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Podcast interviewS

On the generosity of authenticity...

On recognizing opportunity...

On staying present for possibilities...

Why the "shoulds" don't work...

Why I am an "Authenticity Advocate"...

Let your desire be louder than fear...

On growing into the best version of myself...


Carol Gonzalez

Broward, Florida

I decided to pursue Strengths Coaching at a time in my life where I was unsure what my next step in my career should be. I had started to feel burnt out at my current job and was experiencing a lack of motivation. I felt no interest in continuing to grow within the firm I was working at but was unsure in what my next step should be. I had a lot of uncertainty and fear of choosing the wrong next step in my career. I decided to join Vanessa's coaching program after the initial consultation. I felt like Vanessa and I immediately clicked. She was friendly, understanding, and showed genuine concern and interest in our conversation.


Working with Vanessa was beyond what I expected. I experienced a lot of transformative change during the two months our four coaching sessions took place. I learned so much about myself and what I am inherently best at. Through our coaching sessions, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of my value and what I bring to the table when looking for new opportunities. Most importantly, Vanessa helped me understand and gain clarity on what I am looking for in my next career move and to embrace my entrepreneurial spirit (something I had been afraid to do for quite some time).


I feel like a completely different person after coaching with Vanessa. I have a deep understanding of myself and why I operate the way that I do. Through this deeper understanding of myself, I have gained so much strength and security in knowing that I can confront and surpass any obstacle thrown my way.


Thanks to Vanessa's coaching and encouragement, I was able to make my next career move and get a new job (one that gives me the flexibility to embrace my entrepreneurial spirit and explore other business endeavors) within the first two sessions!

Client Testimonials - 1:1 coaching


S. Massey

Family Law Attorney
Columbia, MD

I first heard Vanessa speak about BloomRise and her journey on the MLL [Mom Life and Law] podcast and I immediately felt a connection and knew I wanted to work with her. When I finally worked 1:1 with Vanessa this past summer it was life-changing. I began working with her while I was recovering from some health issues which made me feel like I was being set-back in my career plans. However, my sessions with Vanessa re-affirmed that what I felt was a set-back was in fact a primer for me to take the leap into the next phase of my career and life. Discovering my strengths were mind-blowing! Each session transformed me to finally understand myself and WHY I functioned a certain way. There were so many "aha" moments when I learned what I thought was a flaw was in fact my superpower!


Vanessa truly has a gift and is truly living in her purpose. She was always prepared for the sessions (and went above and beyond to accommodate my needs) and her insight in helping me see my strengths in everything was incredible. Her real-time examples were so refreshing and helpful to actually understand my top 10 strengths and also how to put them to daily use. She helped me gain confidence in myself which was a huge goal of mine in working with her.


Working with Vanessa has truly been transformative and I'm so glad I listened to my gut (one of my top 10!) and invested in myself by working with her. Vanessa is so compassionate and relatable, it felt like chatting with a long-time friend versus a coach. I am so glad to have met her and have her in my corner. She's the real deal and more!! I've raved about her to everyone and highly recommend her to help you get unstuck and own your worth! I'm already looking forward to working with her in the future again.


Danit Darmon

Miami, FL

Working with Vanessa has been a life-changing experience. I decided to start coaching with her because I was intrigued by her strengths-based approach to coaching and felt we had similar backgrounds and much in common (both of us are attorneys and new moms). I have enjoyed every minute, from beginning to end. I looked forward to every 1:1 session with her and in between for my "thought-work" when I could reflect on anything that came up in our sessions.


Her strengths-based approach to coaching and to life changed the way I perceive myself and others. Vanessa helped mine my strengths and the parts of myself that I always knew were there but never fully appreciated.


She is always focused and prepared during our sessions and in between, providing helpful insight and asking the right questions. She is very skilled at articulating the different aspects of the CliftonStrengths, infusing my sessions with perspective about my personal strengths and relating them to my current goals. She has a strong intuition and always asks impactful questions that bring clarity for me. I can tell she genuinely cares about me, helping me achieve my goals, and having a positive impact on my life. Thanks to Vanessa, it has been an empowering experience to understand my uniqueness and how I can use it to achieve my goals.

1:1 Testimonials
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Aman Costigan

Partner/Lawyer &
Yoga Teacher to Lawyers
Alberta, Canada

Working with Vanessa was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. I learned more about myself in our time together than any other program or other online test that I've done. Because normally, I do the test, skim the results and move on. Vanessa made understanding the results of my Strength Assessment so easy. She made me a cheatsheet with my strengths that I keep at my desk to remind me. I learned about my top 10 strengths in depth, and we worked through how I was already using my strengths in my life and where I could use them more. When I couldn't see how I was using my strengths, I could tell Vanessa had listened to me and was able to give me examples of where I was already using my strengths.


Vanessa was always prepared for each session we had, and it was clear to me that she had taken time to think about me and my particular situation. Vanessa goes above and beyond for her clients, and I would never have gotten the same insights from the Strengths Assessment if I did it without Vanessa. From the first few minutes of coaching with Vanessa, I knew that she was doing what she loved. She's one of those people who you want to have in your circle. I've already recommended her to friends of mine! I can't recommend Vanessa enough! Thank you so much!



Director-level Professional

It was a life changing experience for me. The coaching sessions with Vanessa helped me discover my unique strengths while also allowing me to focus and concretely define what I wanted for myself (not what was expected of me based on how I was raised and stories I told myself). I was in awe to discover that what I had considered a "weakness" or "something wrong" with me - was actually a strength! I just needed to understand how to use it as a strength. The one-on-one sessions also helped me define and focus on what I wanted for my life and career in the short-term and long-term.


My coaching sessions with Vanessa gave me the confidence and courageous push I needed to start to put a plan in place to leave the corporate job that was making me miserable and impacting my health. (It got so bad that I ended up at the cardiologists office - while pregnant!) Clearly my body was telling me something and because of the coaching sessions and opportunities to reflect on my strengths and what I really wanted in MY life, I finally had the clarity of mind to take action to change my current work environment and truly build a life that made ME happy.

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Megan Whiteside

Trial Lawyer & Host, Mom Life and Law Podcast
Washington, DC

I was fortunate enough to participate in a BloomRise pod with women in my business coaching group. As a group of lawyers, entrepreneurial business owners, and coaches, we had already committed months to personal and professional development before we had our BloomRise pod experience. Even though we had each done extensive self-improvement work, Vanessa's strengths coaching provided each of us with truly helpful insight into our unique combination of strengths.  I left my pod experience with a sense of personal admiration that I had not experienced in a long time.


Vanessa gave me language to describe myself that resonated as true but that I had never fully articulated for myself before. She helped me to see that I have a unique combination of talents to foster and strategically use in the future of my career. I left our pod with helpful resources, with a sense of empowerment and excitement for the future of my career, and a newfound confidence in my unique abilities.  


Annette Hugues

Miami, FL

I went to Vanessa in a time of professional crossroads. I was ready for a change in my position and possibly career, but didn't know which direction that was. I had met Vanessa before and decided she would be the perfect person to guide me on this journey. I went to Vanessa with a millions ideas and thoughts of where I could take my career and it was all over the place. Each session she helped me sort through these ideas and by the end of the 6 weeks, I had compartmentalized all the ideas into a few boxes for me to focus on. By talking through my wants and dislikes and what my strengths and weaknesses were, it allowed to come up with clear and concise answers to questions like why I am leaving my current job and what do you look for in a supervisor. After 6 weeks, I was confident and ready for interviews and in my first interview after Vanessa's sessions, I felt like I rocked it and I have Vanessa to thank for it. She helped me make a very stressful time in my life, less stressful.



Calgary, Canada

A colleague of mine recommended Vanessa. After my initial call with Vanessa, I was ready to sign up. Vanessa's authenticity and natural abilities to ask the right questions will get you unstuck. Vanessa is also very generous with her time, she listens attentively and guides you to find your own answers. Her non-judgemental coaching style gives you permission to be vulnerable and "dig deeper". I guarantee you will have a transformational experience and will bloom. Vanessa, thank you for guiding me back on my path. 


Courtney Paul

Senior Manager, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
New York, New York

I decided to work with Vanessa because I wanted to better understand and leverage my strengths in the work that I do. The Strengths report was incredibly valuable as it gave me language to describe the value of the perspectives and natural ways of working that I have leaned into over the course of my career. Understanding these strengths has enhanced my ability to confidently explain my viewpoints and offer fresh ideas.


Vanessa acted as a guide throughout the coaching sessions, and asked thoughtful, intentional questions that helped me reflect on why it is so important for me to bring my authentic strengths to the forefront in the workplace. She provided tools that I have continued to use, including more focused analysis of my different strength areas. The thought-work before and after sessions also helped me to delve deeper into my understanding of my strength areas and determine opportunities to use them more. 

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Jessica Schneider

Director, Detention Program, Americans for Immigrant Justice

Miami Beach, FL

As a working professional I was often taught to focus on my weaknesses in an effort to engage in professional development and self-improvement. The problem with this model is that I was ignoring my strengths and all of the amazing things that I intuitively do well. Working with BloomRise really showed me how much I was undervaluing my strengths. Once I shifted my focus to what I was doing well and how to cultivate my natural gifts and talents, everything suddenly felt much easier and lighter, as if I was going with the grain instead of against it. What you put your attention towards grows so focusing on my strengths was a powerful paradigm shift in both my professional and personal life.




Marseille, France

As a foreign criminal defense attorney trying to move back to the US, I decided to work with Vanessa to understand better how to use my story and background to achieve my dreams. Having a lot of insecurities coming from my "different" or "atypical" background, the work with Vanessa made me realize that is precisely where lie my greatest strengths. From the way I express myself (whether it's my words or my body language) to the way I think and analyze situations, every parcel of it has value because this is an authentic version of my personality coming to life. From that, I feel there are tremendous possibilities of growing in my professional career while using my difference. Although this realization is huge, Vanessa makes it come to you in such a natural and almost effortless way!


Leah O.

Singer and Actor

New York, NY

I met Vanessa at a time when my world had been turned upside down by COVID.  I was struggling to find clarity on how to pivot in a career that had seen my professional opportunities evaporate overnight.  Talking with Vanessa helped me focus my attention back on me and my core desires.  She didn't just listen, she listened to understand.  She asked the exact right questions to help me gain clarity to move forward in my life in a way that felt authentic to me and was in keeping with my gifts, talents, and desires.




As a practicing lawyer with over 20 years of experience, I found my focus lagging and my motivation for legal practice declining over the past year. I heard Vanessa on a podcast speaking about the Clifton Strengths Assessment. I am so glad I took the test and worked with Vanessa afterwards to help me interpret the results and apply the nuanced and in-depth findings from this assessment to clarify my situation. With Vanessa's one on one coaching, I was able to quickly identify my areas of strength to build on, and my areas of weakness to avoid. I am re-energized and excited about my work in a way I have not been for a long time. Thank you Vanessa!



Dallas, TX

Vanessa came to a true understanding of my background, skills, and preferences in order to help push me forward in my thinking on next steps. Working with Vanessa has provided me a fantastic “springboard” for the next stages of my professional career. She is an outstanding listener, questioner, and supporter — i.e. an outstanding coach!



Registered Nurse

Mom + Baby Coach


Working with Vanessa created a sense of calm and understanding. Her ability to help me honor who I am, maximize my strengths, and to approach barriers as informative not as a weakness was so enlightening. Vanessa’s poise and expertise is truly next level.

Team Testimonials
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Marian Grace Braccia

Director, LL.M. in Trial Advocacy
at Temple Law School
Philadelphia, PA

I've worked with Vanessa for the past three years to prepare for each upcoming school year where I'm educating experienced law practitioners in a graduate legal program. Not only does she administer and analyze the Clifton Strengths Assessment result for each class of students, but then she coaches me on how best to communicate with them, reach them, motivate them, and give them the environment where they will thrive as their most effective and persuasive professional. I have experienced tremendous personal growth in analyzing my own strengths and rethinking what some would consider "weaknesses" as personal attributes that actually make me a commanding and confident leader.

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Sarah Cottrell

Founder and Lawyer Career Coach, Former Lawyer LLC

I would recommend a Pod with Vanessa to any program leader who wants to give their program participants the gift of deeply understanding what makes them tick. The individualized attention she provides led to invaluable insights that each person who participated in the Pod will be taking with them into the next phase of our work together.

Client Testimonials - Team Coaching

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Loraine Martinez Bellamy

Life & Business Coach
Boston, MA

I have had the pleasure of bringing on Vanessa as a guest coach into three rounds of my business mastermind for early entrepreneurs. I will continue to prioritize a Strengths Session in future semesters of the mastermind because it helps my clients discover and own their unique skills in life and business. That knowledge and certainty increases their confidence in the service they provide, which translates quickly into success in their business.


Vanessa devotes herself to the needs of the group, and is amazing at pivoting and "reading the room" so that each person gets exactly what they need from the group session. She creates a safe space for my clients to be transparent and challenges them to think about things differently. The session is a breath of fresh air and a true delight for this strengths-obsessed maximizer. Thank you!

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Mia Lamotte

Brand Strategist and Transformation Coach

Raleigh, North Carolina

Working with Vanessa is delightful; there is a lot of light energy that comes from working with her.  I worked with another coach who utilized the Strengths Assessment but initially pushed it aside thinking it was BS!  I became interested in bringing the Strengths Assessment to my clients and wanted to know more.  Vanessa showed me how interpreting the results was actually much deeper than I thought and how the way I had interpreted my assessment results on my own was not entirely accurate.  It was amazing.


By the time Vanessa presented to my clients, I had a better understanding of myself and my own zone of genius and am now better able to understand my clients' strengths.  My "aha" moment was that I could double down on my strengths instead of trying to be all things to everyone. That, to me, is one of the most practical results that anyone could ever get in their lives.  I highly recommend Vanessa's services because until you know yourself well, it's going to be really hard to establish a brand.

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