Kingston graduate inspires others to 'unwrap the gift within'
Careeta Robert-Green has quit a successful corporate career to start her own business as a life coach, eager to inspire young people from school-age upwards to achieve their potential and ‘unwrap the gift within'.
The 24-year-old, who graduated from Kingston in 2006 with a 2.1 in Sociology, visited a life coach herself last year, after a rapid rise through the ranks at a corporate firm. "I'd been working in a corporate IT company for three years, heading up arranging training across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but decided there had to be more to life than working 9–5," says London-based Careeta. "During my coaching session, I realised that I've spent a lot of time talking to people and encouraging them to fulfil their dreams, so I wanted to become a life coach myself."
She won a scholarship to the Coaching Academy and after studying part-time became a fully-qualified practitioner in February, launching a business and website, Born With A Gift. "The name just came into my head, and I quickly Googled it to make sure no-one else had it," smiles Careeta. "Luckily they didn't, because it perfectly captures what we are about."
The business rapidly took off, with Careeta appearing in newspapers and on radio, and she left her corporate job on 9 April to concentrate on it full-time. Unlike many life coaching companies, Born With A Gift is specifically aimed at young people aged 18–30. "My aim is to empower, motivate and inspire young people to achieve their goals," says Careeta. "There are a lot of young people out there doing jobs they don't like, and coaching is perfect for them. Everyone has something special within, and sometimes it takes time to discover it."
She spotted a gap in the market for coaching for young people while at the Coaching Academy. "Many older people turn to life coaching when there is a crisis, after years of trundling along – perhaps they are made redundant, for example," says Careeta. "I want to reach out to a younger generation, many of whom are not aware of coaching or how it can help them."
So how does it work? "Coaching is not counselling or mentoring," says Careeta. "We don't delve into past experiences or offer advice or suggestions. Our role is help people to identify and develop their strengths, and recognise and challenge their fears. You have all the answers locked away within – you are the expert in your life. As a coach, I help unlock doors in your mind you didn't know were closed." It is done by phone, and Careeta has coached people as far afield as Abu Dhabi.
Careeta is also launching Born With A Gift Youth, aimed at younger people of school-age. "I did a workshop at a youth centre, and I was inspired by the positive feedback I got," says Careeta. "Working in schools, youth centres and other institutions can really help to raise young people's self-esteem, which makes such a difference to their lives." Careeta volunteers with Descendants Youth Group, which she attended as a youngster herself, and has received an achievement award from them. She is currently developing a range of different workshops and plans to write books based on her methods.
Careeta has fond memories of her time at Kingston, where she spent a year in the Seething Wells halls of residence, and was also liaison officer for the Afro-Caribbean Society, under the then President Eddie Kadi, who has gone on to find fame as a stand-up comic. "I met lifelong friends at Kingston on different campuses, and we've gone on to success in many different fields. Kingston exceeded my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed my degree. I'd strongly recommend it as a university. I hope reading my story will inspire potential students to make Kingston their first choice."
For more information on Careeta and her work, or to book a life coaching session, visit www.bornwithagift.com.