Higher Education and Human Resources

Q&A: Janean Couch

January 26, 2016
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Janean Couch
Janean Couch. Photo by Johnny Quirin

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Janean Couch is a coach, counselor and connector of people.

Couch is assistant director of the Career Center at Grand Valley State University.

Encouraging people to get involved in the community and pursue their career goals is her passion.

She helps people to self-assess their skills, interests and values to maximize their unique talents.

Biggest career break?

Landing the position I am in now. I am able to make an impact on our community by helping develop talent and build meaningful relationships.

Proudest moment?

Being selected as a member of the Business Journal’s 2015 40 Under Forty class. I was so surprised and humbled to be honored for such a well-respected award and with so many great people.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

You have a seat at the table, act like it!

How did you make your first dollar?

As a summer day camp counselor. I worked with kids and taught them about safety.

Most-treasured possession?

A set of three custom-designed gold bangles. The gold used to make them was previously owned by my mother. My sister and I both have these bracelets, making them even more special.

Dream job?

I have several — I’m a total dreamer! I would love to be a fashion consultant to a big name celebrity, or I would love to work for the United States Office of Personnel Management as the VP of Employee Training and Career Development, or I’d be a VP of a philanthropic organization that develops youth.

If I were president for a day, I would . . . ?

Make higher education more affordable and accessible for people.

Last book you’ve read?

“Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption”

Last thing you Googled?

How to start an LLC in Michigan

Your worst habit?

Sending and checking emails from bed before 8 a.m.

To unwind, I like to . . . ?

Host girls’ night at my house (with wine) or take a weekend trip with my husband.

Dream vacation?

I would love to take a European or Alaskan cruise.

Favorite food?


Person you most admire?

I admire my sister the most. She encourages me constantly and thinks I am the best thing since Beyonce! She still tells me I can be president of the United States if I wanted. :)

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