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Meet Shannon O’Brien of Whole U. in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon O’Brien.

Shannon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started Whole U. in 2012, after working in Higher Education – at Harvard and MIT – for 7 years. I saw a huge gap in the “career coaching market” – and wanted to create solutions to the existential questions we all ask ourselves — namely: “What should I do with my life!?”

I got to where I am by making it my life’s work – to help others find theirs. I am committed to high integrity, quality, and transparency – and I believe it’s that mindset that has helped Whole U. gain such high esteem from clients.

I am also the Producer and Host of Whole U. TV on YouTube – in which I try to harness the power of media to inspire viewers to “live a balanced, purposeful life.”

I outline my story in this interview, which may be helpful in understanding my motivations: 

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being an entrepreneur consists of highs and lows… But I prefer to call it “growing pains” (rather than “struggles” 😉 I am very driven by this process of learning, growing, and evolving. The lessons I’ve been learning are both technical (from building my website, to setting up an accounting system, etc.)… And Personal (from setting boundaries… to managing my time effectively).

Please tell us about Whole U.
Whole U. is ranked as #1 Career Coach, and #1 Life Coach in Boston, on the review site Yelp.
Whole U. is unique because of it’s:

1- Holistic approach to career and life strategy – encouraging holistic health, career success, and proactive citizenship. Whole U. offers advising and workshops that support a community of people who wish to find the clarity, confidence, and connections to pursue their life’s work.

2- International perspective I bring to my work. I was born in the US, grew up 10 years in Europe, and have since traveled to 35 countries – continuing to open my mind to new people, cultures…. and most importantly: What is inherent in each of us. I have worked with clients from Moscow to Tokyo, and Tunisia, to Cyprus… and I love learning about our differences, but especially – recognizing our similarities. I was influenced by spending my formative years at the International School of Geneva, Switzerland, and then later receiving a B.A. in intercultural communications from Boston College; an M.A. in Peace Studies, as a Rotary World Peace Fellow in Tokyo, Japan; and a Master’s in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University.

I am most proud of the fact that clients continue to say that Whole U. has helped positively transform their lives.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I grew up in Switzerland, so it was relatively easy to travel around Europe. My parents, 2 brothers, and I, would pack into the car, and go visit sites in Germany, etc. My favorite were the castles of “Crazy King Ludwig” of Bavaria. During the car rides, we would pass the time by playing games like “in my suitcase.” (Come to think of it that was the “closest” (literally) that my family has ever been — considering we have been scattered across the globe ever since! England… Japan… Hong Kong… Colorado… Florida… Peru.)


  • Whole U. Vision / Assessment Call = $145

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ashley Daige

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