We asked our students to share their experiences of accessing the Student Coaching Service.

What did you hope to achieve by being coached?
“With the start of the pandemic, I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know exactly how
to organise myself and all the tasks I had, like finishing my studies while
balancing this with my personal life. I hoped I could get some advice on how to
set and achieve my goals.”

How did coaching help you achieve your goals?
“It was very clear for me the difference between coaching and counselling. While
in the counselling I discussed my personal concerns and fears, in the coaching I
discussed the things I wanted to achieve in the future.
I really liked that it is not focused only in your academic/professional life but
you define your priorities in life. For myself, at that moment, they were to have
more time for my family and to balance my mental health and wellbeing, while
writing my dissertation and job seeking.
Coaching helped me understand that everything is connected, for example, when
I started saving some time for my wellbeing like meditation and yoga, I could see
improvement in my productivity and concentration in my academic research.”

What do you think the key benefits of coaching are?
“I really appreciated the kindness and capacity of my coach and I am happy I could
not only achieve my goals but also started to see my achievements through a
different perspective. For example, being kinder with myself and happy for my achievements instead
of feeling like it’s never enough (perfectionism). Coaching also helped me
improve my self-esteem because I could have more control of my tasks and I felt
confident achieving my goals.
It helped me identify my priorities as my career, family, friends, health and

What would you say to anyone else thinking about accessing coaching?
“If you have difficulty in organising your time and priorities and struggle to
balance your personal life with your studies, I would say you should try the
coaching services. It doesn’t give you the answers but gives you the tools to
unlock your potential and find balance in life, so it is very useful in your future
career as well. They are totally professional and confidential so don’t be ashamed
and give it a try.”

Julia Jambo (MSc Student)

What did you hope to achieve by being coached?
“I was hoping to find a space where to develop my own tools to help me cope with my barriers and
difficulties I face on a daily basis (anxiety, fears and insecurities).”

How did coaching help you achieve your goals?
“Coaching for me was a safe and friendly space where I could voice my issues and concerns. By being
able to share these thoughts, I was also able to understand them better, as well as to know myself
better. Through sharing and understanding these fears and concerns, I managed to label them and
give them the right place in my head which helped me learn how to control them (as opposed to
them controlling me).”

What do you think the key benefits of coaching are?
“Coaching has a very rational and goal orientated approach, without leaving the emotional side out.
It’s also “tailored” to your own needs, since you decide what your goals are and which topics you
want to focus on, everything you discuss with your coach feels relevant to you.”

What would you say to anyone else thinking about accessing coaching?
“If you’re struggling with something (whether it’s mental health or lack of organisational skills) it’s
always good to seek out help. Coaching could help you get where you want to by helping you set
your own goals and to commit to achieve them. And sessions and the coaching process are
structured around your needs so you make it what you want it to be, that’s what I liked about it so

PhD Student

“Coaching has been tremendously helpful for me. When I started my postgraduate study in 2018,
occasionally I felt unqualified so I was looking for additional guidance and advice that can lead to
actions. After exploring different options, I found that the Coaching Service by the Student
Wellbeing Centre fits nicely to what I was looking for so I eventually accessed the service.

On the day of my first appointment, I recalled feeling uncertain about what to expect. I was also
nervous for not knowing the answer for my problems. But luckily, I met Emma, my coach who is
friendly and experienced at coaching. The whole coaching session was a very relaxing one and I felt
accepted. With her guidance, I was able to connect the dots together and view my problem with
greater insights. By the end of the session, we already identified a goal and an action plan.
It was a simple plan, but the impact was huge. Just after several sessions, I noticed my improvement
and became happier. Although I must admit I had doubts in the process, but Emma absorbs facts
very quickly and helps me figure out what’s going on. I also like the fact there was flexibility in when
I could receive Coaching so I can focus on my study when there are deadlines, e.g. we met every 1 –
4 weeks to catch up by appointment or email communications. Now I found myself more
comfortable and have better clarity within myself. Today I am still using the techniques learned from
Emma and every day I am seeing some improvement. Looking back, I am very glad that I made that
decision to be coached.

If you are thinking of a change, I highly recommend you to try out the Coaching service. I like to
think it like a box of chocolates — you never know what you get until you tried!”

IMPEE Postgraduate student

“I used the coaching service when I was in dire need of time management skills. It was a helpful tool
to this effect because it supported me not only with the needed skills but aided me in discovering
other aspects of myself. I became better at managing my finances and overall
becoming structured and resolute towards my work. The coaching service provides you with one to
one support which enhances your comfort in opening up to your coach. This for me was very useful
since sharing could sometimes feel intimidating. Coaching as a whole is a useful tool to help you set
goals, realising your potential and overall discovering your purpose. I recommend using the coaching
services for any student struggling with some sort of decision making, or time management skills
deficit. I truly believe it is a good tool provided by Heriot-Watt University to assist students to
achieve and enhance their learning experience.”

Randy Adjepong (MSc Student)

Hi, I’m Katja!
I am 27 and from Germany. I was a student at Heriot-Watt University from 2019 to
2020 and graduated as M.Sc. in the International Marketing with Consumer Psychology programme.

I heard of the university‘s coaching service during Welcome week where Student Wellbeing Services were introduced. As I had just moved to Edinburgh at that time and phases of “transition“ often were challenging for me in the past, I decided to give it a try and contacted Student Wellbeing Services. Emma contacted me to make a first appointment, so we could get to know each other and talk about reasons why I was considering coaching. After first clarifying my current situation, we defined a desirable state to move towards to. With different coaching techniques we
worked on issues such as managing expectations and stress. Emma was very kind, helpful and
empathetic, and guided me through the process of reflecting on my relationship with myself.
Additionally, she always had a sympathetic ear.
For me, coaching is a very good way of reflection and self development. It is good to know
what hinders you in your daily routines and what barriers prevent you from moving forward.
With certain coaching techniques you can work on that with the help of a guide, who leads
you through the jungle of your worries, thoughts and habits, and helps you consider different
perspectives you maybe never thought of yourself before.
I am very thankful that I could use the free offer of Heriot-Watt’s Coaching Service and would
recommend everybody to make at least one appointment to see if the Coaching service can
help with some (small or big) issue. Also, thank you, Emma, for helping me clarify my inner
thoughts and worries.

Katja (MSc Student)