top of page

You deserve more support.

Professional development purpose-built

for us in The Middle.

Image by Brooke Cagle

The Middle is a hard place to be. We want to help.

We're Starling - a new kind of professional development for those of us in The Middle. As a community, we're working towards a new era of work where a focus on employee happiness and well-being drives business success.

At the core of Starling is our belief that your workplace happiness is built on three things:

  • A healthy relationship with work

  • Human-centered leadership

  • The right kind of professional development


We believe that, with the right support, The Middle has the power to drive major change.

We've built a unique professional development platform to empower you to lead the charge toward this new work paradigm. Our curriculum, events, and community interactions are designed to build and sustain the knowledge, skills, and mindsets required to lead effectively and compassionately in a world of uncertainty and change.

Those of us in The Middle have more agency than we think. We're here to take control of our professional development and drive positive change at work from the inside out.


It's time for a change, and it starts with you.

The Middle [thuh mid-l]


  1. A group of individuals who have been in the workplace long enough to know the system is broken.

  2. The group most underserved by conventional professional development.

  3. Those of us who are changing the way we work for the better.

Hi, I'm Rachel.

I'm one of the most effective dreamers you'll meet. I have big ideas about changing the way we learn and work, and I know how to make them happen. I’m great at connecting disparate dots, finding new ways to look at the world, and empowering others to do the same. I challenge the status quo when it’s broken, stand up for what’s right, and take action to turn big-picture ideas into tangible reality.

Before Starling, I built my career at workplaces ranging from the American Library in Paris and the American Sommelier Association to a multi-billion dollar investment firm and 2U, Inc. / edX. I have an MSEd in instructional design and a self-study degree in books of all kinds.


Rachel Koblic

Rachel Koblic
Co-Founder &
Chief Learning Officer

LinkedIn Logo
Jeff Sironi

Jeff Sironi
Co-Founder &
Chief Operating Officer

LinkedIn Logo

Hi, I'm Jeff.

I’m one of the most human-focused operations experts you’ll find. My special sauce lies in my ability to create environments where people are supported and empowered to do their greatest work. I lend my values-oriented leadership and pragmatic grounding to ambitious creative partnerships in service of making the world a better place. I’d rather climb a nearby hill with a group of people I love to collaborate with than summit Everest alone.

Before Starling, I built my career in entertainment television and online learning operations. I have an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School (earned online, of course) and a wildly eclectic Wikipedia search history.

Our story.

Starling was born out of a need for a comprehensive professional development solution that meets the needs of mid-level professionals (not the all-too-frequently catered to executives) who want to be happier and healthier at work.

The idea of Starling developed from a series of questions we asked ourselves in early 2023. Why do companies invest so little in their mid-level people? Why do so many of us burn out? Why are fear and anxiety such overwhelming emotions in the workplace? Why is corporate learning and development so stale and unaligned with employee needs? Why are thousands of us laid off while CEOs collect fat bonus payouts? There has to be a better way, right?

We asked these questions based on the shared experiences and frustrations we experienced throughout the years of navigating the workplace's ups and downs.


We've met countless amazing individuals from various business backgrounds and leadership levels throughout our careers. We cried on shoulders and served as shoulders upon which to cry. We listened, and we talked. We absorbed, and we learned. And we wanted to help find a better way.


And so we decided to launch Starling in July 2023 to help us in The Middle find each other and grow together. The idea is to create something bigger than another online learning community. We are building a place where we realize that we have more agency than we think, and we put that agency to use.

If our corporate culture is a vast ocean and traditional companies are the megayachts that ply its waters, we're a pirate ship (with love cannons -- no violence here), charting our own course and building an innumerable crew of values-aligned people who want to find a better way to work.

Jeff Sironi and Rachel Koblic

Our Vision.

Happier, healthier workplaces that are shaped by a thriving collective of forward-thinking leaders.

Multiple confident leaders
Multiple confident leaders

Our Mission.

To empower mid-level professionals to be happier and healthier at work by providing the knowledge, skills, and support they need to thrive in their roles and create nurturing environments for the people around them.

Why "Starling".

While humble little things on their own, starlings band together in the thousands to create one of nature’s greatest displays of collective intelligence—the murmuration. 

In a murmuration, there is no leader. Each bird interacts with and responds to the others around it. Together, they make awe-inspiring displays and use collective wisdom to navigate complex environments.​


We draw inspiration from the murmuration in how we’ve designed Starling—believing we all have something to learn from each other, and that together we can do great things.

A murmuration of starlings on a blue sky
bottom of page