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Academic Student Career Coaching

Here's a detailed presentation of the career coaching services I offer.
It's a combination of genuine reflection guided by our discussions, in which you'll have to invest yourself, and research or exercises, to which you'll have to devote a little time between sessions.

This is not a service where I tell you what job you're cut out for or what you're made for by means of a test or questionnaire, and suggest the corresponding training courses, all based on your grades. This type of service is not coaching, but is called career assessment or guidance.

In a context where we're all formatted, conditioned, standardized and influenced, there's a lot to unravel to make sure you make a reasoned choice, but first and foremost what we're interested in working on is questioning, then validating, what you like and what's important to you. Sometimes we want something for the wrong reasons, and we believe certain things are important when they're not.

The beauty of coaching is that it's a problem-solving, action-oriented method that adapts to every context, situation and personality. Wherever you are in your thinking process, whether you've already spent hours on it or very little time, whether you think you know what you want to do as a career or are totally lost, my role is to adapt and help you validate and make your choice.

I'll also be able to suggest open-ended exercises that won't influence you, and that I've been able to develop and refine over more than 19 years of helping students with their career choices, to help you bring out the elements that are important for you to think about.

It's your specific situation, reflection or problem that will generate the focus of the coaching. You may also have a related issue that can be addressed and resolved, whether it's self-confidence, motivation, concentration or organization problems, or any other type of difficulty where coaching can provide a solution.

Guidance coaching also has a major benefit: it makes you autonomous. The student is in a position to return to the subject on his or her own if new elements emerge after the coaching, because he or she has integrated the type of reflection required to get to the bottom of a question and make an informed choice.

We sometimes come up against a secondary issue when we choose a career, and I've seen students rule out a career simply because of a problem of self-confidence or shyness when speaking in public.

Sometimes, working on the main problem naturally leads us to question certain points which are external to the problem, but which are linked.

These career coaching sessions are designed to meet your needs, not just your desires. 

I'm offering you a service that I consider essential. I'm proposing to guide you in this way for very specific reasons, which I'll explain below. I'm well aware that this is not ideally what you're looking for. On the other hand, it is ideally what you need.

In the vast majority of cases, students are looking for something quick and easy, which will give them a result that seems to suit their needs. But what they really need is to take an interest, to invest themselves in it, and to think for hours about the implications of their choices, what they really want and why, and what they really like and why, in order to be able to make a definitive choice. On the one hand he doesn't do much, on the other it's the other way around.

I consider it my duty as a professional to offer you what you need before anything else.

Let's take an example from everyday life to illustrate the situation: Imagine you go into a DIY store because you have a hole in a wall to fill. Would you prefer the sales assistant to direct you towards the product you say you want, or the one he'll recommend depending on what you have to do and the nature of your wall?

Either you know more than the salesperson, and this example is irrelevant, or you're not a DIY whiz, and you should trust the professional to guide you in choosing the tool/product best suited to the task at hand.

It's the same thing for your guidance, a subject with far more at stake. So why would coaching, and more specifically the type of coaching I've described above, be the best method?

To answer this question, we also need to talk about other methods, analyze their benefits and limitations, and make a comparison. I talk about this in my article on choosing a guidance service and choosing a coach, which I invite you to read. It would be far too long to go into detail in this presentation of the service. You can access it via the site menu. I also talk about it in much greater detail in my pamphlet "L'orientation aujourd'hui ou l'art de ne pas se planter" available on Amazon, kobo and Google Play, which you'll find a short presentation of in the "books" section of this site.

I offer you coaching that is totally centered on you and your own resources, based essentially on questioning, active listening and reformulation, projection and awareness, without any other tools or tests. Coaching whose only framework is the objective to be achieved, not the tool to be used.

Pupils and students are virtually on their own when it comes to all aspects of career guidance, except perhaps for knowledge of the different career paths, whether at high school or university, and they need more conscientious, personalized support to give them the best chance of blossoming!

Coaching for academic and professional orientation: the construction of a professional project

Generally speaking, what students want is quite simple: they want to find a career, and they don't realize that it's not just a matter of deciding: "I want to be an engineer" or "I want to be a lawyer".

Defining your orientation means first of all finding out what really interests you, then defining a precise career, and also specifying a sector, a field, a specialty. It's all about building your career plan.

My aim is to help you define what you want, and this can independently involve (re)discovering yourself, awakening your desires, what makes you tick, what you love, what makes you want to move forward, what excites you, motivates you, has meaning for you.

Many students who have a main interest or passion think they'll go in that direction. It's not a mistake in principle, but sometimes they tend not to anticipate that the reality of everyday life is far removed from the representation we make of it, and that it will have nothing to do with their experience of this passion, outside the framework of paid work. It's not uncommon for these students to question their choice. Then there are many young people who have no real passion, no real focus of interest, sometimes it's because they have too many, and none is really more important than the others, and sometimes it's constantly changing, from month to month, year to year. The status of a "passion" profession has long been perceived as an ideal goal, but this is not always the case.

And for all those who are hesitating between two choices, don't forget that double courses do exist!

For some students, particularly those with HPI, sometimes it's not a question of helping them to find their career, but rather of helping them to define the types of jobs they will least dislike, or in which they will least bother, the branch in which they can quickly change position, role or activity for example, and there's a real work of acceptance, of awareness to be implemented. Some people find it very hard to accept being confined to a single professional activity, and we need to find appropriate solutions. I know the specificities of these children and young adults very well, following my reading and research since around 2011, and I've had the pleasure of accompanying many of them.

The coaching services I offer meet these expectations and enable you to make concrete progress, step by step, in defining your career orientation.

I don't work with tests, but only with questioning and some open-ended projection exercises. You can refer to the section of this site on how guidance coaching works for more information.

My role is to adapt, to meet your expectations and to help you make your choices without influencing you.
Guidance coaching can be more or less focused:

  • Choosing a career.
  • Building a professional project.
  • Choosing a university or school.

Our work will be tailored to your specific needs. Please consult the coaching process page for a more precise idea of the work undertaken.

The question of motivation and self-confidence

These issues are central to the definition of a career plan, as their impact and consequences can be limiting.

It is often necessary to work on these issues to ensure that the choice of career path is not affected.

When it's clear that the student isn't working, can't get down to work or is dropping out quickly. The problem is the cause of this lack of motivation, and this is what needs to be defined so that the student can move forward again. This is the kind of reflective work I undertake: helping them to find and express the cause, then helping them to find their own solutions. In most cases, it's a problem linked to orientation, a lack of purpose.

I'm only going to look at the question of self-confidence from the point of view of orientation. Self-confidence can have a profound effect on career choices.

It can be revealed through :

  • fear of defining a goal,
  • fear of making the choice to achieve that goal,
  • tendency to doubt one's abilities, value and skills,
  • tendency to think he'll fail,
  • shyness, fear or discomfort with public speaking,
  • fear of facing the gaze and judgment of others,
  • fear of disappointing parents,
  • fear of trying too hard and failing,
  • fear of not being intelligent enough,
  • fear of realizing one's limits.

Of course, there are certain redundancies and this list is not exhaustive, but it is intended to illustrate.

Depending on the personalities involved and the issues at stake, we may approach the work from different angles, but a first stage of reflection and awareness of oneself, one's experiences and one's history is necessary, and this is what will invariably guide the work.

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Organization and Methodology Coaching

It's not strictly speaking coaching, in the sense that my posture is different, because coaching is based on your own resources, but in the context of organizational or methodological problems, it's not a question of finding your solutions, but rather of finding solutions that work for you. The aim of these coaching sessions is to give you the foundations and tools to move forward, while working with you to find what will suit you best and enable you to be more comfortable and efficient, with the emphasis of course on your autonomy.

I can help you in two or three sessions to find the organization that suits you, so that you don't spread yourself too thin and become more efficient. This can sometimes take an extra session or two for HPI students, who have certain specific problems such as attention problems and difficulty staying focused on a single task, for example, which take longer to resolve.

Sometimes you may just need help in finding the methodology that suits you, as school rarely teaches students how to work intelligently, under the right conditions and with tips and tricks that enable them to acquire knowledge quickly and durably. I often keep myself up to date on this issue, and closely follow the research on memory carried out by teams at the world's leading universities, particularly Harvard.

We all learn differently and at different speeds, we don't all have the same way of working, and we don't all have the same memorization skills. Your neighbor's methods or tips and tricks won't necessarily work for you. That said, it's always best to try out what works for the vast majority of students first, before looking for other solutions.

My role is to present them, or to encourage research, so that the student can study them, test them and choose the one that seems to work best for him or her. Most of the work is aimed at helping him adapt them to his own way of working, to find what works for him, what's effective.

Methodological problems are often closely linked to organizational problems, and very often have to do with motivation. They can persist and only become disabling after a few years of higher education, when the amount of work increases.

To take the example of the revision sheet, one of the tools of learning in high school and later: beyond the fact that some people still don't use them while at the university, you have to make the tool your own, learn to assess the level of detail required according to the subject or your abilities, define your own system, codes/abbreviations/colors/shortcuts/formatting, etc. And there are many tools available today, which are not necessarily suitable for everyone. And there are many tools available today, not all of which are suitable for everyone.

I've often noticed that, even after one or two years in medicine, some students still have difficulties with methodology and organization, often because they haven't taken the time to build their tools, to look for "their method", and they don't structure their personal work.

There is no miracle method that works for everyone, and it's often necessary to adapt one of the existing methods to make it work for you, and it's in this search and application that I can help you in particular.

The question of organization is also an essential parameter for efficient working, and you need to think about and adapt your organization to your own workflows, working methods and objectives. In general, the organization needed to be effective throughout the year is rarely limited to simply planning personal working time over the week or month. I'm not going to give you a series of "tricks" that can be used by everyone - that's not the point - but if you want to last several years with a high or even extreme workload, as in preparatory classes or medical school for example, precise and adapted organization becomes essential.

It's not just your work you have to manage, it's your body and mind too. Like an athlete...

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Public Speaking Coaching

Please note that this is "coaching" and not "pure" coaching unless you request it and I remain in a coaching posture, but I am also in a counseling or training posture. It is not about reinventing proven techniques, but rather about testing and adapting them so that they allow you to be comfortable and confident. It is also about looking at new and emerging methods, the result of current research in psychology, neuropsychology and neuroergonomics.

Public speaking can have several variations depending on the context. It is not the same exercise to present one's thesis as to present a project to clients or to do a job interview, even if the basis is common, there will be some specificities as much on the content as on the form.

I offer these types of accompaniments :

  • Accompaniment and preparation for admission and job interviews
  • Preparation for oral performances
  • Preparation of CV and cover letter

We can work on much more focused issues as needed, I adapt to the problem and the particular situation of each student. This is what allows me to accompany you on other types of issues or problems that you encounter, always with the concern of helping you find YOUR own solutions, such as :Make a CV that looks like you and a relevant cover letter

  • Receive occasional help during a research paper or a thesis to gain some distance or to get organized
  • Unravel a relationship problem with a professor who is putting you in difficulty
  • Understand and react to a loss of motivation or a drop in grades
  • Regain your self-confidence
  • Learn to organize yourself to be more efficient
  • Find your own method of working and learning
  • The anxiety of an approaching exam
The coaching method is an à la carte process that is totally adapted to your needs, your situation and your problem! We define your objective and from there, we think together about the best solutions to reach it.

That said, be aware that you may think that you only need help with your CV and cover letter when in fact the problem lies elsewhere, whether it is a problem of coherence in your career path or a difficulty in presenting it or talking about yourself personally. This should not necessarily be seen as an attempt by the coach to broaden the scope of the coaching in order to multiply the sessions. In this situation, for example, a good CV and a relevant letter are useless if you do not know how to be relevant and present yourself intelligently during the interview. The coach's duty is to take some distance, to anticipate future problems and to define with you all the work to be done so that you can reach the objective which is to be hired.

On the day of an exam, oral or oral defense, in order to be able to carry your work with confidence and mastery, it is essential to prepare for this exercise efficiently and at all levels. Having confidence in oneself, in one's abilities and means, is an essential prerequisite on which we also work. The form presents and serves as a wrapping for the substance, a good substantive work badly presented will not have the desired impact. The oral presentation is an exercise that is often poorly prepared and left to chance, even prepared at the last minute.
However, a good preparation and a good presentation will inevitably be an advantage to stand out during an oral day, when professors listen and question dozens of students.

When it comes to the world of work, many young people are at a loss when faced with companies that are looking for ultra-specialists at all levels and where personality and presentation play an increasingly important role, because for the vast majority of them they have not been prepared to look for a job, to present a resume correctly, to send their application, to be proactive in their job search strategies and to diversify them, to present themselves and behave ideally during the interview in order to show their worth.

On the day of the job interview, in order to have all the assets on one's side, by knowing how to present oneself with confidence, to put forward the aspects of one's personality that are necessary for the position and to evoke an assertive and coherent professional project, it is important to prepare oneself well and it will be these parameters that will differentiate the candidates.

Accompaniment and preparation for admission and job interviews

Because going there with your hands in your pockets and saying "we'll see" is not a good idea ;)
The stakes are high, the problem is not to be uncomfortable or stressed, even if it is unavoidable, because they will understand it very well, the problem lies in the relevance of the speech and the coherence of the project. Knowing how to demonstrate your motivation and skillfully reveal your personality is essential.

The problem is therefore to present yourself exhaustively and clearly, to explain your professional project in a concise and relevant way and to demonstrate your motivation in concrete terms, because a festival of boilerplate phrases without depth, which they hear 95% of the time, will not show you off, or even get through if your file is not impeccable.

Admission interview or job interview: it is the same exercise. In both cases, you have to present yourself, explain your background and plans, and demonstrate your motivation and interest in the school/course/company/position you have chosen.

This is why this coaching, which aims at your autonomy, will be useful during your entrance interview to the grandes écoles for example, but also for your future job interviews.
I can help you to overcome your difficulties, to enable you to manage this exercise well.

Please note that I do not promise that you will never have stage fright again, that you will never have stress or anxiety before an interview. I am not going to tell you stories, it is impossible!

Even the greatest artists who have been performing for decades in front of thousands of spectators have stage fright before going on stage. What I can promise you, however, is that I will give you all the tools you need to manage your stage fright, your stress, your anxiety, to stop letting your uneasiness show, but above all to present yourself in the best possible way, feeling more at ease, relaxed, because you will feel that you have mastered this exercise.

So, how exactly will we work? Well, it will depend on the level of mastery of each person.

Of course, beforehand, it is preferable to have a good and well-constructed CV and to know how to judiciously write a cover letter, since this will be the support of your presentation, so you might as well start working on that.

We will work by setting up simulations filmed with a camera, after the preparatory work has been finalized, the most effective method to move forward concretely and quickly by discovering your points to improve.

Each video sequence will be viewed and debriefed, and this will allow you to continue working on your own.

Concretely, and according to your request, I can help you to :

  • Know how to prepare for an interview,
  • Approach your interviews calmly,
  • Work on your presentation to show your best profile,
  • Work on the image you send to your interviewer,
  • Demonstrate that you are motivated and interested in the position or school,
  • Be at ease with the question of remuneration at the right time during a job interview,

Preparation for oral performances

You all have to go through it: project presentations, dissertations and final theses.
Taking an oral exam, whether it is a one-time presentation, or a thesis, inevitably requires a good preparation.

I will not repeat what I explained above, because you will easily understand that it would be redundant. It is a similar exercise except that in one case you have to present yourself and explain your project and in the other you have to present your work and defend it.

Once again, the work will depend on your personal objectives and especially on your level of mastery of this exercise, both in terms of the type of support you use during the oral, as well as all the other elements that are important to work on.

Without a specific problem to base the work on, we will define your level and the level you want and need to reach.

I tend to consider working on 4 levels (this also applies to interview preparation):

    1. The medium
    2. The content: mastery of the subject, fluidity, relevance, etc.
    3. Form: image, tone, gestures, etc.
    4. Concentration and your ability to maintain it

Together we will define exercises tailored to your needs so that you can work between sessions and continue to improve on your own.

We will plan regular simulations, if necessary during our sessions, and outside of them.

The use of video is, in my opinion, essential to progress in speaking, interviewing or public speaking, whatever it may be.

All of the coaching sessions I offer to prepare for oral presentations include filmed simulations, which are analyzed and commented on at various times.

Preparation of CV and cover letter

It is a question of putting in place a deep work of reflection and formatting of the CV by defining which elements are going to be highlighted, not to mention the aspects of presentation, setting up, choice of paper and colors...
Many sites propose areas of improvement or more or less exhaustive lists of what to do and what not to do, this is a good start, but you must not stop there!

There is a basic problem with these recommendations: they are general and do not take your personality into account.

Indeed, these websites cannot help you in any way to put forward your personality in your CV and your cover letter and yet it is precisely what you should do.

Other problems exist, often out of laziness students and many executives have a "standard" CV that they send in the same form for all the job offers they apply for and this is a mistake.

In each job offer for the same type of position, different experiences or qualities are sometimes required depending on the company and it will therefore be necessary to highlight different elements in your CV and cover letter depending on the offer you are responding to!

The purpose is to make you autonomous and to ask you the right questions to help you identify by yourself which elements should be highlighted for each offer.

You will find in my self-coaching manual Choose Your Career In 5 Days, a bonus section that should be enough for you in most cases to create an optimal CV and cover letter, and at a lower cost, if you need a more targeted or specific coaching, contact me.


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