Student Profile: Trevor Baker

Trevor Baker, ACC, is a senior consultant and partner at MacDonald Search Group in Vancouver, and is a graduate of the 2019-2020 UBC Certificate in Organizational Coaching program. He’s a recruiter and coach, and is working toward his Chartered Professionals in Human Resources designation. Trevor offered his perspectives on his experience in the organizational coaching program.

What led you to pursue the UBC Certificate in Organizational Coaching?

My organization, MacDonald Search Group, was in the early stages of a generational leadership transition. We were also adding new consultants and offices across the country, and we needed a way to ensure the consultants had support to roll out our process nationally. When I looked at my resume and my future leadership role in the organization, I needed to ensure my leadership and coaching style was the best it could be in a people-first organization like ours.

My clients also need the best of me, and for a long time I felt like I was only “okay” at coaching them. I took the program to up my game and learn frameworks and techniques, and acquire tools to assist me in delivering against those priorities.

Why did you choose an organizational coaching credential?

I chose organizational coaching because it aligned better with my overall goals. I felt that supporting the smooth functioning of a group of people is more complex and demands more sophisticated skills than coaching one person towards their objectives. Organizational coaching reflects better how companies work. The amplifying effect of helping people succeed together is also highly rewarding.

How did you determine this program was the right fit for you? What were your checkboxes?

I wanted a lot of opportunities to practise and learn coaching new techniques and skills in a safe environment – check! I also wanted a program that led to accreditation – check! Lastly, I wanted a great cohort of like-minded people to grow and develop with. The people and instructors in the cohort really made the difference – a highly intelligent, highly motivated and engaged group of people – wow, what a group. I learned as much from them as I did from the content of the program.

What skills are you hoping to gain?

I went in hoping to gain a more robust foundation for coaching and developing people as individuals and in groups. I came out with that, as well as with a significantly more robust understanding of myself and how I work with others.

Was the time, effort and money worth it?

It was one of those classic, “what you put in you get out of it” kind of scenarios, so yes the time and effort were worth it. The return on investment has been there for me because my ability to provide value yielded far higher billable revenue in part because of the program.

What, if anything, has surprised you about the program?

There were plenty of surprises! First was how emotional it got, for myself and others. When coaching is done right, it really digs into some challenging areas. This was a surprise as most of my previous leadership and coaching training was done in a “sanitized” corporate environment.

This program created a safe environment that allowed people to really open up and it was amazing and genuinely enthralling to see people have substantive personal changes while learning to be coaches. Another surprise was how academic it was. There was a lot more paper writing than I was prepared for. I really had to think deeply in a way I wasn’t used to, which was intellectually challenging, in a good way.

Why UBC?

UBC was an easy choice for its fantastic global reputation, proximity to home, and the quality of the onsite and virtual elements of the program. The capstone project was an amazing real-life experience to implement all that we learned in a very real, very tangible way.

What have you gained personally and professionally from the program?

I gained huge insights into my ethics and values, as well as a whole new framework for working with people which has been especially helpful working inter-generationally within my organization. My relationships are better across the organization, and with my family. I’ve approached challenging relationships in a new way with great success, and I’m able to reflect in a much deeper way on problems and challenges than I did before. My clients have had substantially better experiences and the outcomes have been amazing because of it!

Learn more about the UBC Certificate in Organizational Coaching, an eight-month part-time International Coaching Federation (ICF) Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) that leads to the Certified Organizational Coach credential. It’s the only program of its kind accredited by the ICF, and offers a path to a PCC or ACC credential.