The Coaching Program

Are you studying or working in a STEM field and hoping to enhance your career development through individualized mentoring? Do you ever wonder if you’re taking the right path to get to your ideal career? Have you had any concerns or doubts about whether or not you’re in the right place? Do you wonder if you’re using the right strategy to approach some of the challenges you’re facing in graduate school? Do you want to expand your mentoring team? The CU WiSE coaching program is designed to help you with these difficult decisions and assist you in dealing with your evolving education and professional development.

The program:

The WiSE group at CU wants to support students and postdocs in their pursuit of a successful and meaningful career and promote inclusion and diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). To this end, we’ve devised and implemented a unique program that pairs students and postdocs with STEM professionals to guide and encourage you to achieve your professional goals.

Why coaching?

Having a professional coach can help you achieve your professional and educational potential. They increase your ability to develop and implement habits of success: efficiency, confidence and competency in your work life. Developing a professional connection to a coach will also broaden your networking circle.

Positive Coaching Impacts.JPG
Reported positive outcomes of coaching in a recent study by the International Coach Federation (ICF) by surveyed professionals that had participated in personal and/or business coaching services. Adapted from

This bar graph of the ICF Global Coaching Study (~2,000 participants) illustrates the positive impacts of coaching. For example, 72% of participants reported improved communication skills as a positive impact of coaching.

Who are the coaches?

The coaches are experienced professionals from a variety of STEM fields, including (but not limited to) zoologists, engineers, biologists, chemists, professors, entrepreneurs, and other industry professionals in the front range area. These coaches are role models that have experienced graduate school and are happy to volunteer their time to empower young scientists.

Who can apply?

If you are:

  • A graduate student or early postdoc in a STEM field
  • Looking for a coach and role model
  • Hoping to learn more about careers outside of academia
  • Wanting a fresh perspective on grad school or the postdoc experience
  • Interested in learning more about careers in STEM through personalized mentoring

Program structure:

Each academic year, a cohort of 10-15 students and postdocs from a variety of STEM disciplines are selected to participate. Based on the selected mentee’s application, the coaching program committee will pair mentees with coaches. At the beginning of fall semester, we host a meeting with the mentees to talk about the program, and follow this with a meet-and-greet networking event with both mentees and coaches. Coaches and mentees then schedule to meet with one another for about 1 hour per month for one-on-one coaching sessions throughout the academic year. This program will allow students to develop a strong relationship with their coaches such that coaches remain in their mentees network (and vice versa) in the future.


Coaches are available and happy to discuss all aspects of graduate school, career development/training, and professional careers. For example, they can help you approach your academic adviser to map out the next steps you want to take in your career. They are also great resources for learning how to be more confident, how to efficiently and effectively network to obtain your career goals, and how to be more motivated.

How can you apply:

Our program for the 2017-2018 academic year is currently full.

Please contact Katelyn Long for more information:


Although this program focuses on empowering women in STEM, men are welcome to apply as well. Once the cohort is selected, if you haven’t been accepted please apply again next year. If you aren’t accepted, you may be put on a waiting list, and inducted into the program if a mentee abandons the program for any reason.