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Graduate Wellbeing Coach

Nikki Fahey

Nikki Fahey photo

Kia ora, my name is Nikki Fahey and I am the Graduate Wellbeing Coach (GWC) within the Graduate Research School. The overall aim of GWC is to help you maximise your academic performance by working with you to improve your well-being, work/life balance and productivity.

All sessions are confidential.

I offer 1:1 coaching in person or via Zoom, free of charge, to any University of Otago postgraduate student. I regard you as the expert in your own life and use non-judgemental questions to help you determine what is important to you and to help you create a plan of action.

I am a registered Occupational Therapist so sessions will focus on what you are going to do.

Some common reasons students present to me are lost motivation, procrastination, and feeling overwhelmed, managing the supervisory relationship, navigating University processes, to debrief, to help manage mental or physical health, to manage life stressors affecting study, to make plans or schedules, to set goals, or to develop a good routine.

I encourage you to come as a proactive and preventive measure to make a plan for getting through your postgraduate study.

If needed, I can also provide strategies or advice which may help, or direct you to other services or resources that may be of benefit.

I work closely with the Student Health team and it is helpful for me to know if you are accessing support from their Mental Health and Wellbeing Team. Having your consent to share information helps us to provide a better service. Please let me know if this is okay with you.

I use a whiteboard to capture what you have said in the session and, with your permission, I take a photo to save notes to a confidential file to remind me of our sessions if you return. Sometimes I add an additional brief note if the whiteboard does not capture relevant information.

I also provide workshops on well-being and performance related topics. Keep an eye on the personal development section of the Graduate Research School (GRS) online portal for workshops which may be of interest. I strongly encourage you to attend the workshops for Masters' or Doctoral candidates.
GRS Online Portal for Professional and Researcher Development
Visit the Personal Development section of the GRS Online Portal

The other aspect of my role is providing advice and support to staff who work with postgraduate students. Staff are welcome to contact me if there are any concerns about a student’s mental health or wellbeing, or academic performance.

I am based at 103 St David Street at the Graduate Research School (the wooden house next to the St David footbridge). I work Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm.

The only instances I will ever break confidentiality is if you indicate that you are at risk to yourself or others, and then it is my duty of care to do so. I will inform you if I intend to do so as I prefer to do so in a way that is agreeable to you.

I am currently working on a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of Graduate Wellbeing Coaching so you may be asked to participate in a voluntary survey. Any information provided will have any identifying information removed when reporting results.

Booking link

Book an appointment

Note: Staff are welcome to book an appointment on behalf of students with their consent.

Contact details

For further information or to refer a student, please contact me:

Tel +64 3 479 4327
Room G.06, 103 St David Street
Hours: Monday–Thursday, 8:30am–5:00pm