Why I Coach—Mavrick Goodrich

Mavrick G., an expert Leland coach and Booth MBA, outlines why he chooses to coach and what it means to him.

Mavrick G.

By Mavrick G.

Posted August 22, 2022

There’s an often misattributed quote to the effect of: “Knowledge is learning from your own mistakes. Wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others.” Regardless of who said it, I think there’s a nugget of truth in there. So to that end, I’m going to share two anecdotes from my own life — two mistakes, two humbling lessons. You may gain a little wisdom, but if nothing else, you’ll understand why I coach.

Anecdote #1:

It was my junior year of high school. Despite the fact that I was bouncing from homeless shelter to homeless shelter, I dreamed of going to college. And because I fancied myself smart, I aimed for the top — Harvard. I pored over the details of the written application, labored over my resume, spent weeks on my essays. I thought I had Harvard in the bag.

What I didn’t prepare for, however, was the interview. When it came time, I found myself in a room, sitting across from an alum, with golden opportunity to prove myself — and I froze. I couldn’t think of insightful questions to ask about the alum’s experience, couldn’t explain why Harvard was the right school for me, couldn’t articulate why I was worthy. I bombed.

Lesson #1:

It’s not enough to create a character on paper. You have to be able to show up in a conversation.

Anecdote #2:

I ended up going to college at UCLA, where I was offered a scholarship to study chemical engineering. When I graduated I took a job at Anheuser-Busch. Soon after starting, I had a shot at a promotion. This time, I made sure I was prepared for the interview. I learned everything I could about the role, had my talking points down, and even prepared a few questions. I went in confident; the interview went really well. I didn’t get the job.

When I asked for feedback, a mentor of mine (who’d also been one of the interviewers) told me: “Mavrick, you’re always interviewing.”

Lesson #2: Interviewing isn’t just about how you show up in a formal, thirty minute conversation. It’s about the way you carry yourself all the time.

So, why am I sharing these stories?

As a result of these two hard-won lessons, I’ve made it a habit to not only be great at interviewing, but to learn how to present myself with confidence — what some might call “executive presence” (though that phrase sounds a little cringe-y). I’d consider myself much better at this now than I was years ago, but only because I’ve worked at it — you just read about how un-executive my presence was when I started out. The point is, if you work at it — if you practice interviewing, and showing up with confidence in your life — it can really make a difference.

Here’s how I know. When I applied to Chicago Booth for business school, I was booked for an hour long interview. After 25 minutes, the interviewer asked if I wanted to enjoy the beautiful Chicago afternoon, and we ended early. I panicked, thinking I’d failed. Turns out, my interviewer had heard enough to admit me before we’d hit the halfway mark.

This, then, is why I coach — because if I can go from being homeless to getting an MBA from a top business school, then you can learn how to crush your admissions interview. The interview is low key one of the most important, and trickiest, part of the admissions process — but with a little help, you can impress your interviewer the way I did mine. If you’re looking to learn how to prep for your interview, how to show up with confidence — with, dare I say, executive presence — then I’d be thrilled to work with you.

Together, we can do this.

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