Why I Coach—Courtney Johnson

Courtney J., an expert Leland coach Stanford MBA, outlines why she chooses to coach and what it means to her.

Courtney J.

By Courtney J.

Posted August 22, 2022

When I was preparing to apply to grad school, I remember a partner at Deloitte* suggesting not to waste my time applying to the #1 or #2 school. “There are just so many consultants who apply to those schools, many of them from Ivy League undergrads. Your state school degree isn't doing you any favors."

I should send this partner a thank you note. See, he didn’t know that the fastest way to motivate me to do something is to tell me I can’t. He didn’t know that the partners on my first project at the firm started calling me “Cujo” for the tenacious (dare I say, rabid) way I attacked problems. He didn’t know that my scrappy determination is what earned me a spot at Deloitte in the first place (Deloitte Consulting didn’t recruit from UGA at the time). In saying this, he lit a fire under me. Not only did I get into all of the top schools where I applied, but this also made me a fierce advocate for anyone applying to grad school from a non-traditional (or overly traditional?) path.

I coach to be the champion of the underdog. I coach because I love the unexpected power of the dark horse candidate. I coach to help Cujos like me prove that partner wrong. If you’re doubting yourself (or if others are doubting you), I can’t wait to meet you.

*Shout out to all the other amazing leadership and peers at Deloitte who were (and are) my champions, mentors and friends - Matt, Max, Kristin, Annie, Kevin, Vinod, Craig, Lauren, Chad, Fred, Joe, Lena and more 👋🏻

Interested in working together on your MBA application? Click here for my Leland coaching profile.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles