Deutsch Intern
Research Academy


What is the difference between counseling and coaching? First of all: There is some overlap. Here are the definitions we usually work with:

  • Counseling is usually about providing you with a specific piece of information or with advice from someone who knows more about a particular matter than you do. In many cases, one counseling session will be enough to help you, but sometimes you will have to come back for another meeting.
  • Coaching is a process that takes some time. It’s not about giving you access to information; it’s about guiding you on your way to success by helping you define your goals and devise strategies for reaching them. It is the coachee who has to do the work. The coach’s role is to accompany the process, equip the coachee with methods and techniques, and give critical input. All decisions are made by the coachee.

As said before, there is some overlap between counseling and coaching. After having attended a counseling session, many people ask a coach to accompany them on their path toward success. You are not sure which of the two you need? No problem. Together we will find out which form of accompaniment is the right one for you and your current concerns. Simply contact us and tell us about your concerns!

Counseling approach

Perhaps questions arise in the course of your academic career at JMU for which you would like to seek external support. We offer you this opportunity and are happy to provide you with our expertise and methodological knowledge on competences, personal resources, development opportunities and possibilities, the job market in science and industry, application strategies and other related topics for personal counseling appointments.

In a counseling session, we can

  • discuss ways to advance your career.
  • help you prepare application documents that are tailored to suit the job you're applying for.
  • help you prepare for job or selection interviews.
  • help you analyse and visualise your personal competences.
  • give tips on your application strategy.
  • help you get a realistic idea of the career prospects open to you both in research and outside academia

An average counseling session usually takes between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on your concerns. We clarify your questions in advance over the phone (or via e-mail) so that we can also prepare ourselves accordingly for your concerns.

A typical counseling session usually consists of both input from us and the application of this input to your personal concerns. We accompany this process and provide you with the necessary support, guidance and appropriate methods so that you can pursue and achieve your goals independently.

Coaching approach

In a coaching session, you will be accompanied in activating your resources and potentials in order to develop tailor-made solutions for your concerns. Various coaching tools provide an effective framework for your individual reflection and search process. You will receive impulses to perceive your behaviour more precisely, to understand it and, if necessary, to change it. You clarify goals, define the necessary steps to reach them, test them in practice and adjust them again in coaching.

The path is not seldomly as instructive as the achievement of the goal itself.

Coaching can help you

  • clarify your professional goals and determine further steps in your career planning.
  • prepare properly for an application process.
  • deal with the challenges of your everyday professional life.
  • critically reflect upon role expectations and deal with them in a constructive manner.
  • work your way towards a particular goal.

A coaching session takes about 60 minutes. In order to work continuously and intensively on a topic, it usually makes sense for the coaching to be conducted over several appointments. How often and at what intervals you will meet is up to you and your coach to decide. The JMU Research Academy conducts most of its coaching internally, but we are also happy to arrange external coaches on request.

A typical coaching session is divided into different phases, which we will develop together with you according to your topics. Before the coaching, an orientation meeting takes place to set the rough guidelines for the topics of the conversation. Here we can also decide together once again whether coaching is actually the right tool for your concerns. The coaching itself is usually divided into the following phases:

  • Stage 1 - Analyse your specific situation
  • Stage 2 - Define your goals
  • Stage 3 - Devise strategies for reaching them
  • Stage 4 - Review those strategies/ideas
  • Stage 5 - Determine how to implement those strategies/ideas into your everyday (work) life