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Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles in Diversity: Student Success Coach, Marcela Mora

September 19, 2023

Get to Know Noodle Student Success Coach, Marcela Mora

When something doesn’t go according to plan we work together to turn failure into an opportunity to learn—always developing our existing strengths.

‍Marcela Mora is a Student Success Coach at Noodle. Born in Chicago, IL and raised in Mexico, she decided to move to Massachusetts when she was 18 years old to pursue bigger dreams. Marcela has a Physical Therapy educational background and shares education has always been important to her because it brings a world full of opportunities and possibilities. She attributes a lot of her resiliency, consistency and discipline to the lessons from her father. Now here at Noodle, she supports students by helping them navigate and balance their academic lives with their personal lives. She also supports her team by being a good listener and by remaining open to learning from others. 

What elements or traits does a great leader exhibit?

A  great leader is someone with self-awareness, courage, respect, empathy and gratitude. I am sure it is very important for a great leader to develop their mental energy into vision, their physical energy into discipline, emotional energy into passion and spiritual energy into conscience—-always working on themselves to be able to lead others.

When you think of great leadership, who comes to mind? Why?

When I think of great leadership the first person to pop into my mind is my Dad. My dad is the best example I have about how discipline, consistency and patience helps you accomplish anything you put your mind into. I remember when I was a kid having conversations with my dad about my dreams. He would grab a piece of paper and show me how to break down my dreams into achievable goals. Growing up with that mindset has helped me see the world from a different perspective. After six months of moving here,  I remember I wanted to go back home— to my comfort zone. I called my Dad that day and I explained to him how I was feeling. He reminded me that dreams are not easy to accomplish and everything that is worth having requires time, discipline and energy. I always share this perspective with my students. I remind them that motivation doesn’t last forever, but when we are consistent, even without motivation, that is when discipline starts and we are able to see the outcomes.

How has your personal leadership style evolved? 

This is a great question. Even though I am very young, I’ve been through very hard situations in my personal life that helped me become who I am today. Being conscious and taking full  responsibility for my actions and life has led me to accomplish everything I dream about. For many years I lived in a bubble,  but after leaving home I learned that life is not easy and that all my decisions and actions have consequences. I am aware that the place you live, the people you surround yourself with and your environment have a great impact on my life and the decisions I make.  This is why I always try to be careful on how I spend my time. I am very grateful for all the amazing people I have worked with for the past 8 years. I love to learn from them and that helps me grow.

What is it about your background or career experiences that successfully positioned you for your role at Noodle? Describe that role.

My background is in physical therapy and clinical settings. One of the things I love most is  helping people. This is what motivated me when I was studying PT school. I started working in Higher Ed as an intern to have extra money for college. After that experience I learned more about different accounts and having direct communication with students I realized I really enjoyed my job. I’ve been working as a Success Coach for a few years now. I help my students with time management, school-life balance and I share with them different ways to be successful without compromising their mental health.

How do you support the success of your team?

We have great communication and we complement each other all the time. I am a good listener and they know I am always there for them. When something doesn’t go according to plan we work together to turn failure into an opportunity to learn, always developing existing strengths.

Describe how your career has been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places or experiences.

I am sure every person we meet in life teaches us something and vice versa. Going to school in Mexico and then traveling around the world has taught me how to always think outside of the box. For me every problem is an opportunity to learn and to grow.

What are some of the most effective tools in your leadership arsenal?

I am pretty assertive. My communication, strategic mindset, and confidence in decision making are all tools for me. 

Please tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.

Most of my coaching sessions with my students in Houston are done in Spanish!

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