Meet Marielle

Headshot of Marielle.

The UBC Certificate in Organizational Coaching is much more than a program. The connections with the program team, instructors, alumni and cohort members are rich. Although it was virtual, I felt so supported. It was a constant learning experience.”

Marielle, Organizational Coaching student

Like so many during the pandemic, Marielle de Vassoigne started searching for a better work-life balance. She had been working for close to 20 years in international change management consulting, and had done stints in Montréal, her native country of France, and Martinique, where she had grown up. 

In 2020, without ever having visited Vancouver, she moved across the country from Montréal. “I change contexts easily,” she explains. “I thought perhaps I needed a new narrative.”  

Marielle was also in search of deeper career fulfillment. She even considered a career change. After talking to a few coaches while in Montréal, she realized she wanted to remain in service to people in an organizational capacity. “What I enjoy most is adding value to a project team, mostly through one-on-one conversations,” says Marielle, smiling. “I love especially working with middle management on projects.”

When she decided to move to Vancouver, she began looking into ICF-accredited coach training for a professional context. Though she had some experience with informal coaching, she wanted to go beyond what she had been doing naturally as a consultant, and formalize her skills. “When I saw the UBC Certificate in Organizational Coaching, I stopped my research right there,” she recalls.  

The program was her first social experience in Vancouver, and she made enduring connections and friendships. “One thing I appreciated so much was the diversity of the students, instructors and mentor coaches. I also related so well to the mindset of the program: openness, mindfulness, exploration, curiosity,” she says. “As someone from the French Caribbean, I like to think if the world had been full of truly curious explorers in the 15th century, the world would be a different place.” 

During the program, Marielle experienced a few ah-ha moments. “Change consulting and coaching go so well together, I actually struggled at first,” admits Marielle. “I built my career on finding – and offering – solutions for people. As a coach, that’s the very thing I must not do. I still remember the moment during my third audited call that I realized one of my core values is to be useful and serve people. But one of the ways I can be useful is to get out of someone’s way.”

Now on the path to earning her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation, Marielle does pro bono coaching and volunteering for the Chambre de Commerce Francophone de Vancouver, and the new Vancouver Black Library. She also returned as an alumni coach for Cohort 13. In three to five years, she plans to take a sabbatical from consulting to coach full-time and write. Her second novel is due out in 2023. 

“This program is for anyone who wants to bring change in their life – it offers a method and a mindset to embrace change. It also allowed me to go deep down inside myself, a process I had begun for my move across Canada.”

She adds, “I came to Vancouver to change my narrative – to explore languages, practices and people. I really feel I’m at the place I need to be now. Vancouver absolutely feels like home.”

Read more student profiles.

Stay connected

Sign up for news and updates about UBC Extended Learning programs, courses, info sessions and more. 

Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. RSS The symbol to indicate an RSS feed. Arrow An arrowhead pointing to the right Arrow, right to bracket An arrowhead pointing to the right, into a bracket character. External Link An arrowhead pointing up and to the right, from inside a box Bars Three horizontal bars. Books Three book spines, viewed head-on, one leaning. Calendar A monthly calendar page. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart Checkmark A checkmark character Chevron A chevron character pointing to the right Checkmark A checkmark character inside a solid circle Cost A dollar sign inside a solid circle Info An 'i' character inside a solid circle Play An arrowhead pointing to the right inside of a solid circle User A silhouette of a person inside a solid circle Envelope A closed envelope Certificate A document with an award pinned to it Pen A document with a pen beside it Filter A funnel / filter silhouette Laptop Computer An open laptop computer with a blank screen Location Pin A map location pin Search A magnifying glass Minus A minus sign News A folded newspaper Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add Quote, left An opening quotation character Alert An exclamation point inside a solid triangle User A silhouette of a person Close The character 'X'