Career Coaching for Job Searches, Interview Prep, Scholarships, Fellowships, Fundraising, and More
My name is Andrew Chen and I want to share how I can help you land your dream job. I provide rigorous, analytical, and highly individualized strategic coaching to help you advance your career goals — whether it’s getting a dream job after graduation, or making a difficult career transition, or simply thinking through and articulating your career path aspirations clearly and confidently. My goal is to help you achieve a career trajectory where you enjoy autonomy, independence, and creativity. After a rigorous coaching program with me, you will leave with:
- The confident ability to interview gracefully, compelling, and purposefully in any high-stress situation, for any type of evaluation:
- Jobs: e.g., case, technical finance, behavioral, or leadership interviews
- Fellowships: e.g., academic interviews for scholarships and fellowships, grad school and PhD programs, or medical residencies
- Pitches: e.g., raising funds for a project or startup, interviewing for non-profit grants
- A strong and defensible story to tell hiring managers and evaluators about your career history, trajectory, and aspirations
- Rock-solid supporting materials, including:
- Resumes tailored for individual opportunities and contexts
- References that will sing your praises
- Portfolio, writing samples, or other work product carefully curated and tailored for each opportunity
- A clear vision and strategy for your career path over the next 6-18 months
Q. What kind of coaching services do you provide?
A. At a high level, there are two ways to engage me as a coach. First, you can engage me for specific tactical help — for example, how to nail a business case interview, or how to deliver winning responses to specific behavioral interview questions. Second, you can also engage me for a “program” of coaching for holistic, end-to-end support — for example, help on navigating a difficult career transition, or help on architecting a winning Fulbright Scholarship application or Harvard admissions package.
Both types of coaching will be custom-tailored to your needs. You and I will design together how the coaching is structured and what the milestones and deliverables will be along the way. You can hold me accountable for those deliverables, because I will hold you accountable for the same. That means you can expect I will be on time, prepared, and fully engaged for every single one of our coaching sessions; I will expect no less of you.
Q. What are some examples of how your coaching can help my career?
A. Absolutely. There are four areas where I can be particularly helpful in improving your job search and interview performance.
(1) Career planning & strategy. I will help you define a clear vision and strategy for your career path looking out over the next 6-18 months. That means we will work together to articulate your career goals with deep clarity and awareness, tactically plan how to advance those goals in the next 6-18 months, and identify immediate next career opportunities to pursue in furtherance of those goals.
The way we will define and plan your career strategy is by intensely probing and understanding your goals, values, interests, and aspirations. Armed with this insight, we will develop a roadmap for your career path and a play-by-play strategy on tactical next steps and key skills you need to achieve your goals–whether it’s consulting at McKinsey, becoming a marketing manager at Google, starting your own company, becoming an interaction designer at the New York Times, working in business development at Walt Disney Pictures, or landing a kick-ass advertising gig at Leo Burnett. You will leave with a strong, defensible story to tell employers about your career history, trajectory, potential, and aspirations.
This service is particularly useful if you find yourself in any of the situations below:
- You’re about to graduate from school: what jobs should you apply for? How can you make yourself distinctively competitive for the best jobs? How should you think about your career path design over the next few years? Next few months? What should you do in your first job to acquire key skills and experiences to position yourself for your long-term goals? How do you build strong mentoring relationships with leaders in your workplace who can teach and coach you?
- You’re terrified because you haven’t found a job and now it’s graduation: how do you strategically find — or create — a meaningful first career opportunity, develop real professional skills, and tell a compelling story about your background and potential?
- You’re fortunate to have a job, but you find it deeply unfulfilling: how should you think about a career transition? How do you tactically make it happen without jeopardizing your current job / income and without burning yourself out? How do you build a strong career transition network? How do you acquire the core skills you need to get your foot in the door at your dream job, especially if they are orthogonal to your current job skills?
- You’re farther along in your career but you dream about re-inventing a different career path for yourself: how should you even begin the process? Which of your skills are truly transferrable? How can you acquire essential new skills without going back to school? How do you even discover what opportunities are available, and how can you position yourself to be a front-runner for them? How should you manage the expectations of family, friends, and peers around you?
(2) Behavioral & leadership interview coaching. Whether it’s for a job, scholarship, fellowship, fundraising, or other pitch, how do you crush behavioral interviews? How do you show you have the leadership, influence, persuasion, negotiation, and teamwork skills to have a big impact — and to make you the winning candidate everyone wants to bet on?
I will provide intensive behavioral interview coaching to help you tighten and brighten both your interview “story” and your executive presence. I will show you how to craft your career story compellingly, as well as how to gracefully address any gaps or problem areas in your work history.
Together, we will simulate multiple live interviews using video, and then analyze the recordings together to parse your strong vs. weak areas. With this insight, we will sharpen and fine-tune your interview presentation skills to maximum effectiveness.
You will leave with vastly enhanced communication skills, increased confidence in addressing any behavioral or leadership question thrown your way (even if you’ve never heard it before), and rock-solid storytelling skills for explaining your career path history, trajectory, potential, and aspirations.
(3) Case & technical interview coaching. Case interviews and technical interviews are particularly applicable in the worlds of consulting, finance, business, and technology. At their core, they are about solving a problem in a structured way – articulating a hypothesis, exploring potential answers systematically, and drawing conclusions and recommendations going forward.
Whether you’re preparing for tricky business problems, brainteasers, technical finance questions, or coding challenges, our coaching will show you how to think quickly on your feet, engage conversationally with your interviewers, and deliver winning answers on these type of questions.
You will leave with a strong understanding of how to parse case questions, gracefully ask for clarifications, structure your thinking, share your thinking aloud (without rambling), calculate estimates quickly, and “show your work” by walking your interviewer step-by-step through your answer and thought process. You will also learn how to manage and pivot your time efficiently in different case interview situations.
(4) Resume and portfolio coaching. Winning a job offer, fellowship, or fundraising round doesn’t happen solely based on your interview performance. How can you tailor your resume and curate your portfolio to help you stand out in the first place during the screening stage? Moreover, after your interviews are done, how do you make sure your candidacy continues to glow as your interviewers finalize their evaluations? How should you tee up your professional references and recommenders to sing your praises at the critical moment needed?
Our coaching will show you how to tailor specific versions of your resume for different opportunities to achieve maximum first-impression impact. You will leave with a strong understanding of optimal structure and flow for different resume situations; precise wording to use when describing your job, professional, and academic accomplishments; and even the right visual layout, font, and spacing to use to make your resume stand out compellingly. Where applicable, I may provide direct line editing to help you tighten and brighten your resume for specific opportunities.
If your application also includes a portfolio, our coaching will show you how to curate, organize, and present each item in your portfolio to support the broader overarching story about your candidacy and why you should be awarded your dream opportunity. You will leave with a strong, lean, and compelling portfolio that directly reflects your key strengths for the opportunity you’re pursuing.
Finally, our coaching will help you strategically tee up your professional and academic recommenders so that they are ready to give you a glowing recommendation at the critical moment needed. You will leave with a clear understanding of how to ask recommenders for their support, key guidelines to share with them on how they should communicate the context of your relationship and advocate for you on your behalf, and a finalized shortlist of your best recommenders who will go to bat for you to help you realize your dream opportunity.
Q. How much do you charge?
A. My fee is based on the number of coaching sessions we agree to. In terms of coaching sessions, I generally offer 3 different packages: 4 sessions, 6 sessions, and 8 sessions. Sessions are 1.5 hours each. The package you should choose depends on what kind of coaching you need. As a general guideline, if you need more tactical help – like crushing a business case interview, or acing specific behavioral interview questions — then you should choose either the 4 or 6 session option. But if you need more holistic, end-to-end coaching – for example, navigating a difficult career transition, or building a winning Fulbright application — then I strongly suggest choosing either the 6 or 8 session option.
Please e-mail me or shoot me a quick note if you think you’d like to work with me, or if you’re unsure which option to choose and would like further guidance or advice before making a decision. By talking with you and asking you a few questions, I can pretty quickly figure out the right number of coaching sessions you need.
After we agree on the number of sessions, I will quote you my fee, along with instructions on how to send payment via PayPal. Once I receive your payment, then you will receive access to my online scheduler to book appointment times directly into my calendar.
Q. Who are you anyway, and why are you qualified to coach me on my career path?
A. Being an effective career coach requires two things: (1) a diversity of career and professional experiences to draw insight from, and (2) effective listening, communication, and coaching skills.
(1) I’ve experienced a broad diversity of career paths:
- Graduated from Harvard Law School, graduated in liberal arts from the University of Texas
- Admitted to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Oxford’s Modern History faculty (but did not attend)
- Worked as a documentary filmmaker in Asia as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar
- Worked at the New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell
- Worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York
- Worked as a private equity investor at the Bain Capital spin-out Huntsman Gay Global Capital
- Raised angel funding from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors to co-found a startup
- Received job offers from / worked at companies such as Google, LinkedIn, and Yahoo! in product management or product operations
- Today, I lead user growth for the Premium Subscriptions business at LinkedIn
These experiences have given me significant insight into different fields and a strong understanding of common patterns on how to:
- Find awesome career opportunities
- Stand out as a candidate from the crowd
- Crush the interview process
- Successfully transition between fields
- Re-invent your entire career path
(2) I have also built a reputation as a trusted listener and advisor. Here are what people I have previously worked with have said about their experience working with me:
“I’ve made a few career transitions and Andrew has been my go-to person for advice each time. When I was working at an investment bank and considering moving to China to do development work, Andrew helped me formulate a strategy in my job search and put me in touch with useful contacts. Then, more recently, when I made the transition into the tech world, Andrew again helped me think through the decision and gave me useful insight into an industry I was unfamiliar with. The reason I trust and rely on Andrew when making huge decisions is because he’s had a wealth of experiences in his career. He also leads by example — always following his passions and interests without letting fear get in the way. He is generous with his time and his genuine desire to help others shines through.”
– Deanna D. (2008 Harvard College graduate, former banker, account executive at Dropbox)
“When running a startup, you sometimes need to ask others for help in situations you don’t know how to handle yourself. I hadn’t yet learned this particular soft skill in my education, training, or experience as an engineer. But in seeking Andrew’s advice, he was able to reason and lay out the contexts and strategies for how to ask others for help. His clarity of thought helped me break out of a mental rut, learn how to make hard decisions with incomplete information, and deal with personally unintuitive situations. Having people like Andrew to support and root for you as an entrepreneur really helps you lean into the challenges of starting a business. His advice feels like a tall cool drink of mountain water; it’s both clear and refreshing. He helps you frame a situation and think about the component pieces with reason, and in addition, he has a specific talent for laying out your options and analyze very strategically the tradeoffs between them. I would highly recommend Andrew as a coach for any career-related matter.”
– William C. (W11 Y Combinator graduate, founder of Cubehero.com)
“I asked Andrew for advice when I was a management consultant at BCG. I was very curious about the world of private equity because it is a common “next step” for consultants, and Andrew had done private equity after being a consultant at McKinsey. Andrew clearly and candidly told me about the pros and cons of going into private equity. He helped me feel what it would be like in the day-to-day, and he helped me understand the long term trajectory that it would put me on. He explained the skill set that I would develop, and he helped me assess whether it was right for me. After talking with Andrew, I felt empowered because I had a nuanced and informed understanding to make my decision.
“Andrew is amazing because he combines three things. First, he cuts to the crux of the issue – no bullshit. Second, there is rigor in everything he says – they are backed up by hard facts and logic. Third, no one can match his passion for advising others on the topic of career change.”
– Alan P. (2008 Harvard Law School graduate, former BCG consultant, founder of FluentU.com)
“Andrew has coached me at several stages of my career over the years, including choosing which company to work for, and on how and whether to transition to China. It was among the most insightful coaching I have ever received, first and foremost because Andrew helped me evaluate what the advantages and disadvantages of my various choices would be.
“If my career were analogized to a chess game, he could see five moves ahead. Not two moves, five moves. And he could help analyze why particular moves might work or not work, and what effect on my life they would have later. For example, when I considered relocating from Los Angeles to Beijing, China, Andrew helped me evaluate what would be gained, what lost, and how the move would impact my career in the long term. He also helped me think through my application for the Blakemore Foundation Scholarship, a highly competitive national scholarship that awards year-long Asian language fellowships, and was an instrumental step in my transition to China. With Andrew’s help, I got the scholarship and successfully relocated to China.
“In addition to weighing options, Andrew also helps you draw conclusions. A common frustrating moment when seeking advice is when the strengths and weaknesses have all been laid out expertly, and yet no conclusion can be drawn because there are so many variables and questions still hanging in the air. That doesn’t happen with Andrew. He isolates key issues by asking good questions, but he also has opinions and voices them, and together we draw conclusions. The conclusions he helped me draw were good, because he is intelligent and has the instincts that often come with intelligence and sensitivity. When I was contemplating a lateral transition between law firms, he helped me think about the tradeoffs between different law firms, and after much discussion with him, I felt like I knew what my decision was, in no small part because of the analysis and conclusions reached in my coaching sessions with Andrew.”
– Gabriel B. (2006 Berkeley Law School graduate, winner of the Blakemore Foundation Language Scholarship, attorney at Morrison & Foerster China)
“I worked with Andrew on my medical residency applications earlier this year – for both personal statement editing and interview preparation. Andrew greatly helped me clarify my thinking and stand out as a candidate in a very competitive application season.
“Andrew started coaching me on my personal statement by asking me deeply introspective questions about where my passion for a career in medicine stemmed from. He helped me present my academic and professional experiences and interpersonal strengths in a way that was uniquely tailored for the special features of each of the dozen residency programs I applied for. With his help, my early drafts turned into a concise and effective personal statement that led to interview invitations from all 12 medical residency programs I applied to, many of which were among the most prestigious programs in the nation.
“For my interviews, Andrew coached me on how to break down any type of interview question. He showed me systematically how interviewers evaluate great candidate responses and how to analyze and answer their questions in a clear and organized way. Most importantly, Andrew taught me about the power of storytelling in an interview. He showed me how to turn my seemingly ordinary experiences into powerful memorable stories that really demonstrate my strengths.
“I used to dread writing personal statements and doing interviews because I often felt other applicants were more qualified than I was. But Andrew really showed me and made me feel that I am every bit as good of an applicant as anyone else, that I have excellent strengths and experiences, and that I just needed the right coaching to communicate those strengths effectively.
“After four coaching sessions with Andrew, I was a lot more confident, persuasive, and effective as an applicant and interviewee. In no small measure, Andrew’s coaching helped me win admission to my first choice residency program at the Veterans Affairs Health System.
“I would definitely recommend Andrew to anyone who needs help with interview prep or application strategies. I would gladly work with him again in the future.”
– Dr. K. M., UCSF graduate, current resident at Veterans Affairs Health System
“Andrew has given me advice at various points in my career – when I was applying to law school during college, when I was considering various careers while at law school and when I was contemplating leaving the law firm life. Andrew and I discussed the reasons I was contemplating various careers and my long terms goals. He also helped me realize that there was less risk associated with a career move than I had initially thought. Andrew actively listens to understand your needs and then gives you advice personalized to your goals. He’ll also encourage you to think outside the box. I love how Andrew is always honest with me. He won’t sugarcoat things just so you hear what you want. He’ll also offer you advice that you’re not necessarily seeking – in other words, you’ll get more than you’re asking for. Andrew is also very passionate about giving advice, and by that I mean he loves helping others. You’ll get that feeling from your very first conversation with him. These are some of the many reasons I have often reached out to Andrew for his advice.”
– Mee-Jung J., 2009 Yale Law School graduate, former corporate attorney, founder of Voncierge.com
“Andrew worked with me on my law school application. I definitely felt more prepared and confident about my application after working with Andrew because he really helped in clarifying and pinpointing how I should structure my application. It was extremely helpful to be able to brainstorm different ideas and talk through parts of my personal statement with him. His style of coaching is rigorous and methodic; and in turn, I was able to learn more than just how to write a personal statement. Andrew really pushed me to think beyond the surface-level and extract details from my own story that I did not notice. His coaching definitely helped me craft a stronger essay than I was able to on my own. I could not recommend a coach more qualified than Andrew when it comes to graduate school admissions. He not only provided invaluable suggestions on how to approach and write my essays but also boosted my confidence on my overall application. Without his help, I would not have been able to enter into a top law school.”
– Jolie Y. (accepted by multiple top-14 law schools, scholarship student and 2016 J.D. candidate at the University of Virginia School of Law)
“As far as career transitions, Andrew has wisdom from personal experience. What’s more, his empathetic style and analytic mind make him a helpful thought partner. He was a good listener and a very clear thinker — anyone would be lucky to have him as a coach!”
– James L. (2010 Stanford Law School graduate, former attorney, product marketer at Yammer)
I have both the professional experiences and coaching skills to help you succeed. I encourage you to reach out to see how I can help you achieve your goals.
Q. OK, I’m interested in learning more. How does it work from here and what are the next steps?
How it works. It’s pretty simple really. Decide how many coaching sessions you want. Pay for your sessions via PayPal by choosing one of the options below. Then we’ll coordinate meeting times and details to get started. All coaching sessions are done via Skype.*
Where applicable, I will conduct behavioral and case interview simulations while recording you to coach you on detailed feedback and techniques to strengthen your interview performance.
As appropriate, I may also “assign” readings, videos to watch, reflection journals, and practice simulations tailored to your needs. If you treat these assignments seriously, you are much more likely to see dramatic improvement than if you blow them off. As with so many other things, you’ll get out of it what you put in. My job is to help coach and guide you toward achieving your career goals, but to make real progress the “heavy lifting” needs to be done by you.
Next steps. Here’s how to get started.
(1) E-mail me or reach out via our contact form so we can agree on the number of coaching sessions you need. Feel free to also reach out if you’re unsure how many sessions are appropriate and would like guidance before making your selection.
(2) Once we agree on the number of sessions, I will quote you my fee and send you instructions on how to send payment via PayPal. After I receive your payment via PayPal, then you will receive a link to my online scheduler where you can book appointment times that work well for you.
(3) You will also receive details on how to add me on Skype. Then just show up on Skype at our agreed upon time. (Please don’t be late, as appointments start and end on the dot.)
(4) If any schedule changes are needed, we can coordinate by e-mail to find an alternative time. (Schedule changes on either side must be communicated at least 48 hours in advance to be honored.)
* I video record all Skype sessions. I do this primarily to provide you with a record of our conversations, because most clients find it extremely useful to re-watch our sessions and reflect upon them afterward. For privacy, I only record my face, not the client’s, on the video but both parties’ voices are recorded on the audio. I will never use the recordings in any personally identifying way to a client. However, because I am an independent consultant who is building a career coaching brand, by engaging in a coaching relationship with me, you agree to let me use our session recordings (again, in a way that is NOT personally identifiable to you) to help promote my coaching services and to help enhance CareerHoot.com. If you have any concerns about this, just chat with me in advance and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have in more detail. Bottom line is: I will only use your session recordings in a way that does NOT violate your privacy to help grow CareerHoot.