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Do work you love

Our mission

Two-thirds of Americans report feeling disengaged at work. We believe that doing work you love not only keeps you engaged, but also makes the world a better place. 

We’re on a mission to help courageous people build careers they love so they can make their fullest contribution to the world around them.

Since 2017, we've helped thousands of career designers find more fulfilling work through our programs. We've worked with people from all ages and industries; from teachers and lawyers, to engineers and administrators. Regardless of your background or age, our proven Career Design Process will give the clarity and plan you need to pursue a career you really love.
Speaking of our Career Design Process, where did that come from? We've spent years refining our approach to career design, and have been very influenced by a number of fields, including Design Thinking, Positive Psychology, and Career Counseling. Our process breaks down the overwhelming challenge of "figuring out what you want to do" into simple steps that anyone can follow!
Our team
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Steph Szuch - Director of Program Management

Steph's mission is to support people to build a life of their choosing. She has worked extensively with professionals looking to boost their skills to apply for different jobs, move abroad, or take a new step in their careers. She also works as a Life Coach specializing in confidence and life changes. She takes a strengths-based approach in all of her work and loves helping people take full advantage of their gifts.

Cecile Oreste - Program Manager

Cecile is a strategic communications professional, diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate, and arts and culture supporter. She began her career in advertising sales and media relations, then transitioned to nonprofit arts and most recently higher education. An alumna of the Mission Collaborative Fellowship, Cecile enjoys helping people make connections to enhance their careers.

Sagarika Das - Program Manager

Sagarika is passionate about supporting career-changers through their journeys of self-discovery and transformation. She is an epidemiologist with a background in global health, human-centered design, and higher education, and she uses her multidisciplinary expertise to guide individuals in pursuit of fulfilling and empowering careers.
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Katherine Lelek - Program Manager

Katherine is a dedicated career services professional and Mission Collaborative alumna who believes that self-reflection, research and having a strategic plan are the keys to finding career success. Her superpower is curiosity and she is a lifelong learner. She is particularly interested in using design thinking to empower others to find meaning and joy in their lives. 

Claire Dorn - Program Manager

Claire has extensive experience coaching professionals in various industries through periods of career transition. She is passionate about helping people design fulfilling careers aligned with their strengths, passions and interests. Her professional background includes teaching, career coaching, workforce development, and project and program management.
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Alexandria Grant - Program Manager

Alexandria is a lifelong learner and has a ten-year background in education, counseling, and human development. Her professional educational journey started with Teach for America, and her focus has since shifted into working with diverse adult learners on projects and program development. She is passionate about strengthening her servant leadership skills, while ensuring that she is providing safe spaces for not only herself, but to those around her as well. After completing the Fellowship in the Spring of '22, she is also a recent Google Coursera Project Management graduate, and seeks to use her project and program management skills to work on meaningful projects, help others find their passions, and revamp their professional journeys.
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Krista Vaught - Program Manager

Krista is passionate about creating learning and connection experiences that help people move forward, particularly by applying design thinking concepts and creating space for intentional reflection. She has made several pivots on her own career journey, including roles in journalism, law, executive support, academic programs, compliance, and learning and development, and she enjoys continually exploring ways to enhance meaning and fulfillment. Krista holds an EdD in educational technology and a law degree, and is an ICF Associate Certified Coach. Outside of coaching and life design, Krista enjoys traveling to national parks and finding the best gluten-free bakeries.
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Paige del Rio - Program Manager

Paige is an instructional design and strategy leader with 10 years of experience running complex operations and initiatives. Having recently transitioned from nonprofit education work to the tech industry, she is eager to support others feeling overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable transitions. More than anything, Paige believes in creating opportunities for self determination through learning, support, and access and is excited to parlay those passions and skills into supporting the Mission Collaborative community.
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Jessica MacDonald - Program Manager

Jessica is on a mission to empower individuals to unlock their full potential and forge career paths that lead to both success and personal fulfillment. Armed with a certification as a Gallup Strengths Coach, she brings experience in career coaching, leadership development, and team building. With a background predominantly rooted in higher education career services, complemented by roles in program management, entrepreneurship, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations, Jessica is adept at guiding individuals towards their professional aspirations. Her unwavering commitment to a strengths-based approach underscores her passion for helping others harness their innate talents for maximum impact.
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Samantha Varner - Program Manager

Samantha Varner is a higher education professional passionate about life-long learning and personal development. She has spent the last fifteen years working in university relations and advancement, focusing on building resources for university alumni, including the establishment of valuable career mentorship programs for which she won a CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Gold Award in 2018 for new program initiatives. Samantha is no stranger to career transitions, as she started her career journey organizing large-scale athletic and fundraising events and has experience working with professional sports organizations and managing corporate accounts for an award-winning social/digital marketing agency. Her greatest transition has been the one to “working mom,” which has led her to be an expert in managing time and resources to maximize efficiency.

Paula Franicevich - Operations Support Associate

Paula is a dedicated professional with a curious nature and a deep enthusiasm for supporting others in their personal development.
Her diverse experience includes roles as an assistant at public organizations, a researcher and a teacher, where she endeavored to help individuals achieve their goals and fully leverage their talents.

“After going through the Fellowship, I feel like I know more about myself and what I’m looking for in a career.”
- Spring 2023 participant 

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