Professional Coaching

The UW Bothell School of Business is proud to partner with International Coach Federation Washington Chapter (ICF Washington) to provide coaching for our MBA and MSA students.

Students who had coaching reported these results:

  • Setting clear and challenging goals
  • Learning to be accountable
  • Acquiring leadership skills
  • Curbing procrastination
  • Improving work/life/school healthy balance
  • Connecting with values and purpose

What is the application process?

  1. Watch this TED Talk by Simon Sinek (viewed over 40 million times!)
  2. Watch this video message from former Business Dean Sandeep Krishnamurthy. He discusses the value of coaching for MBA students.
  3. Apply for a coaching spot in Fall 2023. (application details coming soon)
  4. Commit to meeting with your coach for 1 hour, four times.

Read on to find out more about the coaching process.

What is Professional Coaching?

International Coach Federation (ICF) defines it as partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative manner that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Coaches honor the client as the expert in her or his life. Coaches believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.

In simple terms, coaching occurs through a series of conversations in which coaches use their ability to listen deeply, ask powerful questions and create a relationship of trust and rapport that enables the client to achieve more by focusing on what is important.

What coaching is not

While a coach could be capable of advising you, bear in mind that the role of the coach is to support, challenge and hold you accountable to changes you want to make. This is different from consulting, mentoring, training, therapy, counseling, life management, friendship or religious ministry.

What are some of the reasons for having a coach?

Following are some of the typical topics/situations people seek a coach’s help:

  • Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake (e.g. a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
  • A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • A desire to accelerate results
  • Unsure of what goal to set, how to prioritize tasks
  • Success has started to become problematic
  • Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
  • Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them

What to expect

The coach will:

  • Facilitate gentle exploration of your needs, skills and thought process
  • Help you identify your own solutions and action steps (instead of giving direct advice)
  • Be supportive and non-judgmental, be a thinking partner
  • Help you to map out a plan, strategy for your goals
  • Support you to overcome barriers and situational roadblocks
  • Help you create new awareness
  • Be supportive to improve confidence and enhance capabilities

Your coach and you will have an initial discovery conversation, which will set the clear objectives and outcomes for the coaching contract.

Your investment

Be ready to play along. Commit to making the relationship meaningful and productive. Here are few things which will help with your success.

  • Assume full responsibility for personal decisions and actions
  • Show up on time, clear your desk, turn off your cell phone, close emails, put away any other distractions and play full-out during our sessions
  • Be willing to stretch and be open to discovering ‘blind-spots,’ receive feedback in order to help expedite achieving your goals
  • Be open and honest to get the most out of your coaching sessions
  • Allow yourself to be open to new possibilities, varied ideas and unique ways of finding solutions.


The contents of every coaching session and the details of every coaching relationship are totally confidential and will not be shared with anyone else.

Research & articles

Here are two articles by ICF WA Chapter Past President, Sharmin Banu:

  1. Everyone And Their Mother Is Talking About “Coaching” – What Is It Really?
  2. 10 Benefits of Coaching in the Workplace
  3. 6 Ways An Executive Coach Can Make You More Successful

Recent Ted Talk on coaching

Becoming an expert doesn’t mean you don’t need to be coached. You are never done: even the world’s greatest needs a coach. Watch the Ted Talk.

About ICF & ICF Washington

ICF is a global professional body for advancing the profession of coaching. ICF is spanned across 140 countries with approximately 30,000 members.
ICF Washington is one of the earliest chapters of ICF and is the 5th largest in the US in terms of total members.

Questions? Please email the MBA Graduate Team at

Information about how to apply will be available here soon!