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Networking is connecting authentically with people 

00:00 / 29:58

A conversation with
Niamh Walsh

Also available in

Laura María Calderón Cuevas

Véronique Lerch

Brua |



In Episode 4, Niamh Walsh, a leadership and career coach, looks back at what brought her to coaching and at how her human rights education underpins her work.


Niamh, a graduate from the European Master in Human Rights and Democratisation, started working as a coach and mentor after a more conventional career with the OSCE and the EU.  A move to Oxford and the lockdown caused by the pandemic helped her to pivot from this international career working for inter-governmental organisations to coaching. “I came to coaching very much from my own perspective in terms of experiencing a coach. When I was taking on management roles myself, I was coaching informally and did not have a word for it at that stage. Now I look back, I was coaching and mentoring. It was a part of the job I enjoyed a lot. It brought me a lot of fulfilment. I could see how it impacted others.”


She insists on the importance to stay in touch with your alumni network and gives examples on how it made a difference in her career path to ensure that she always remained involved in the community even when work does not leave you with much headspace. For instance, she found the coach she employed for herself through the mentoring programme of the EMAlumni Association.


She thinks everybody should consider themselves as a coach and consider what coaching skills can bring to their work environment and what it can bring to themselves as a manager, as a leader, as a colleague, as a team member. She describes some of the essentials of coaching: the ability to listen properly, non-judgement, positive action and empowerment.


She busts the myth that networking is only for extroverts and defines networking as connecting authentically with people with mutual interests and establishing a real connection.


Looking back, she wished that when she studied somebody told her about the importance of career planning – taking time to think about the type of career you want and setting goals – and also told her that “it is not all about getting a permanent job at the UN and that there are so many paths you could take to have a fullfilling impactful career.”


The book she reads almost every year: Viktor Frankl, Man Search for Meaning

The book she recommends concerning coaching: Maria Forleo, Everything is figureoutable

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Meet Nero who is the biggest pick-me up for Niamh. After years moving regularly, being settled in the UK allowed her to have a dog.


Networking is key! Networking is about establishing a real connection.

Niamh Walsh


Leadership and career coach and mentor helping early to mid-career international affairs professionals take the next step forward in their careers. She is Director at the Oxford Coach Ltd. Prior to this she worked in senior advisory roles for the EU delegation in North Macedonia, The OSCE in Vienna and the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine.
Alumna of GC Europe
Follow her on LinkedIn: Niamh Walsh

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