This is My Story

Organizational and Leadership Coaching, Northwestern University
B.S. Finance & International Business, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
M.S. in Learning and Organizational Change, Northwestern University (In Progress)

Hi! My name Ngoc Nguyen (pronounced: Nahk Win).  I’m a Vietnamese American who is Minnesota-bred but now a proud Chicagoan.  I like keeping busy, sometimes too busy! I’m currently working a full-time job, doing coaching and pursuing a masters degree.  Coaching is my favorite thing out of all of this and I am so excited to be part of ALV!

I’ve been working in the Commercial Insurance world for 10 years and have held various roles in underwriting, operations and internal consulting.  (The insurance industry is quite interesting despite its reputation of being boring!)  I’m different from most others in that I am not an expert in any one particular area, but I am pretty good at many things.  I used to think not being an expert was a problem for my career development.  However, I’ve been coached to reframe my experiences and realized my expertise is in learning.  So I’m a really good learner, therefore, I have developed the ability to be agile when facing changes. I tell people – if you want something done, you come to me! Marrying learning with my passion for empowering others to succeed has led me to coaching.  Change, in its simplest terms is the process of unlearning something old and learning something new. As a coach, I find joy in working with clients to help them recognize what they are truly capable of achieving by filling in the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

My favorite part of coaching is seeing clients reach their “a-ha” moment.  It’s the tipping point of the coaching experience where everything starts falling into place and the client recognizes exactly what’s been holding them back.  Reaching this point is always my goal while working as a coach because I know the overall energy during remainder of the coaching engagement will be full of excitement. While my coaching approach is rooted in the theories and practices about adult learning and human performance I learned while pursuing my coaching certificate at Northwestern, I strongly believe in the individual experiences of every client.  I am learning about you as you learn more about yourself and through that process, I will tailor coaching models, processes and tools to fit you. I see success when clients  get the results they wanted and are able to walk away empowered with the tools and strategies to face future challenges on their own.

Diversity and inclusion is my main area of focus.  As an Asian American woman, my identity is a big part of who I am and I understand it comes with challenges when navigating corporate america, academia and other institutions .  Statistic tells me minorities and women face more barriers to leadership positions than their male counterparts. In researching Asian Americans and leadership, I’ve found they are more than qualified to become leaders but are not getting the professional development they need. Those who are already leaders say mentorship and coaching were key reasons they were able to advance.  One of my missions as a coach is to play a part in helping women who look like me reach the top of their field…so let’s partner up and make it happen!

This is My Coaching Approach

My coaching style revolves around vulnerability and honesty. An engagement with me is intended to dig deep into your core and find out who you are and what you are capable of.  I tend to ask direct questions and push back gently when the opportunity arises. As a result, the only way I can be effective is if you can be committed to finding your way and will be willing to go beyond the surface of your beliefs. If you are willing to ask yourself “Why?” for at least 3 times to a situation, then I would be a great match for you.

You might expect professional coaching to be a rigid, sequential or formal experience.  This is true for some people, but I do not fit into that category.  I believe in providing you a safe space for sharing your thoughts by creating a warm and informal environment. Your time spent with me will feel like an everyday conversation, except we focus our topics on you. See it as me guiding you to your destination; you’re the driver and I’m just a passenger. When we get to our destination, I hope you will leave feeling empowered to continue on your way without me.

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From The Horse's Mouth

Choua T.

"I worked with Ngoc for approximately three months in the summer of 2017. I was at a point in my career where I wanted to be thoughtful and intentional with my professional development in terms of the next step in my career. Working with Ngoc, I was able to uncover some of my strongest attributes and align them with my values so I can find satisfaction in my current role and not limit myself to the merit of the job alone. In addition, Ngoc challenged me to dig deep to overcome some of my reservations and challenges that stemmed from being an Asian-American woman working in corporate America. She coached me on how to confidently and assertively ask for what I want and to never sell myself short of being fairly compensated. We worked through several what if scenarios, so I would feel comfortable having tough conversations with upper level management. Ngoc made this experience rewarding and challenging. I definitely learned several useful skills to add to my tool box to help position me to be successful."

Abby T.

"Ngoc has a talent for empowering people. Throughout our sessions I was energized by her ability to guide me while allowing me to still take the lead in achieving my goals. This coaching was an inherently difficult task for me, as one of my goals was to be more comfortable communicating and being confident in uncomfortable situations. Openly sharing my personal thoughts and reflections with a relative stranger traditionally would have fallen into the ‘uncomfortable’ for me, and so at times it felt like crazy goal. Ngoc inspired me to challenge my inner biases and supported me throughout the process."

Kathy. N.

"Ngoc is an incredibly upbeat and positive coach who inspires trust and is dedicated to helping her clients reach their potential. One of her many strengths is her ability to help her clients hone in on and articulate manageable and achievable goals that drive impactful change. In my case, Ngoc helped me get beyond my self- imposed linear mindset and challenged my thinking about how things “should” be done. The result enabled me to get to a place where I could approach my business in a new way. Her authenticity is refreshing and commitment to her clients is admirable. I am grateful for our work together."

Lila C.

"Ngoc was great at asking powerful questions for discovery, reflection and learning. Such as “how did I feel about that” or “what led me to that thought” or “what do I think the other person’s perspective or objective was”. Her questions were direct but not confrontational."