Leg Up coach Fiona Georgetti tells us about her Leg Up journey so far and what it's really like to be a coach.

"When I saw the BEVA appeal for ‘Leg Up’ or career coaching 12 months ago, I can’t say I knew exactly what it was, but I saw that it was the brain child of past BEVA President Renate Waller, so I  knew that it was bound to be entertaining, and I saw that it was designed to help new graduates in the first stages of their career.  In my job, I find that I enjoy helping out recent graduates where I can, and find it rewarding seeing their confidence grow.  I saw this training as a chance to be able to better support graduates within our own practice, as well as being a rare opportunity to learn a completely new skill and hopefully help other people.  

 

I tentatively applied for the Coaching Course. I mistakenly thought that all Coaches had to be high flying career vets to be Career Coaches, and I don’t have a different Certificate for everyday of the week, as children came along quite early in my career.  I qualified from Edinburgh in 2001, then worked in mixed practice in Sussex for 12 months followed by 3 years in a mainly large animal practice in the Waikato in New Zealand, before returning to the UK to Equine practice in Warwickshire, and then Worcestershire.  Our eldest daughter was born in 2006, followed by a second daughter in 2009. I have been part time since the girls’ arrival, and despite the afore mentioned lack of certificates, I would still like to think that I do a good job and that I am a valuable member of the team.  I enjoy the balance of having time to spend with the family, whilst still having enthusiasm for the veterinary profession and also trying to allow time for myself to compete in the occasional triathlon and the odd equestrian competition.

 

The “Leg Up Scheme” training consisted of two training days and four online seminars run by Life Coach Rachel Davis.  We all met at the first session where we found a very mixed bunch of vets from different types of practices and of varying age and experience.  Rachel immediately put us at ease getting everyone involved and practising Coaching skills from day 1. Rachel demonstrated different types of Coaching conversations which we then practised amongst ourselves as well as having lots of other exercises to help us improve our coaching skills.  I apologise to Rachel if I have oversimplified coaching, but my take home message was to have better listening skills, and to allow the Coachee the time and space to talk where they will often find their own solutions. 

 

I have now had two coaching sessions with my new graduate.  I enjoy the sessions, and enjoy seeing the progress that I feel my new graduate is making, but is it useful? I asked my Coachee who said;

 

“I have found the BEVA leg up scheme very helpful for both veterinary and work-life balance support. The opportunity to have confidential advice, outside of the work place, has proven to be really valuable for my first few months in practice. I didn't quite realise the challenges I would face as a new graduate, but having the time to reflect monthly on the highs and lows, has definitely helped me to take lots of positives out of my experiences.”

 

As a positive from the Coaches point of view, I now have a lovely group of new “Coaching friends” and I think we would all agree that in general we are better listeners and more effective communicators since taking part in the Coaching course."


To find out more about Leg Up, click here.