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Stephanie Butron, Founder, Creativity Coach

Coaching for Smart Young Professionals (SYP)

What do I do?

I help smart, high-achieving young professionals in their industry expand their capacity for professional + personal development by improving their critical thinking , creativity, + stress-management skills. I offer individual coaching sessions + trainings such as the Introduction to Professional Development coming January 2025. I write for The Coaching Project: The Race to Help Humanity on the GoodMen Project + Medium platforms.

What do I know?

My knowledge of the  Smart Young Professional (SYP), incidents, social relations, + power in academia + industry arises directly from my own experience as a young professional in the aerospace industry. My direct experiences range from a indifferent professors + helpers, managers + colleagues with no boundaries between the personal & professional, getting fired, loss of financial security, extreme sadness, chronic fatigue, loss of relationships + jobs. Yet, somehow my passion to learn + do has never dwindled. I’m currently on my way to becoming an accredited IAPCM Fellow coach + publishing in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) journal with hope and excitement for my future. If my experience as an engineer taught me anything its this – the role of failure in our lives will lead to a better design + system if we accept the humanness of it + candidly use it as original material to support our life purposes. I wholeheartedly want to help our leaders of tomorrow win—but win better + with unrelenting purpose in support of those they lead. I believe this starts with our youth’s development—professional + personal.As an engineer, I learned that the design process is a unique area of creativity, where you have to actually build what you imagine and have it work as you designed it. As a coach, I focus on the most preliminary stage of the creativity process—the stage before imagination takes place. It is at this stage where I found a daily practice in critical thinking to be essential in better interpretations + decisions. With a daily practice of critical thinking concepts + processes, I developed a larger capacity to recognize the elements that play in my lived experience + the ability to question my thinking for quality. With this heightened self-awareness, my ability to discover newer relationships among otherwise unrelated concepts required stress management. The creativity process is made up of one decision after another + with every decision comes some anxiety. This mental upgrade of thinking, personality, + self-direction is facilitated with the definition of life purposes, values, + goals that align with each other. Professional development does not happen without personal development—they go hand in hand. My objective is only to help a little bit as a co-pilot to my client, the captain of their own life.

What is my professional experience?

I hold a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech + have worked primarily as a structural engineer. Now, I help individuals manifest their potential. I trained as a creativity coach through Noble Manhattan + an accredited IAPCM fellow coach, Dr. Eric Maisel. My focus is on critical thinking using the Paul-Elder framework; the creativity process; + stress management.

What are my interests?

My interests include the study + application of critical thinking, the creativity process, + the coaching business I founded; issues of stress-management + academic success with teens + young adults; + more recently the creation, design, + sustainability of dynamic systems in engineering + in human minds for a better tomorrow. My vision is to live in a world where all humans are aware of their needs + wants then take the action to meet them in a world that will let them meet them. Among my favorite things are leading writing workshops, working with individual coaching clients, + producing useful programs for SYPs such as The Introduction to Professional Development coming January 2025. I live in Springfield, VA, where my kids with paws + I lead our community of Labrador Retriever paw-rents + pup friends through nature hikes, pool parties, + sniff adventures.


Q What is the difference between a coach and a therapist?

While both coaches + therapists help individuals improve their lives, therapists typically focus on diagnosing + treating mental health issues, while I focus on helping SYPs develop their own goals + expand their capacities in three areas to help them understand their motivations through quality questions + observations + suggestions.

Q What is your approach to goal-setting?

I follow a client-centered practice that involves understanding the client's needs and goals.

Q How do you handle confidentiality?

Confidentiality is of utmost importance in my coaching practice. Everything discussed between you and I will remain private.

Q What do I offer?

I’m going to try to get things on the table and aim the SYPs in the direction of action by being of help, encouraging check-ins between sessions, co-creating homework assignments, and monitoring your progress in 60-minute zoom sessions.

Q What will the Smart Young Professional (SYP) get?

+ You will get quality questions, observations, and suggestions by my noticing, thinking, discerning, and connecting the dots.
+ Quality questions will help you understand your own motivations and will be delivered in a gentle and compassionate, but also straightforward and direct way.
+ I engage with an empathic, compassionate, curious “non-understanding” practice to double-check and achieve mutual understanding.

Q Why me?

I take my critical thinking and coaching practice extremely seriously. Personally, I want to spark the fire in our current and future leaders to strive for quality interpretation, decisions and actions as opposed to quality results. Professionally, I believe the broader impact on society will be decided by the quality solutions and creations from young professionals today. My objective is to inspire, engage, and empower SYPs to understand the foundational and powerful concepts that manipulate their lived experience by analyzing and assessing historical failures in their respective industries. With a reliable critical thinking, reading, and writing practice, the young professional might be able to analyze and assess their current circumstances more clearly, relevantly, and accurately while also reducing the likelihood of error. As a coach, my principle intent is to just be of some help to you.

Q Who is a Smart Young Professional (SYP)?

A smart young professional (SYP) is a high-achieving individual at any education level in any industry. This includes SYPs in internships, entry-level positions, management roles, program management roles, entrepreneurs, and so on —essentially, positions young professionals —between the ages of 20 and 35– are in. I specifically mean to include industry positions that emphasize doing as well as understanding: SYPs in engineering positions already understand the importance of applying mathematical models to real structures used by the wider public—they understand models and methods then apply them in the real world in high-risk situations. In SYP coaching, I help SYPs understand and apply historical concepts within their industry to their professional lives— the context where problem-solving and creativity are taking place. The SYP needs to learn and apply the concepts of their industry’s history to the current challenges in their industry today as a form of professional development.