Jullien Gordon on Using a Teaching Degree in a Business Career

In Chapter 15 of 21 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, business coach Jullien Gordon answers "How Have You Used a Masters Degree in Education in Your Business Career?"  Earning a teaching degree at Stanford helps Gordon better understand how individuals learn and how educational systems facilitate learning.  This shapes how he teaches career education in his business work.  Jullien Gordon is a high performance coach and consultant to organizations, individuals and teams who want to increase employee performance, motivation, engagement and retention.  He earned a BA from UCLA, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Masters of Education from Stanford University.


Erik Michielsen: How have you used your master’s degree in education in your business career?

Jullien Gordon: Well, at my core I’m a teacher, and one thing that I learned in terms of my master’s degree in education was how people learn. And so that’s been core to the way I develop my curriculum, the way I develop workshop experiences. It’s just been extremely valuable in that way. Ultimately I want to expand career education, I think it’s lacking in the same way that I think financial literacy is lacking in our K-12 education, in our college education, and our adult education. Why don’t people know how to do a budget? Why don’t people know how to manage the difference between assets and liabilities? Why don’t people know how to navigate their own career?

For me it’s the same thing and while I haven’t found a way to fully scale career education yet, so that people can manage their own careers and stop relying on their organization to manage their careers for them or their boss to manage their careers for them, I want to—ultimately I want to empower people to be able to navigate their careers on their own. And so that’s why that education at Stanford was so important to me because I understood how educational systems work, and how individuals learn, so I understood the ultimate infrastructure and I understood how people actually receive and retain information, and that shaped my teaching and my structuring of the work that I do.