Designing Professional Change

five students with two women in focus listening

Course Features

Explore your professional purpose

This Executive Education course provides you with the tools needed to catalyze your desired professional transformation while fostering capacities and mindsets needed to be an effective practitioner and facilitator of design thinking. You will learn how to use adaptive leadership techniques and design thinking to develop empathy, challenge assumptions, and move beyond routine patterns and ways of thinking towards a more expansive mindset. You will learn to play with ideas and solutions, embrace risk and failure, and systematically create a plan to hack professional growth and lead others towards greater innovation. Join us to design your professional change.

Every course includes:

  • Industry-leading faculty
  • Collaborative learning
  • Research-driven results
  • Lifelong connections
  • Practical applications
  • Custom solutions

Program Details

Who should attend

  • Individuals of all career stages looking to apply design thinking tools to realize professional transformation and foster core capacities and mindsets to become an effective practitioner and facilitator of design thinking
  • Rising managers who want to institute change that will move them forward in their careers and
  • Professionals who struggle with breaking habits and enacting changes

What you will learn

  • Identify psychological barriers and leverage personal strengths and resources to get yourself unstuck and on your way to designing professional change
  • Engage in reflective activities that build empathy, support goal development, define your professional goals, and ideate possible paths forward
  • Create an action plan to help achieve your professional goals


nicole ja portrait

Nicole Ja, PhD

Executive Education Faculty, Carey Business School

Nicole provides innovative consulting that leverages human-centered design, as well as research and evaluation tools and techniques to build the capacity of people, organizations, and communities to create change. She holds an MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University. Nicole’s research has focused on self-development, motivation, and social connectedness, and has been featured in Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Health Education Research, and Psychology Today.

Within the Design Thinking world, Nicole leverages the unique strengths inherent within people, organizations, communities, and systems, helping to identify untapped resources, unexplored territories, and new opportunities that unlock the potential for innovation. She engages stakeholders in human-centered approaches that help them move beyond routine patterns and ways of thinking towards an expansive mindset that includes playing with ideas and solutions and creating a plan for hacking growth and development.

As an Executive Education faculty at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Nicole teaches open-enrollment and customized workshops that include Designing Professional Change, Designing Personal Change, Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving, and Designing Wellness. Her teachings have also been offered as part of the Carey Business School’s Academy for Women and Leadership, as well as the Academy for Emerging Leaders. Email: