‘She Pivots’ With Laura Coe: On Becoming Her Own Boss

How a personal setback for Coe led to professional success.

Woman wearing glasses
(Image credit: Future)

In partnership with Marie Claire, 'She Pivots' challenges the typical definitions of success and explores the role our personal stories play in our professional journeys.

It may not have sounded like a fancy job, but Laura Coe liked it. The mother of two worked as a health care actuary—the person who helps set premium rates for health insurance companies—and found the challenges of the job to be rewarding. But while going through a divorce, she realized she needed to explore a new career path. One where she could spend more time at home with her kids.

“I had to stop traveling,” says Coe on the latest She Pivots episode. “There was a fear that I was going to lose custody of my kids if I didn’t change what I was doing.”

While a career change can be hard, Coe found inspiration for her second act right in front of her. “My older son Sebastian is just a really, really neat kid, but just not interested in traditional activities for boys,” she says. “He just wasn't interested in sports and I was having trouble finding something that was in his wheelhouse.” 

The need for Coe to find a new after-school activity that was both academically and socially rewarding for her son led to the creation of Snapology, a summer camp and educational company built on the idea that STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) can be fun. 

Coe was buoyed by her newfound purpose, but it didn’t come without its share of challenges. Critical to Snapology’s original concept were in-person events—something that was disrupted when COVID-19 hit. “When schools started closing, when the world kind of started to shut down, we were like, oh no, everything that we were was in-person learning,” says Coe. “But I've got a great team that works with me at Snapology and we all kind of pulled together…We pretty quickly learned that what the kids were going to be lacking was that social element so if we could get them online, interacting with each other, even just seeing each other, was a big deal…[Seeing] their eyes lighting up when they got to see their buddies online was just amazing.”

Adds Coe: “I think it's important that when we go through struggles in life, that you never know what doors are gonna open after those struggles.”

To hear more about Coe’s story, tune in below.

Emily Tisch Sussman
Contributing Editor

Emily Tisch Sussman is the Founder and Host of “She Pivots,” the podcast in partnership with Marie Claire about women, their stories, and how their pivot became their success. She is a contributing editor to Maire Claire and the guest host of the Marie Claire Instagram Live series “Getting Down to Business.”