
At the end of the session we decided that we got on well and arranged another appointment. There is no pressure to stick with your assigned coach if you do not get on well, as they understand that there needs to be a good rapport for the coaching to work. I was also assigned the task of creating a LinkedIn profile in the meantime, covering all the relevant experience I already have for HR and organisational psychology, and have been asked to present it to him at our next meeting. Daunting, but also reassuring, as instead of floundering around panicking about getting a job, I now have someone who knows what they’re talking about and can give me advice and step-by-step instructions on how to improve my skills and employability.
I would definitely recommend the service. You receive personalised advice based on what you want to learn about or improve, without any judgement or pressure from your coach – it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, they will help you. I think it’s great as you can practice interviewing skills or presentation skills, for example, without any consequences, so that when the time comes when it does matter, you will be as prepared as possible.
You can find more information on coaching in St Andrews here https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/capod/students/coaching/