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Culture > Entertainment

Meet CEO, Author and Vandy Alum Katie DePaola at the Be Fearless Summit!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Vanderbilt chapter.

“Your life is probably not going to look the way you think it’s going to look, and that is a good thing; we need to have room for surprise. If things don’t work out the way we plan, the best thing we can do is be open to the magic and purpose life brings us.” – Katie DePaola 

Katie DePaola is currently the CEO of Inner Glow Circle, an all-women accredited life coach training company. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2009 and recently released her book titled At Least You Look Good: Learning to Glow Through What You Go Through. She will be speaking at the Be Fearless Summit at Vanderbilt on May 22nd. Her Campus Vanderbilt had the incredible opportunity to talk to Katie and learn more about her journey and where she is today. 

Tell me about Inner Glow Circle and the work you do there.

“IGC was founded in 2015 and is a coach training and certification program,” Katie says. Here, Katie and a team of women certify other women to become professional coaches. “We believe the future belongs to the woman entrepreneur, and are focused on committing to help women start and maintain their businesses.” At ICG, all training is conducted virtually and focuses on enhancing the skills that many women already possess, such as active listening and active questioning, so they can understand how to monetize these skills. 

What is the best part about your job?

“It’s definitely seeing people’s transformations,” Katie states. “It’s incredible to see clients come in so scared and so afraid to talk about themselves, and then they hit the ground running and before you know it, they’ve built a six-figure business.” In fact, she had one client who went into the IGC program homeless while supporting several children. After graduating from her six-month training program, she was running a six-figure business. 

What inspired you to start your own business?

“After graduating from Vanderbilt, I had a few different jobs and was trying to figure out what I wanted,” Katie mentions. At one point, she was working at her own spray tanning business while balancing another job and education. “Here, women started opening up to me about their life stories. They say that hairstylists and spray tanners know all the secrets in the world, and this was true,” Katie states. Katie realized she had a natural gift because people were being so open with her. This sparked her idea to become a life coach and start her own business. After going through training and becoming a certified coach herself, Katie decided to launch her own business IGC, to train others. 

What inspired you to speak at the Be Fearless Summit? Tell me a little bit about the talk you will give. 

“Alexa, the founder of Be Fearless Summit, and I go way back,” Katie explains. “We have networked together in the past and have always supported each other. When I saw she was hosting a Summit at Vanderbilt, I felt I had to speak there.” Katie will give a talk on the Investing for the Future panel and will speak on getting paid to be yourself. “The true joy in life is getting paid to be yourself,” Katie says. As an author and CEO, Katie has found her passion and learned how to get paid while doing what she loves. During the talk, Katie will give tips on how people can get paid to be themselves while working for themselves. 

What is your new book, At Least You Look Good: Learning to Glow Through What You Go Through about? 

Katie’s book documents her journey beginning in 2014 when she faced a series of big life tragedies. At the same time she was building her business. Her book tells the story of how she transformed her obstacles from a hindrance into a great asset and opportunity to learn how to “glow” through what she was going through. Explaining the title of the book, Katie says, “the title is at least you look good. So many people will go up to you and say, you don’t look like you’re going through a lot, but what does going through a lot look like?” Check out Katie’s book here: https://www.innerglowcircle.com/book/

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who has just graduated from college and wants to follow an unconventional career path? 

“You really have to believe in yourself,” Katie emphasizes “and be stubborn about how much you believe in yourself and don’t want to listen to others that disagree with you.” Katie’s inspiration comes from a personal story of her battle with Lyme disease. “I found a cure to Lyme disease, but thirty doctors whom I visited told me I never would. This is the level of confidence you need to have in yourself. You have to be able to say, maybe they are wrong.” 

Follow Katie DePaola at itskatiedepaola, Be Fearless Summit at befearlesssummit, and Her Campus Vandy at hercampusvandy to learn more about Katie and her speech at the Summit!

Eryn Lin

Vanderbilt '21

Economics major, Business and Chinese Culture & Language minor "People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou
Madison Edwards

Vanderbilt '21

Madison is a Campus Trendsetter and Campus Correspondent. She is currently majoring in Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. Madison enjoys traveling and trying new foods, and can always be found drinking a good cup of coffee :)