Interview: Open Center Alumnus Kori Burkholder on Coaching, Personal Fulfillment, and Professional Growth
“I was not only learning new skills to enhance my repertoire in my art workshops, but through the training, I was also being transformed. I was healing old wounds and challenging myself out of my comfort zone.” – Kori Burkholder.
What was your background before taking Coaching for Transformation (CFT)?
I have a background in the entertainment business. I worked in TV/movie production at E! Entertainment TV in on-air casting and on Dawson’s Creek in Wardrobe. I worked at BBDO on accounts like GE, Frito Lay and Gillette. Then jumping over to TVT Records where I helped launch the ringtone department (yes, ringtones!!). I also have experience in product marketing and then had a short stint in the ad tech world. That was it for me and decided I was ready to take the leap from full time employee to full time business owner.
Have you always wanted to be a coach
No, but back in 2002, I was totally confused about my career direction after working in advertising for so many years. I needed a change. I had heard of a thing called a “life coach” and was intrigued. I found a coach on Craigslist and decided to invest in it. About 12 years later, the idea came into my mind that I’d like to become a coach because of the impact it had on my career and life.
How did you find out about the program?
I was doing a Google search for life coaching programs and CFT popped up among a few others. I was drawn to CFT because it had a more holistic approach, plus it took place at the Open Center where I had been taking all kinds of classes. After attending a CFT open night, I learned about the approach, the methodology and met Madhu and Martha. A few days later, I had a follow up call with Madhu and it just felt right. I was in 100%.
What spurred you into taking the Coaching for Transformation program?
I had been leading art workshops for a few years and was seeing the transformation and benefits people were getting through the process. I thought that getting some type of training would be a good way to add structure around what I was already doing. Plus, becoming a life coach had been in the back of my mind for years and all the stars aligned perfectly.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced during the course?
Time. While I was in the course, I had a full time job and had also just transitioned into a challenging new role within the company, plus I was getting booked to lead corporate art workshops. CFT is a big time and energy commitment, but it was manageable because I was committed to the process and connected to the bigger picture. Also, the camaraderie and deep connections that’s created within the group is what kept me going through the rough patches.
What was one of the biggest rewards?
I was not only learning new skills to enhance my repertoire in my art workshops, but through the training, I was also being transformed. I was healing old wounds and challenging myself out of my comfort zone. With the tools we were learning, the peer coaching, weekly calls, plus the accountability piece, I had the confidence to ask for a raise and get it, take singing lessons and sing with a band live in front of an audience, have breakthroughs in my relationship and get engaged and move into a new apartment. All of these wouldn’t have happened without the support of the group and the structure of the program.
What’s the most surprising thing you learned during the course?
I think it was learning how to identify parts of ourselves that might be holding us back from taking action. This method takes the time to explore and be with these parts, learn the roles they play, when and why they were born and discover what they are protecting. With the awareness we can transform them from disempowering to empowering. Total game-changer in my own personal life as well as with my clients. One of my go-to tools.
Would you recommend this program to a friend?
Yes! I have highly recommended CFT over the years to friends and to some of my coaching clients who have interest in becoming a coach!
How is CFT different from other coaching programs?
When I was doing the research I had it boiled down to CFT and another well-known coaching program. I realized that I wanted a more holistic approach and not a corporate and rigid approach. CFT fit in with my vision for my life and career.
What are you excited about now?
I’ve co-founded a professional development company, VitaminR with my partner Marcy Clark. We saw an opportunity in the market to create unique, right brain experiences for wellness professionals and visionary entrepreneurs wanting to elevate their businesses, branding, networking and giving them the tools to share their work with the world. Our partnership with The Open Center by leading the VisionWorking Professional Development Series is so exciting. With courses like StoryBoard Your Success: Creating Your Visual Business Plan and the Sacred Branding Retreat, we are honored to be co-creating another 6 months of programming currently.
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