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+41 (0)61 534 9928 Testimonials

I am honoured to present a collection of testimonials from a number of my clients:

1. Dr Jane Richardson

Postgraduate Director

Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences

Keele University

The Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences at Keele University has been working with North Star Coaching since 2011. Hermionie has developed a programme of Postgraduate Coaching and has worked with our postgraduate students in their first year, leading up to Doctoral Progression.

Areas she has worked on include developing students’ time-management skills (particularly useful for staff members undertaking PhDs), communication and presentation skills, identifying and using transferable skills and making the best use of supervisory sessions.

We have also worked on aligning these areas with the Research Development Framework, in order that the students can integrate the Coaching with the other areas of their personal and professional development. The focus of the Postgraduate Coaching on each student’s individual skills and needs complements the work of the supervisory team and of other training courses.

Hermionie maintains the highest levels of professionalism and communication, keeping people informed as appropriate and providing regular updates of her work. She is enthusiastic about her work, and very open to new ways of sharing and tailoring her expertise (for example, in relation to the Researcher Development Framework). This has been a particularly beneficial and enjoyable aspect of working with Hermionie and I look forward to developing this further in the future.

2. Angela Birchall

Director of Journalism and Communications

School of Media, Music and Performance,

University of Salford

“Hermionie had a fantastic way of being able to help me understand issues that have been staring me in the face, focus on the important things, and most important of all, she gave me the confidence and belief that I could achieve my goals. She is one of the most inspiring people I have met in years and her enthusiasm is totally infectious - just talking to her is an energy boost!! I wish I had come across her years ago.”

3. Allistair McRobert

Lecture in Performance Analysis

Liverpool John Moores University

“Through one-to-one sessions, Hermionie provides a safe environment to identify and explore the personal and professional barriers impacting upon your goals. Finally, through a variety of personally tailored techniques she helps you unlock your potential and maintain a balanced lifestyle.”

4. Laurence Murphy

Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Media Technology

University of Salford

“Hermionie is an excellent PHD coach. When I was asked to define the difference between a PHD monitor and a PHD coach I said the PHD monitor supports the specific academic subject material, the PHD coach helps with the process and the minefield of the evolution of the idea and its execution. The process for my PHD is much clearer by doing a few coaching sessions with Hermionie. I would thoroughly recommend the inclusion of a coach like Hermionie in the planning and process of any PHD candidate.”

5. Maria Regan


University of Manchester

"I was lucky enough to attend coaching sessions with Hermionie during the final year of my PhD thesis. I found the strategies that Hermionie used during each session to be extremely valuable and appreciated the effort that Hermionie put into each session. Each of the sessions were carefully planned with a clear focus and lots of useful activities to take forward from each of the sessions. I found Hermionie to be highly professional, personable and extremely motivational and would have no hesitation whatsoever in highly recommending her skills."

6. April Woodward

PhD Student at Keele University

Becoming a PhD student is a major life change and the greatest benefit of my coaching sessions with Hermionie has been to help me manage this transition. Hermionie provides calm and thoughtful support, whilst inspiring creativity with her probing questions and encouragement to reflect on situations and challenges in new and different ways.  Being independent, Hermionie has also provided me with a “safe” environment in which to voice any concern and explore ideas.  And by taking an holistic approach – being concerned with me and my project as a whole – Hermionie has definitely eased my transition from IT professional into the world of academia and helped integrate my PhD into my life.

7. Katie Christensen

Master’s student

Throughout the first year of my masters, I struggled to write academically and was questioning whether I should continue with my studies. Hermionie designed a personalised development program, which includes very practical techniques to make my study time more effective and coaching to tackle the blocks I was putting in my own way. She provides exactly the right balance of support, information and challenge.  As a result of this, I now feel more equipped to produce the work I know I am capable of and look forward to the challenge of writing my dissertation.

8. Jennie Blake

Business Owner

North Star Coaching has helped me to identify key areas for improving performance and has introduced me to a range of dynamic strategies for both personal and business development.  Hermionie Blake's positive and supportive approach has inspired me to take the necessary steps to achieve my potential.  I highly recommend North Star Coaching to anyone keen to achieve success. 

9. Maureen Haldane MA MRes

Senior Research Fellow

Education and Social Research Institute

Manchester Metropolitan University

Over the last few months, I have found myself at a fairly distinctive crossroad regarding my career, research, family and professional commitments.  It's been clear for some time that I needed to make some serious life-choices and to decide what could be given up in order to bring a little sanity into a far-too-busy life-style.  My choice was either to give up my career (I've been dedicated to education for over 47 yrs) or give up my PhD (I've been involved in this particular strand of research since my MA 13 years ago).

My choice has been to give up my career (though I'm sure it won't be quite so clear cut!). I'm telling you this because my decision to continue my PhD to completion is due almost entirely to the fantastic and appropriate support I've had from Hermionie ... her patience and astute understanding of how to deal with what have seemed to be insurmountable problems, have been highly commendable.  I now feel equipped to make use of all the skills and ideas that Hermionie has helped me to put in place to support the completion of my thesis without the support of any further coaching sessions.

So, I would like to thank my university for making Hermionie's services available to me and finally, to thank Hermionie, for her high level of expertise and her dedication to coaching me so effectively; all are very much appreciated.

My client is a lecturer at a well-known university in the UK.  The client had been working on his PhD part-time for 8 years and each year brought new struggles to complete it.

I had been working with a client on a PhD programme in another university who suggested to the lecturer that it might be useful to have a discussion with me to see if I could help him finally complete his PhD.

We were introduced by phone and email in December 2012 and started in January 2013.  My client subsequently submitted his thesis in June, completed in Viva in August and obtained a successful outcome, all within 6 months of working with me!

I felt that the pivotal moment came when we reviewed goals, motivations, barriers to success, created boundaries and developed strategies for dealing with unexpected challenges.  

This client now continues to use some of the accelerated learning techniques that we have discussed in our sessions with his students.  I am delighted that more people are gaining benefit from a smarter way of working.

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