Marisa Schuler

Internal and Organizational Systems Coach and Consultant


Marisa Schuler HeadshotMy name is Marisa Schuler, and I’m a systems coach and consultant working in the Baltimore-Washington area and beyond (virtually).

I believe that humans are fundamentally good. I believe we all seek to build lives, communities, businesses and governments that are peaceful, purposeful, and prosperous. But sometimes, we get lost. Sometimes, we fall out alignment. We forget who we are, what our purpose is, and why we’re doing what we’re doing.

I have been lost several times in my life. I was first lost as a child, when I discovered my family and community falling apart in the midst of my parents’ very public divorce. I was again lost as a young adult, when after “succeeding” by society’s standards, I struggled to define my own purpose in this world (otherwise known as ‘the Quarter-Life Crisis’). Both times I could sense the chaos internally – of going through the motions or, equally painful, “running in many directions” yet “going nowhere.” I was living in a chronic state of confusion and overwhelm, questioning who I really was and what I really wanted.

As I studied myself, a gift emerged. I realized I was becoming very adept at detecting when systems, both internal and external, were out of alignment. I began to see the parallels between the imbalances in my inner system and those of the systems around me.

Nowhere was this truer than in the organization where I worked. Like me, my division lacked a clear, inspiring, long-term purpose. The definition of “success” was driven by external standards, not ones that we had created for ourselves. Just as I lost sight of my own values and what was important to me, my organization lacked its own declared values. We both lacked clear boundaries – or as we call them in the organizational systems world, a set of operating principles. We were both motivated by a sense of “competition” (with other divisions and companies) and we both had a scarcity mindset – we thought that giving meant sacrifice, taking was the only way to survive, and that failure was imminent — or at the very least, that success was very far away.

Two years ago, I uprooted my life to design some new systems. I started internally. I did hard, intensive, inner work in order to bring myself back into alignment. I now help other individuals – mostly young professionals like myself – to do the same.

I also began to answer my own call to help restore the systems of the world around me. I started by helping my own organization who had, like me, lost its way. I began by identifying the root sources of misalignment. I then designed custom solutions to bring the organization back into balance – one leader and one team at a time.

I’m currently in the process of becoming a certified coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF) after completing over 100 hours of ICF-accredited training with the Co-Active Training Institute. I also have 75 hours of mediation training through Community Mediation Maryland, and am an experienced facilitator. I’ve completed graduate level coursework in negotiation and conflict management, and come with an extensive professional background in the innovation and chief of staff spaces.

My goal is to help individuals and organizations of all kinds identify their true purpose, create an inspiring long-term vision, and build sustainable human operating systems on the path to solving real problems, prospering, and ultimately, changing the world.



Internal Systems Coaching

Your entire life, success was defined for you. And you achieved it. You got into college, landed the internships, and finally – mecca – the full-time job. You started earning real income. “The Plan” is complete. But now…what’s next?

And so it begins…the dreaded, universal (!) Quarter-Life Crisis.

You start the anxious process of intense, internal questioning. You experiment with a new job or a side hustle. You apply to grad school, seeking more structure. You get promoted and feel a temporary sense of external validation. Or maybe you have an embarrassing career setback, and feel ashamed. You realize you’re being asked to make choices – that despite being told your whole life that *anything is possible* – doors are closing, sometimes before you even realize it.

You start to date, maybe even commit, and suddenly become more aware of your relational patterns (perhaps some of them, not so good). You begin to reflect on your past and how it might impact your future. You consider therapy, yoga, community groups – anything that will bring you answers.

But I have a message for you. The answers are not outside. They lie inside of you – within what I call your “internal system.” Together, we’ll work to bring your system back into true alignment, to design a life that you REALLY want.

Signs your internal system may be out of balance include:

  • You feel lost, confused and overwhelmed
  • You struggle to trust yourself and your intuition
  • The concept of ‘imposter syndrome’ resonates with you
  • You feel pressure to have it all “figured out”
  • You’re afraid of “closing doors” or losing options for your future
  • You fear you won’t ever reach your potential or that you’re somehow “falling behind”
  • You often compare yourself to your others
  • You’re anticipating or have recently undergone a major environmental change (job change, layoff, move)
  • Your relational system has changed (new relationship, divorce, breakups, death)
While I primarily work with young professionals in their 20s and 30s, I’ve worked with individuals of all ages experiencing crisis and transition. Contact me for a complimentary, 30-minute sample session today.

“After graduate school in the arts, I felt adrift and foggy. I felt paralyzed moving forward in my career, let alone how I wanted to spend my day to day. I was not expecting Marisa’s coaching to alter my trajectory as much as it did. She helped me clarify my values, without making me feel pigeonholed. Her coaching process is equal parts grounding and expansive. She encouraged me to dream bigger than I ever thought possible while still holding me to actionable, daily steps. I now have practical tools to see beyond my perceived limitations and live the life I’ve always secretly dreamed about.” – Hayley H., Los Angeles

After a sudden layoff in the tech industry, I found myself back on the job market, overwhelmed and uncertain about what the next few months would entail. Marisa’s expertise as a coach were pivotal to me finding the job I wanted. No longer was I facing this daunting task alone, I had a sounding board who helped my hone my messaging, practice for interviews, and evaluate my options throughout the process. She strikes a wonderful balance of creating a warm and approachable environment with keeping you accountable to your goals and ideate on possibilities you may never have been aware of. In my case, I walked away with a job and the outline of a passion project that I hope to work with her on in the future.” – Meg Durcan, Implementation Consultant, San Diego

“Although I was initially hesitant to work with a life coach, I took a gamble on Marisa that paid off big time. From the outset of our relationship, Marisa put me at ease with her professionalism and easy-to-understand methodology. She empowered me to craft bold visions and take an assertive approach to designing my future. While working together, we developed innovative strategies that helped me build self-confidence, form new friendships, and elevate my business. I highly recommend Marisa’s coaching services.” – Conor Flynn, Program Manager and Founder, Connecticut


Organizational Systems Coaching

Many teams and organizational systems fall out of alignment and into chaos. Sometimes the chaos is obvious in the rate of burnout or lack of results; other times, it’s hidden in the sheer size of an organization. Whether you’re a founder of startup with tons of vision but no operational background, a leader of a team with strong technical abilities but a lack of management training, or an organizational executive whose employee engagement scores are chronically low (or not existent because you don’t measure), I believe there are key signs and symptoms of systemic misalignment:

  • Constantly changing priorities
  • You or your team are “running in many directions” yet “going nowhere”
  • Employees are not excited to be at work
  • Evidence of internal conflict and resentment
  • Lack of clear professional guidelines
  • Top-down, command and control culture is the norm
  • Product is not being shipped (product organizations)
  • New products and services are not being launched and tested (even in nonprofits)
  • Knowledge is hoarded or siloed
If your organization exhibits any of the above signs or symptoms, there is a strong likelihood that you’re either missing out on enormous benefits, or at high risk for failure. To tackle, I utilize the following process:
  1. Assess your System: I utilize a proprietary organizational system assessment combined with custom-designed surveys, focus groups, 1:1 interviews, and customer interviews to identify the key gaps and opportunity areas in your human operating system.
  2. Generate Recommendations: Based on your needs assessment, I’ll generate a set of actionable recommendations that will show you where you can move the needle on your organization’s or team’s performance.
  3. Implement High-Impact Solutions: As an experienced coach, facilitator, mediator, and consultant, I will help implement the solutions your organization needs to become more flexible, resilient, and profitable.
Solutions might include a mix of executive, manager or team coaching; custom leadership workshops (purpose and vision-setting, strategy, conflict management); implementing the OKR model; design thinking workshops; roles and responsibilities consultation; team process design; and more.


Prices available upon request. Email with your area of interest for more information or to schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation.

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