Click to read testimonials about Vega Mala Consulting’s impact:

Intentional Life Planning Workshop
Organizational Development
Dependable Strengths Articulation Process





“Working with Vega as my professional coach has been so incredible! Through just a few 1:1 sessions, Vega helped me discover, articulate, and own my personal, dependable strengths and helped me understand the type of work I want and need to be doing to feel fulfilled. I have so much more clarity around what to look for in my next job (or as Vega says, “how to spend my time”) all thanks to Vega’s leadership, compassion, and skillful guidance. She’s warm, funny, and, above all, excellent at her job–which makes you feel even more like you’re on the right path with her because it’s clear she also loves what she does! I’m so grateful my friends recommended Vega to me and, now, I can’t recommend her enough to others.” — Annie Lipsitz, Freelance Non-Profit Fundraiser and Grant Writer, Social Justice Advocate and Collaborator

“Working with Vega has been an absolute pleasure and a major boost to my professional career, my confidence, and to my ability to manage stress and manage my time better. What I liked best about working with Vega is that she was a great listener who could help me sort out and orient myself in both my personal and professional life. I particularly enjoyed the strategies and plans we had that allowed me to see the great wealth of resources I have at my disposal already.

“Vega’s background in business and her knowledge and commitment to LGBTQ communities of color was something that I highly valued as she was able to see where I was coming from in my professional and academic pursuits. It was extremely useful that she could give great insider perspective, which straddled these two areas. I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking to truly build a great path for themselves and who would like to work with someone who is reliable, helpful and can guide anyone who has a drive to do great things, big or small.” — Sydney Baloue, Sciences Po – London School of Economics | MA-MSc Urban Policy

“Vega was a welcome addition to my personal and professional development journey. She is an extraordinary coach whose keen listening skills created multiple opportunities for me to identify and move through barriers that were keeping me from fully engaging in my work AND my life. If you are looking for an executive coach who is collaborative and leads you to very practical plans to reach your goals, Vega is the coach for you.” — Kim Hunt, Executive Director, Pride Action Tank

“Over a several months-long coaching engagement, Vega supported me compassionately and skillfully at every step of the way — from articulating my goal, to charting a path of action, to readjusting when I hit setbacks, to helping me celebrate and learn from reaching my goal. Vega’s coaching approach was instrumental to my successful outcomes. She clearly listened and thought deeply about my challenges and thoughts. Vega used different approaches in each coaching session while also adjusting in the moment based on what emerged for me. She balanced this variation and flexibility with regular touchstones or rituals she built into our sessions, like centering and reflecting at the start, and always checking in on action plans and setting new goals. Vega’s ability to facilitate my thinking and decision-making process in relation to my personal values was particularly impactful for me as someone whose life decisions are inextricably tied to my social values. Throughout our entire coaching relationship, I always felt like I was in the “driver’s seat”, with every decision in my hands and Vega never telling me “what to do” or passing judgement. Not only am I thrilled at the progress and outcomes I was able to make through this coaching period, but I am also equally grateful to know that Vega is available as a resource in the future, and to be able to recommend her to others as a coach.” — Jeanne Rewa, Experiential Trainer/Facilitator/Organizer, and Board Member, Training for Change

“About a year ago I was in a state of transition in my life. Vega was the most supportive, thoughtful, and empathetic coach I could have chosen to help me during an otherwise stressful time. She has a wealth of knowledge about the nonprofit sector, organizational dynamics, and experience that she brings to the table. But none of her experience is imposed on you as a client. Vega is truly a guide. I went from feeling anxious and underprepared before our call to, at the end, feeling inspired and in control of my situation. If you’re trying to make a change in your life and you aren’t sure where to start, I really recommend coaching with Vega.” — Anj Chaudhry, Board Member, NQAPIA (Nationally Queer Asian/Pacific Islander Alliance)

“Vega is an very thoughtful and perceptive coach! I worked with her as I was contemplating a significant career transition. Over the course of four phone sessions, my conversations with Vega supported me to introspect on larger questions about my life purpose and vision. Her questions helped me imagine a sense of possibility. At the same time, she supported me to remain focused on taking practical steps and making short-term goals to move forward. And through it all, I was very much in charge of my own process. I highly recommend Vega as a coach for career and life decisions/transitions. I also strongly recommend attending her Intentional Life Planning Workshop!” — Sahar Romani, Poet and Lecturer in Anthropology, New York University

“Vega was awesome to work with. She encouraged me to speak candidly, and addressed my insecurities as I voiced them. Though friendly and open, Vega also takes coaching very seriously. It was easy to see during my conversations with her that she is incredibly passionate about the work that she does, and she feels strongly about the success of her students. Great experience!” –Brianna, Poet and education professional, Chicago, IL

“Vega is an amazing listener and a very soothing personality. I wasn’t sure what to expect from our Q&A session but she eliminated my nervousness with her knowledge of the non-profit arena. She opened me eyes to other avenues in non-profit to explore and helped me to manage my job search time better with her action plan that she designed for me.  I was very impressed by her sincerity in my future goals. I look forward to working with her again.” — Marie, Nonprofit leader, Charlotte, NC

“Vega is an highly skilled coach, who brings a wealth of experience to her work with clients. I worked with her regarding both personal and professional issues where I truly felt stuck. At the outset of our work together, Vega made it clear that she wasn’t going to “tell me what to do.” Instead, she would actively listen and make appropriate suggestions for exercises or frameworks that would empower me to work through the challenges on my own. Although I was initially skeptical that the answers could be uncovered from within, once our sessions started, that concern was alleviated. After every session I felt like I truly had an important realization or breakthough and was excited to take the next step. Vega is an incredibly thoughtful, deliberate, and warm person, which makes it easy to approach sensitive subjects and talk about issues that may be hard to express. I would recommend her to anyone who is working through a tough challenge and looking for a fresh perspective.” — Nonprofit professional, Philadelphia, PA

“Vega excels at providing a holistic coaching experience. I felt instantly comfortable with her; she is very thoughtful and calming. Vega helped me realize my current feelings of burnout and identified how to avoid this in the future. Additionally, she helped me pinpoint the one crucial skill I need to focus on to move my desired career forward. We then created a plan so that I can continue to develop this skill. She also had great insights about going back to school, should I choose that path.” — Julia, Advertising professional, Brooklyn, NY

“Vega was great, she was so helpful in helping me hone some key talking points that better reflected my work experience and helping me communicate in a more professional, articulate way. She also worked with me on some interview prep run throughs – which went a long way in helping me find my current job!” — Heather, Project Manager, Seattle, WA




Intentional Life Planning Workshop

“This weekend, after months of what felt like directionlessness, I spent a day in DC, thinking about my life at a great Intentional Life Planning workshop put together by Mala Nagarajan and Vega Subramaniam. I was able to come up with a life mission statement (always in the works, of course), that really charges me up. I think it’s been spinning around in my head for a long time, but I needed a day with some structure for it to coherently come out onto paper. I’m feeling grateful to the universe for bringing just the perfect help at the perfect time. I feel like I now have a “north star” to gauge whether I’m on the right path or not. Thanks, Mala and Vega.” — Deepali Gokhale, Software Consultant, Alexandria, VA

“The Intentional Life Planning Workshop was a masterfully crafted space of reflection. I was challenged to identify my core values and evaluate how those values lined up with what I thought I wanted out of life. Their questions reframed these common inquiries in a way that was clarifying and insightful. I was amazed when I was able to answer questions which had previously stumped me in a matter of hours. I am so thankful to Vega and Mala for expanding my worldview in a way that was caring, considerate and effective. I believe knowledge of self is fundamental for transformation and growth and this session allowed me to get a better understanding of myself.

Vega and Mala are creating a truly life-changing practice.” — Monae White, Former Special Projects Manager, White House Liaison Office

“I will admit that I was skeptical at first; “life planning” sounded too vague to actually be helpful. I’m glad I gave myself the chance to be proven wrong! I loved the day I spent at Mala & Vega’s Intentional Life Planning retreat. Organizers rarely take the time to organize our own lives, and this retreat was a chance to use the skills I typically only use in movement spaces on my own life – to vision, dream big, understand what drives me, and identify what I need. Since the retreat, I’ve prioritized pieces of my life that are actually essential to me – cooking, working out, making time for music. The retreat helped me reframe those pieces of my life as essential, and as non-negotiable as work – not just what I do when I need ‘self-care.'” — Sasha, Director of Organizing at national alliance

“The Intentional Life Planning workshop was just what I needed to pause, reconnect with my values, and learn concrete tools for aligning my life with those values. In the process I learned that planning, which I tend to have anxiety and stress about, can be done in a grounded, fun, joyful way, especially when facilitated by Vega and Mala. Their warmth, insight, authenticity, and the specific stories they shared from their own lives made the workshop accessible and welcoming. They are deeply committed to inclusivity and I felt at home in the workshop with many people of color, women, queer, trans, and gender-non-conforming folks. I left feeling connected to my purpose and equipped with goals and action steps to support my thriving.” — Associate Director of a national organizing nonprofit, Arlington, VA

“Vega and Mala’s Intentional Life Planning workshop was incredible. I have been in the midst of making some major changes in my life, and previously feeling very unsettled and uncertain about them. During and after the workshop I was able to connect to my values, to feel what I wanted and needed, and create a stronger picture of myself and my life. What an awesome gift! The series of activities that Vega and Mala have crafted lead so well into each other. The sequencing really helped me to see things differently, and access parts of myself I wouldn’t have otherwise. The workshop allowed for a lot of self-reflection time, and they held a beautiful space that felt really supportive to delve into that in. I left that day feeling clearer and stronger than I had in quite a long time … Since the workshop I’ve used the tools we got to stay focused on my life and my future plans, and to stay more present and notice more the ways that things in my life currently are lining up with my values. I really loved the personal stories from both facilitators. They modeled how they have used these tools in their own lives, and also how they’ve grown and changed them as they figure things out.” — Facilitator and Trainer, Washington, DC

“I’ve taken a lot of workshops over the years to help me home in on how to live an aligned life, but never before have I left a workshop feeling so remarkably at peace with myself and who I am. Vega and Mala start by asking about values and identifying what we need to thrive, and the insightful framing they offer makes it possible for us to honor our true and highest selves. I thought I knew all the tools for “figuring out” my priorities, but what Vega and Mala offered was totally new – and felt so right. They are the real deal. Thoughtful, reflective, compassionate, witty, inclusive, and so much fun, Vega and Mala show you what it’s like to live into your purpose by living into theirs.” — Freelancer, Arlington, VA

“The Intentional Life Planning Workshop is just what I needed to help me organize my thoughts and focus on what’s most important in my life. The agenda was jam-packed with exercises that helped me discover strengths and values I wasn’t aware I had, figure out where my time is going and how I can plan my days better, and create actionable goals for the next couple of months. It was also a day to spend with like-minded individuals who offered great insight, perspectives, and resources. It has been months since I attended my first workshop and I still go back to my notes from that day to remind myself of what I should be focusing on.” — Associate Director of a national association, Washington, DC

“Taking a full day to think about the future is just magical. We have this tendency to think the future is out there, out of our control. In reality, we’re creating our future every day.” — Communications Consultant, Washington, DC

“I’ve been reading my mission every day, and working toward my goal as I described it in my letter to myself. I’ve returned to the mission and values many times since the workshop in order to take my work on them beyond the workshop, and I intend to do this with other parts of the workshop too. The handouts are super helpful. The flow was stellar! Seamless! I’m wanting a second day now!” — Program Manager at a national nonprofit, Silver Spring, MD

“At first, I was wondering why it felt like I didn’t attend many [conference] sessions this year and then I remembered that it was because I spent 3 fantastic and productive hours with the two of you! Thanks for putting together such an important workshop.” — Nonprofit Professional, Washington, DC

“I’m using my time differently, attempting to do things that are closer to what I want to be doing.” — Nonprofit Professional, Washington, DC

“I’m planning to go because I know it will help me to move forward and feel supported. For my personal budget, the cost is not cheap, but I’m looking at it as an investment in the life I want to live. Plus, Vega and Mala do a great job of creating reflective and action-oriented spaces that are open to people of color, queer and trans/gender nonconforming folks, and people with anti-capitalist and progressive values.” — Associate Director of a nonprofit organization, Washington, DC





“I wanted to thank you again for sharing your wisdom and guidance with us at the AMP conference. I really enjoyed your workshop and could have spent another week thinking about values, decisions, process, and beyond. Since the workshop, it’s inspired a lot of direction and momentum forward. I recently received Decisive in the mail, and am reading Switch from the Heath brothers in the meantime. Our org has been using the decision-making context model to help us understand and more fully impact our leadership. Generally speaking, I feel more confident and more present with what I have control of and what I can let go of. Thank you both!” — Marissa Vichayapai, Programs Director, 21 Progress

“After our week-long staff retreat, many staff members reported out that your training was one of the important components of their personal and professional learning. I also appreciated your warmth, honesty, and dynamics. I have already shared information about your training with several friends in the event they would like to bring a similar training to their organizations.” — Kara Ryan, Associate Director of Programs and Resource Development, CommonHealth ACTION July 2015

“People still talk about their trainings. They embody the model of seeing people through a strength-based perspective, and supporting the gifts and wisdom we already have in us. After working with [Vega and Mala], I was influenced to believe more strongly in my intuition and to feel more in touch – in a humble and confident way — with the things I am good at.  I have a deeper connection with that sense of centeredness, and with my own ability to contribute to the world; I have a newfound excitement about my life.” — Rebecca Mintz, Program Manager, Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)




Organizational Development

“As a new hire at my organization, I was still getting a feel of the organizational culture. I saw Mala’s presentation during my first week or so and was immediately blown away. The assessment was right on, and the recommendations were creative and out-of-the-box, yet practical and cognizant of our organization’s resource constraints. I thought that if the organization was willing to hire such a forward-thinking consultant, and implement effective and relevant new ideas, then it must be a great place to work. Mala’s assessment helped me feel like I had made a good choice about my career!” — Communications Manager at a national policy nonprofit




Dependable Strengths Articulation Process Workshop

“I was hesitant to call myself “a writer” before I participated in The Dependable Strengths Articulation Process workshop with Vega Mala Consulting. After doing the exercises before and during the workshop, I saw plainly that throughout my life my most positive experiences had been experiences of writing and being commended for it. Mapping my life achievements and getting feedback from peers made it clear to me that writing was a skill I’d honed over a long period of time. After this process, I stopped saying “I write” and instead began saying “I’m a writer.” It was extremely powerful discovering this in a group of peers and friends, where I also learned more about them and worked with them to help them make their own discoveries. Now I’ve made a commitment to ensure writing is a part of my professional and personal work.” — Celía Burke, Diversity Fellow, Washington, DC

“I have participated in various personal and professional development activities throughout my career. The Dependable Strengths Articulation Process was hands down the most revealing and immediately useful. I highly recommend it for anyone who feels stuck, is unsure of what motivates them, or wants to maximize their current situation. Because it requires you to recall good experiences from all aspects of your life, the results don’t depend on what your career has been up until now or where you’re headed. In other words, you get a much more holistic view of what you truly enjoy and are good at. It revealed strengths of mine that were scattered in different areas of my life. I kind of knew these things about myself but going through the process helped me to clearly articulate my strengths and advocate for ways to incorporate them into my current work.” — HR Professional in Corporate Firm, Washington, DC

“Dependable Strengths has completely changed how I view myself and my abilities. I have more confidence in what I have accomplished in all aspects of my life and clearly articulate my transferable skills. Vega and Mala helped me see that I am more than my resume and my true story is more than my cover letter.” – Lydia R. Vanderbilt, Nonprofit Professional, Washington, DC

“Working with Vega and Mala shifted my focus to what really matters when building a career. Their thought-provoking facilitation allowed me to reflect on my personal and professional experiences in a productive manner to identify my most reliable tools to arm myself with throughout my occupation. They assisted me in navigating everything from networking to job interviews to salary negotiations, all through the lens of optimizing my most enjoyable and reliable strengths. I cannot recommend participating in their workshop enough.” — Cory Chow, Data Manager, Washington, DC




Writing and Editing

“You should know that your blog post (Growing Older Together: Queer People of Color and Aging) has been viewed almost 500 times as of this morning — that’s more than any blog post of ours in recent memory, especially given that it was just published earlier this month. Clearly our readers are very happy to hear your voice, and we’d love to have more!” — Jenna McDavid, Diverse Elders Coalition

“Vega brings a trained eye to the work of editing, along with encouragement and insight. She offered ideas on moving in the right direction on the numerous versions of the document. Her attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile is truly reflected in her work. She is thorough, thoughtful, timely and just a wonderful person to work with. I look forward to working with her again.” — Shilpen Patel, MD

“Because you sat with me revising and revising those JKC essays ad nauseum (actually one of the best writing exercises I’ve had to date), I was able to go to grad school to study US refugee policy. Because I went to grad school, I was able to intern with the State Dept in the Office of Refugee Admissions. Because I did that internship, I was able to obtain an appointment in Refugee Admissions as a Program Officer/Presidential Management Fellow after graduation where I have actually begun my dream career -something I honestly never would’ve considered as a possibility before!” — Kiera Berdinner, Jack Kent Cooke scholar, June 2011

“If it weren’t for your edits, I don’t think I would be where I am today- your abilities helped me win the academic jackpot and put me on my dream career path!”  — Natacha Chough, Jack Kent Cooke scholar UW, October 2014

“Vega was instrumental in editing my scholarship and graduate school applications. She worked tirelessly even during the weekend to ensure that my application essays are succinct and well thought out. I am so thankful to have Vega’s help during those years.” — Vi Nhan, IIPP Scholar UW, November 2014