Ainka Fulani, WG' 03 offers BreakThrough Coaching

Please provide an overview of your current business venture

I started BreakThrough Coaching in 2008. I am a Career Coach, an Executive Coach, some call me a Life Coach. I am a Wholistic Coach - meaning I coach the whole person. In my practice, I work with individuals and organizations to help them create systems that support learning, achieving excellence, maximizing efficiency and impact, all while keeping well-being in mind. Consulting on organizational design, workforce planning, performance management and strategy, for example, are some of the ways that I help to create “Best Places to Work.” As an Executive Coach, for example, I assist professionals with their job searches, striving for promotions, managing their teams, navigating a career change, etc. I’ve held various leadership roles in tech, retail, telecom, financial services, education and the non-profit sector. As a generalist, I find that both philosophical and practical questions are most helpful. I enjoy the process of supporting others to be their best and authentic, thriving selves. We work together to manage the big picture, strategic thinking and the day-to-day tactical elements in a way that encourages expanding and/or up-levelling skill sets. Similarly, with organizations, we work to create structure and process that promotes employees doing their best work and a product or service delivery that is best in class.

What has the journey been like? (300 words max)

I am an INROADS alumna, NYC chapter, so I’ve been fortunate since early on in my career to experience the benefits of working with trusted and expert advisors to navigate my career, and as an extension, other parts of life that also impact work. You might say that BreakThrough Coaching grew out of this and a variety of professional and personal experiences, including work on Wall Street in Recruiting and Diversity Strategy, sitting on the Professional Advisory Board of The Children's Aid Society, as well as managing Career Advising and Professional Development Programs for full-time, part-time and Executive MBAs at UC Berkeley where it was clear to me that with much like anything else, dedicated support can make a great deal of difference – can be the difference between getting by and doing great. Therefore, as a supplement to an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in English literature and Education, a certificate in Human Resources Management from NYU and my Wharton MBA focused on strategy, operations and entrepreneurship I received my coaching certification from The Life Performance Coaching Center in San Francisco, California. Their emphasis on improvisation and continual human development has influenced my approach. I also hold a certification in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tool, as well as a few others.

Although I had a focus on entrepreneurship at Wharton I never really imagined that I would work for myself. Up to that point I had a history of taking on newly created positions in established organizations and it seemed like a good idea. The focus on operations came about in part because of my love of data, process, problem solving and risk management thinking - clear boundaries make it more possible for creativity to flow. And I grew up in an environment where big picture thinking and attention to details were both highly valued, yet you had a to begin with a goal in mind and craft a plan, design your strategy. I am certainly using my Wharton training in addition to all else! This journey has not been linear, yet I know that every role, whether as a revenue generator or working in a cost center, as an individual contributor or managing a team, has been part of what equips me to support others as I do. And I absolutely, positively love the work! My classmates will tell you - I happily facilitated mock interviews, reviewed resumes, ran workshops and shared advice while we were students. Since then I have continued to share in webinars, workshops and countless conversations and it is extremely satisfying to walk side-by-side with someone on their journey. It is motivating to work with organizations and watch their unhealthy attrition numbers decrease and collaboration and productivity increase. I believe everyone benefits when leaders have the additional support of a coach. I believe that leaders can be unearthed with the additional support of a coach. In some ways it's all about culture. And a culture of learning and growth benefits everyone. It's good for the people and it's good for the business.

How can alumni support?

"Are you job seeking? Working towards a promotion? Working with or managing a difficult colleague/client/situation? Entertaining a change to your role? organization? career? Does your team or organization need a morale boost? Trying to decide if it is time for your small business to hire or outsource human resources support? Does your organization need support with recruiting? Workforce planning? Strategy? Operations?

Hire me. Recommend me. Place me on your list of preferred vendors at your organization.

I am one of the preferred and external coaches with Wharton Alumni Career Services. As part of that there is a special rate for individuals that engage my services. It would be a pleasure to support AAMBAA alumni in this way, who are in the process of a job search, seeking a promotion, pivoting their professional direction, or just looking to enhance their abilities by working with an Executive Coach.

Please provide a website/link/video where additional info can be found on your initiative