Case Studies

Violet

Situation Analysis:
Violet, 26, was ‘stuck’ in a job that she believed had little upward career trajectory. She needed a more dynamic environment in NYC, with potential to earn more and build new professional muscles.  She is an improv fanatic and has a charismatic and magnetic personality. In addition she has awesome digital analysis skills, specifically in the media industry. Violet didn’t know how great she was until we started working with her.

Obstacles:
As an NYC native Violet wasn’t thrilled with the idea of moving or working out of the city. And she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next; she was feeling rather pigeon-holed and had lost some confidence. It had been several years since she had developed a resume and presented her skills and value to a potential employer. And as is the case with many 20-Somethings, she processed, analyzed and spoke very fast without taking a breath!

Actions:
Assessment:
 Violet took a Caliper Profile assessment which gave us all a very thorough and in depth view of her personality type. She was amazed at how accurate it was so our conversations at the beginning of her coaching process were very fruitful and productive.  It was clear she had superb abstract reasoning skills, was highly detailed and could be very compelling when presenting ideas/solutions, especially with a technical focus. In addition she could take on a lot of information quickly, assimilate it and determine next steps. She had strong ego-drive and ego-strength, and good organizational skills. We asked her to take various other assessments to ascertain her values, motivators, interests and financial needs. As a result of these assessments, various career paths, target industries and companies were uncovered with a focus on Business Development and Solutions or Consultative Sales roles. 

Networking: With a newly developed Personal Marketing Plan, we introduced Violet to our own P.A.N, and she began meeting people to practice her pitch, and her accomplishment stories. In addition she met with Steve Pappatera who helped her articulate her value proposition with ease and a unique flair.

Marketing Materials:  Her resume, cover letters and Linkedin profile were generated and they all looked vastly different from when she walked in the door a month earlier.  Her transferrable skills were highlighted and her personality shone through.

Uncovering Opportunities:  Violet worked incredibly hard every day to juggle a demanding job and uncover opportunities through her newly developed networking contacts and large job boards. 

Interview Skills:  After many hours of preparation and practice, Violet began to feel super confident in positioning her value to fantastic tech-oriented digital marketing companies in NYC. She was impressive, confident, value-focused and took great notes which made follow up emails to employers easy and compelling – and very fruitful. Tips were given on how to ask strategic questions and answer difficult questions. Dress ideas were texted between her coach and the black dress with black shoes and hair up was chosen as the way to go!

Result:
Violet landed a fantastic job in an innovative, young but established media-tech company in NYC. She is a Business Development Representative earning a great salary which came with superb benefits and a fantastic commission structure.  Congratulations Violet. We are very proud of you. 

 

Tristan

Situation Analysis:
Tristan didn’t fit into his public high school socially or academically. He was bored and uninspired, so he chose to take a year of online high school to explore his world and broaden his perspective. He then transferred to a local magnet school which offered him a small community, an aggressive curriculum and internship opportunities. His high school transcript was a mess, but his experiences were invaluable and he knew he had a lot going for him.

Obstacles:
His family all had different opinions on where he should go to college. He was in advanced courses, was committed to his internship and job, and wanted a healthy social life. Time was short and his list of potential colleges was getting long. He wasn’t used to writing about himself, and his focus on math and physics had taken it’s toll on his once outstanding writing skills.

Actions:
Assessment:
Tristan liked the idea of a small liberal arts college or medium sized university with a strong Engineering program, excellent travel abroad opportunities, and a diverse student body with no major religious or political skew. He also needed a college that would appreciate his ‘eclectic’ high school transcript and would embrace his practical and adventurous resume.

Education & Career Brainstorming: We talked about Engineering programs, 4 and 5 year options, introduced him to professionals in the field, and made recommendations for test prep as needed.  

Education Planning & College Application: With a list of potential colleges to explore, Tristan started visiting campuses and researching. We/he visited about 6 campuses and did online research on many more. We helped him write about his engineering internship,  his international adventures and his Odyssey Year, which became the cornerstone of his application.

Interview Training: We prepared him to talk to admissions professionals and faculty to further explore the schools on his list. He became very comfortable answering the “tell me about yourself” and “why are you interested in our school?” questions: great preparation for the real world!

Result:
Tristan was offered places at 6 out of his 8 application colleges.  After many hours of reviewing programs, as well as scholarships offered by his top two choice schools, Lafayette and the University of Miami, Tristan chose UM in Florida, where he is pursuing a BS in Civil Engineering, with the possibility of accomplishing his MS in 5 years.  He is finding the academics challenging, but the size, environment, social culture, and research and travel opportunities perfect for him.  And the snorkeling, tennis and constant sunshine isn’t so bad either! 

Abby

From Abby’s Dad:
My daughter graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in History and without a well-defined career goal except to do service work for two years in Americorps.

During her second year in Americorps it became clear to my daughter and to me that she knew that she did not want to pursue a career in a profession with well defined career paths such as law, medicine, engineering, accounting, or academia. But she did not know what she wanted to do for her career, much less how to find a job. With advisors and mentors at the ready, we tried to work together to help her find direction in line with her and our family’s values.

I called a friend with a long career in executive search and coaching who referred my daughter and me to Jo Leonard & Company. Jo immediately started to work with us to address these issues with a range of specific tools, methods, and software.

Finding a Career: Using a combination of assessment tools together with personal interviews and career search assignments, Jo guided my daughter to choose a career in policy research that fits her talent and personality.

Finding a Job: Having settled on a career, Jo and her team worked with my daughter to create a resume, learn to network, and find job opportunities. Jo has helped her tailor her cover letters to specific job opportunities and to develop interview skills.

Jo’s team provides professional supervision and discipline to the career and job search process. She makes available her extensive array of tools and methods, assigns specific tasks, and expects her clients to complete their work. She has worked patiently with my daughter to overcome obstacles in completing her work.

Jo’s work with me as a parent has been especially valuable. I am close to my daughter, who is intellectually talented with a somewhat reserved personality. Working through Jo I have been able to provide input to the career and job search process with a minimum of parent-child tension. Jo has always been available to me as a sounding board for my daughter’s progress and for the resolution of issues as they arise.

All of this work has produced results. My daughter is now happily living in Washington, D.C. Working for a Congressman. My daughter has a direction to her career, and has developed the tools and experience that will serve her well for a lifetime. There is no doubt that Jo’s work has had a profound impact on my daughter’s life. I would recommend Jo without hesitation to any parent or child who needs career search assistance.

—Christopher C.

Sean

Situation Analysis:
Sean, 22, had a rough time as a high school Junior, fighting to manage the stress that came along with his parent’s divorce and financial “dystopia.”  His grades fell, his mood fell and he didn’t feel confident applying to four year college, without a real academic or career direction. “It felt like a waste of time and I didn’t want to waste family money,” he told us. 

Obstacles:
Sean struggled to articulate his dreams and goals, and even his passions. His high school grades didn’t do him justice at all. He didn’t want to talk about his personal difficulties and he was reticent to write about it.  He didn’t even give much credence to his grades. He felt caught in between two worlds and pressure to conform. 

Actions:
Assessment:
After a few meetings with Sean, asking questions about his childhood hobbies, his academic and non academic interests, his values and beliefs and the things in his life that motivated him, we uncovered a lot of clues: he loved history; he was drawn to conflict and war and methods for resolution; he had a powerful memory for topics that truly resonated with him; he taught himself the guitar; he was bored with his current education; he wanted to travel; he loved ice hockey.

Education & Career Brainstorming: We talked about occupation ideas, programs that suited him, and colleges that looked interesting.

Education Planning & Transfer Application: With new ideas in his head and a list of potential colleges to explore, Sean started visiting campuses and researching. We/he visited about 5 campuses and he began to get excited. Essays were brainstormed, written, torn up, re-written, read aloud and finally saved! Applications were submitted.

Interview Training: The idea of talking about himself wasn’t high on the list of Sean’s Fun Things to Do! But, we helped him develop a script, practice and practice again, and eventually the script was put away. He learned how to self advocate, ask questions and shake hands firmly while maintaining eye contact.

Result:
Sean is now a Junior at American University, studying International Studies with a focus on Conflict Resolution and History. His transition has been a mix of fun and challenge, but he now feels more confident, focused and excited about his future. Most recently he told us that he had just finished a 25 hour stretch of paper-writing, needed a nap and a shower, but was having a great time!  

Hilary

Situation Analysis:
Hilary, 26, music teacher in Philadelphia. Hilary is passionate, with great communication skills, professional presentation style, independent, capable and ambitious. But she’s stuck in a job that isn’t offering enough upward mobility, and isn’t using her natural talents. Furthermore she’s well paid but doing the job of 4 people. She knows what she doesn’t want, but isn’t sure of what she does want.  Her family are supportive but also want her to be self-sufficient.

Obstacles:
She has a lifestyle that she likes so needs to maintain her current salary with room for a lot of growth. Her personal life is close to Philadelphia so she doesn’t want to move too far away.  She works long hours and doesn’t have much time for a job search. Her resume is all about Education.

Actions:
Assessment:
 Hilary took a Caliper Profile assessment which gave us all a very thorough and in depth view of her personality type. She had strong ego-drive and ego-strength, high abstract reasoning skills, excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. We asked her to take various other assessments to ascertain her values, motivators, interests and financial needs. As a result of these assessments, various career paths, target industries and companies were uncovered.

Networking: With a newly developed Personal Marketing Plan, we introduced Hilary to our own P.A.N, and she began meeting people to practice her pitch, and her accomplishment stories.

Marketing Materials:  Her resume, cover letters and Linkedin profile were generated and they all looked vastly different from when she walked in the door a month earlier.  Her transferrable skills were highlighted and her personality shone through.

Uncovering Opportunities:  Hilary independently, and with our assistance, found and applied for various positions.

Interview Skills:  This part was easy as she had a natural ability to connect with people and self advocate.  Tips were given on how to ask strategic questions and answer difficult questions. Dress code was discussed (including shoes!)

Result:
Hilary landed a fantastic job in the engineering consulting field, in a sales and development role.  She has recently negotiated a raise with more responsibility and is looking to start her own company (in her spare time!)

 

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