270: How Coaching Can Help You Thrive in Grad School and Beyond

270: How Coaching Can Help You Thrive in Grad School and Beyond

In this episode on how coaching can help you thrive in grad school, I discuss the challenges that grad students and working professionals face, including high stress and workload, and how coaching can help you navigate these hurdles. I also provide insights into the benefits of coaching, sharing my personal experiences with it, and offers a special limited-time offer on my coaching packages.

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270: How Coaching Can Help You Thrive in Grad School and Beyond


Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:00:00] Did you know that according to the Council of Graduate Schools, almost 50 percent of students who start a PhD program don't complete their degree? Yes, that's right. A lot of folks who go into graduate school never end up completing their programs. Similarly, a survey of grad students in 2019 showed that over 76 percent of them worked 41 plus hours per week, with nearly a quarter of them working more than 61 hours a week.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And then a separate study found that 75 percent of graduate students reported feeling stressed, Another one found that nearly 50 percent of students report feeling overwhelmed. 40 percent of them report feeling frequently exhausted or all of the time exhausted. And this is not just an issue for graduate students.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: According to the American Psychological Association's 2021 Work and Wellness, [00:01:00] survey, three in five workers reported experiencing negative mental and physical impacts due to work related stress. 26 percent of them noted a lack of interest, motivation, or energy. 32 percent reported emotional exhaustion and 44 percent noted high levels of physical fatigue.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: For these reasons, And many more. I want to talk about today's topic, which is about how coaching can help you thrive in graduate school.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Welcome to the top global ranked and award nominated grad school femtoring podcast. The place for first gen BIPOCs to listen in on conversations about grad school, and growth. In this podcast, you'll learn about all things higher [00:02:00] education, personal development, and sustainable productivity. This is Dr.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yvette Martinez Vu, and I will be serving as your femtor, providing you with tips and tricks and everything else you need to know to successfully navigate grad school. For over 14 years, I've been empowering first gen students of color along their personal and professional journeys, and I'm really excited to support you too.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Welcome back everyone to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. This is your host, Dr. Yvette. Today we're covering a topic that I'm really passionate about, which is all things coaching and how it can help you to thrive in grad school. This is my thing. This is what I do. I primarily offer coaching and consulting services.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And while I feel like I'm really good at selling my consulting services, I want to get better at selling [00:03:00] my coaching services because it's also something that I do and it's something that I believe that I do very well. And I've only gotten better at it this year because This year I decided to sign up for an all BIPOC coaching certification program and for me to prepare to become an ICF certified coach and to earn my associate certified coach credential I need to complete a certain set of hours, which means I'm going to be accepting more coaching clients.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And that brings me to talking about the power of coaching. Why coaching is so helpful, especially for folks that are new to it. I completely get it if you're feeling apprehensive about coaching because maybe you've never really Learned much about it. You don't really know what to expect. You see that online it seems like everybody and their mama is calling themselves a coach and everybody's doing it so differently.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You're not really sure what to expect. [00:04:00] I completely get it. I also get it if you're someone who is a graduate student or a working professional and you're feeling overwhelmed, you're feeling burnt out, you're feeling like this is all too much. I've also been there. And guess what? Coaching is incredibly helpful in helping you to manage all of these things, to reduce the stress, to reduce the overwhelm, because I'm living proof of that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I have had coaching and I am also a coach and I see it. I witness it all the time, just how helpful it can be to others. So, yeah, just as a reminder, like if you're someone who you're feeling like you're ready to take action, Maybe you've got a lot going on right now. Maybe you're feeling like your workload is too much.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You're feeling like you want to work on that work life balance. You want to reduce your anxiety. You want to overcome burnout. You want to feel a little bit more grounded. You want [00:05:00] to really, like, take action and reach your goals and do it in a way that doesn't feel like you're working yourself sick.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Then you might want to hear me out. , you might want to consider coaching. So why is coaching the answer? Why is coaching so powerful? Why am I so passionate about it? Well, first off, there are different types of coaching and coaching niches. But what's interesting though, is that, , Coaching in and of itself is fairly similar across the board.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So no matter what your niche is, what's great about coaching is that your coach is there to provide you with accountability. They're there to provide you with support. They're there to provide you with structure. And some of the skills that good coaches have are that they're able to listen deeply. They are active listening.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They can listen so well [00:06:00] that they can summarize and paraphrase things that you're saying in ways that sometimes Make more sense than what you said to them so that they're helping you to better hear yourself. They're helping you to identify patterns, to identify underlying values in what you're saying.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They're there to ask you powerful questions, to really dig and get to the root of certain issues, to really peel that onion, to get to what is underneath all of these issues that are coming up for you. They're also there to help you. Not just to say, yes, you know, I'm going to validate you. Yes. I'm going to acknowledge everything you're saying.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Sometimes they're there to challenge you in a gentle way, especially when you're feeling stuck, especially when. You're going through struggles and there are some limiting beliefs or there are some beliefs that are getting in your way of reaching your goals. They might challenge you to like reframe things in a way that is helpful to you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They're going to [00:07:00] be helping you to hold you accountable to stick to your goals. And at the end of the day, it's really about taking action. So they're there to help you to explore some possibilities to ultimately take action. And at the end of the day,, keep building momentum and reaching your goals. So for me, coaching is about Personal growth.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And it's about reaching your goals. And if you feel like I'm tired of doing things the way that I've been doing them, I'm also tired of doing things on my own. I would love to have a space where someone can hear me out. I would love to have a space where someone is willing to listen to me and to check in on me and to be compassionate with me and to also hold me accountable and make sure I do what I said I was going to do.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Then coaching might be a great opportunity for you. Now for me, my coaching niche is productivity coaching and grad school coaching. So what does that mean? [00:08:00] That means that I know enough about productivity and grad school that I can help to guide you in ways that might be helpful. This is not consulting though.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I don't tell you what to do. This is where it's different from consulting. If you're looking for someone to tell you what to do. Coaching is not for you. But if you're looking for someone who is experienced and who can help guide you, who can understand where you're coming from, perhaps even offer some open ended suggestions that could be helpful in the areas that you're interested in.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: In my case, productivity or managing, navigating grad school. Then you might want to work with someone in a specific niche who knows more about that niche than you do. So When you work with me, there's a lot that we can explore. We can explore ways to optimize your productivity so that you can stress less so that you [00:09:00] can increase your focus so that you can ultimately have better results than what you do now.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: We can also have you test out some time and energy management strategies so that you can feel more energized than what you do so that you can feel more replenished. We can have you set goals and I'm definitely , going to provide support, um, Definitely going to provide accountability and really, at the end of the day, it's about what are the things that are getting in your way?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: How are you getting in your way? And how are other things getting in your way? What is in your control to take action to remove those barriers for yourself? And if there are things, there are barriers that you can't remove, there is something you can do about it, even if it's not necessarily remove those barriers.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Sometimes it means removing yourself from that situation. Or viewing it in a different way or having another approach, uh, trying out another approach. So these are just some examples of things that you can explore should [00:10:00] you decide to work with me. And the same goes if you find another coach, someone when it's in a different niche.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You can always ask them, you know, what do our sessions look like? What are topics we can explore? The possibilities are endless. Even though I mentioned just a couple examples right now, we really can talk about anything because at the end of the day, it's a space where If you're curious about, like, what happens in a coaching session, you come into the coaching session, you come prepared with a topic, something that you want to work on, and then we dive in and guess what?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You're the one doing the most talking. You're doing the bulk of the talking. And again, like I said earlier, the coach is there. To do the heavy lifting of deep listening. To do the heavy lifting of summarizing what you're saying so you can better hear yourself. To help you to stay focused on whatever that [00:11:00] topic was, whatever it is that you said you wanted to work on, whatever objective you wanted to achieve in that session, to help you get there.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They're there to almost like act like a mirror back to you, and to help you to hold yourself accountable. To reaching your goals. So really, it's all about you in that session. It's not about the coach. It's about you, which is why I say it's so open ended and you can really work on a wide range of different things in your coaching sessions.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It doesn't have to be limited to just. whatever topic is related to a niche. It can really, you can really bring in your whole self to a coaching session. And that's what I do when I get coaching. I do have a coach. Actually, I have more than one coach technically right now because of my coaching certification program, I get a separate coach.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So, , I bring in all of my stuff. I don't just talk about my professional. obstacles or hurdles. I talk about my [00:12:00] personal hurdles too. And it's nice because even though this is not therapy, there are times I can bring in some personal stuff and get a different insight, different approach than I do when I go see my therapist.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So keep that in mind. I hope this is helping to like demystify what it's like to work with a coach. I also want to share a little bit more about what my client. journeys have been like, because I have had clients who I've helped with transitioning careers. I have had clients who I've helped with, of course, applying to graduate school and navigating graduate school.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: But with coaching, , it's primarily been the transitioning careers. Figuring out like a productivity system that works for them and helping, helping graduate students overcome those big hurdles, passing exams, writing and finishing their dissertation. And believe it or not, [00:13:00] it's, it's actually quite helpful to get coaching, not necessarily consulting for this type of support.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Why? Because let's say you're working with me for one of these different things because you want to, you know, Pivot in your career and you want to apply to new jobs or because , you have upcoming exams and you want to make sure that you pass them. In those sessions, you're getting help with clarifying your goals.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You're getting help with, Figuring out what's the thing that's getting in your way. Coming up with strategies to target that thing that's getting in your way. Setting up actionable steps. Having that accountability. A lot of folks feel like they've lost that accountability. Maybe they don't have enough mentors.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Maybe their advisor's MIA. Maybe their supervisor is, , very hands off and so they need that extra nudge and support. And guess what happens when you get that extra support and that extra help and that extra accountability and structure, etc. You're going to find [00:14:00] yourself experiencing less stress, experiencing more structure, increasing your confidence, Landing interviews.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yes, my clients land interviews and jobs. Passing qualifying exams. Writing, defending, and ultimately filing your dissertation. And I love that for my clients. I love that at the end of the day, they did that for themselves. I didn't tell them what to do. Of course, sometimes folks want to ask me for , my take on things.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And in that case, I'll take my coaching hat off and offer some insights. And I always say, take it with a grain of salt because we are here for coaching, not consulting. But, , for the most part, it is really on them. , , what I love about coaching, it's really about you empowering yourself. It's not about, Oh, you're working with an expert or a guru who's going to tell you what to do.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's really you using your lived experience, your prior knowledge to make decisions. [00:15:00] that make most sense to you. It's all intrinsic. It's not extrinsic. It's all about you. You know yourself best and it's just trusting in yourself and your intuition and having just a little bit of extra guidance and support and nudging from someone.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So that's why it's super duper powerful. It's all about you taking back your agency. And I love that about it. Now, of course, I'm mentioning this because I'm finishing up my coaching certification program this year. And at some point, probably at the end of the year, as I finish up my hours and training, I will get to apply to become an ICF certified coach.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I'll get two types of certifications. The first through my coaching certification program, we get one type of certification. And then after that I can apply to get a separate international certification. So, , For that separate international coaching federation program, , process, I have to log my hours.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I have to have a certain number of hours done. [00:16:00] And that means that I'll need to take on more clients, which I'm excited about because I love doing this. And because I want to increase my hours for this year for coaching, I am going to be doing a limited time offer. I don't do this all the time. , in fact, I have like a cap on my sliding scale clients cause I just, I can't make it work financially with supporting my family, keeping up my business, doing all the free things I do every week, while continuing to discount my services.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And I also 100 percent believe in the work that I do. I know it works. I know I'm very confident in what I do. I know it makes a difference. I know you're going to get value out of it. But for now, I am going to be offering my coaching packages for half off. Just this time while I'm getting my hours done.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So if you've ever wanted to work with me and you want to get yourself a deal, sign up now. I have six spots available. , I'm going to be taking on clients between now and July, [00:17:00] maybe going into August. I'm not sure it depends on how many hours I get done, but really just, if you want to work with me, you have the funds for it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: , take a look at my rate sheet and just know that for this limited time, it's half off, whatever the rate sheet says for my coaching packages. If you're not sure, I also have a discovery call that I offer so that folks can get a taste of what it's like to get coaching. And you can try out the discovery call.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: There's like no strings attached. You do it once. You don't want to do another one. That's totally fine. If you do it once, you really like it, then I'll encourage you to sign up for a package just to get the most out of it. , but yeah, , keep that in mind. My sessions and my coaching packages are usually six sessions at a time.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: In this case, cause I'm trying to get, , as many hours done as soon as possible. It is going to be an expectation of six sessions over a six week period, which might be good if you're on summer break and you really want to work on [00:18:00] yourself. , and you have some time to keep working on yourself. This could be a good time to do it.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You'll also get email support and I share resources in between sessions. Keep that in mind. Book a consultation if you're interested , in working with me. You can find the link in my show notes. And honestly, if you don't want to work with me, that's okay too. There's a lot of other coaches out there.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Sometimes there's some folks that their universities offer. , coaching services, which is, I think that's really, really cool if your university offers that for you. Also, don't forget that sometimes you can ask for funding for this. So, if you're a graduate student or you're an employee of a company and they offer professional development, Services or funds.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: See if they'd be willing to pay for this. I do not provide discounts for, , entities. So just keep that in mind if, , if you're part of a organization or university. There's [00:19:00] no discount, but for individuals, I am going to be offering this, this discount. So look into it, check it out, send me a message if you have questions, book a consultation, and I'm excited to see who I get to work with and to support you in this transformation.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And if this is not the right time for you, that's okay. At least I have planted that seed for you to hopefully one day invest in yourself and Find a coach that really feels like the right coach for you and get that support that you need and deserve. That's it for today's episode. I hope you found it helpful.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And as always, I'll talk to you all next time.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thanks so much for joining me in the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. If you like what you heard, here are four ways you can support the show. The first is to make sure you're subscribed [00:20:00] and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. If you email me a screenshot, I'll send you a surprise freebie. The second way is to get your copy of my free Grad School Femtoring Resource Kit.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: which includes essential information to prepare for and navigate grad school. You can access it at the link in today's show notes. The third way to support my show is to follow me on social media. You can find me on Instagram with the handle at grad school, femtoring and on LinkedIn by searching my name.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: The last way to show your love is to order a copy of is grad school for me. My graduate school admissions book for first gen BIPOCs. Thanks again for listening and until next time.

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