My.Northwood.Edu

Alumna shares how NU played role in success as motivational and career coach

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The 1993 graduate has found her passion of helping others gain personal growth and financial independence.
Beth Kloesener Photo Credit: Nicole Bixby

Beth Kloesener Photo Credit: Nicole Bixby

June 28, 2012

When asked how one transitions from an accountant to a successful motivational and career coach, Beth Kloesener, a 1993 graduate of Northwood University Florida, shared how she discovered her inner passion while on her professional journey.

"Leadership and exceeding expectations were strongly instilled in me at Northwood," smiled the Saginaw, Michigan native who has transitioned from a controller to a motivational career coach, writer, speaker and founder of Girls2Women Coaching.

"Over the years I've learned that to become a transformational leader, one must build trust and create a safe culture. It's about setting people up for success, instilling a deep sense of belief in people that they can accomplish anything and truly valuing their individual talents and opinions. When you create a genuine caring culture, people will exhibit extreme loyalty and strive to exceed every expectation. Even better, communication between your staff, departments and your entire organization will improve significantly," said Kloesener who is sought out by Fortune 500 companies as an agent of motivational change.

It was this early sense of adventure and determination which first led her to Northwood. After first attending a local community college for two years, Kloesener entered the workforce and soon came to respect the value of sound accounting principles. She then learned of Northwood University Florida after receiving a brochure in the mail, and the rest, as they say, is history.

"I wanted the best experience and education my money could buy. The prestige of Northwood University and the small class sizes were especially appealing to me," said the adventurous young woman who drove straight to Northwood University Florida the weekend after receiving her acceptance letter and student loan approval. "I gave my employer my two week notice, packed up all my belongings and never looked back. It was by far, one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Here I was a small town Midwestern girl experiencing a new culture surrounded by the ocean, fresh opportunities and people of many different nationalities. I was living my dream," she laughed.

Within less than a year upon graduating from Northwood, Kloesener was promoted from a Junior Accountant position to Accounting Operations Manager. She then spent the next 18 years in a variety of capacities which included managing teams of people for Fortune 500 companies. It was in this role that she discovered that positioning people for success was her true passion. "There is nothing more rewarding for me than developing their talents and stretching them to a higher level," shared Kloesener who's spent years studying effective methods to make a difference while educating and inspiring youth and women in her community. "Establishing a career coaching company was a vehicle to positively impact more people outside of the office, expanding my reach to schools and non-profits. On a deep personal level, using my talents and skills to mentor people feels like my responsibility to the world and ultimately, my purpose," she said.

And it's that sense of principle which so closely relates to Northwood's mission of developing the future leaders of a global, free-enterprise society.

"At the core of my purpose is to develop women leaders by helping students and professional women define a rewarding career to obtain personal growth, whole-hearted success and financial independence. I believe mentoring our youth to become leaders in their own lives by equipping them with job and life readiness skills and the self-confidence to make positive decisions will ensure a lifetime of success. Northwood instilled in me that I have certain freedoms and responsibilities to give back to society. As a strong woman leader what better way is there to give back than to become an entrepreneur focusing on improving the lives of others," asked Kloesener who also went on to earn her Master of Science degree in Leadership.

Noting that Dr. Cheryl Pridgeon made a tremendous impact on her journey, Kloesener still remembers that first philosophy class. "It wasn't until I was 21 years-old that someone actually asked me for my opinion. In addition, she expected me to justify and debate it. I can still recall how shocked I was to receive a D grade on my first paper because I considered myself an excellent student. But through the class, Dr. Pridgeon taught me how to frame my position, weigh alternatives and support my opinion. To this day, I attribute my problem solving skills, my ability to consider different views, confidently speak my ideas and gain consensus to her class; all characteristics required of a transformational leader," she said while also sharing that she had tried out for CBS' Survivor. "CBS didn't choose me, but boy, did they ever miss out on an opportunity to have a fabulous woman win on their show. That's right, I said win," she laughed.

As someone who exhumes enthusiasm, Kloesener was asked how she maintains her fun sense of spirit, even thru the rough spots.

"Life is challenging, period. But I believe having a positive attitude and being optimistic makes things so much easier. A leader's attitude sets the tone for the entire team. Who would rather follow an "Eeyore" (negative, dragging, no energy) than a 'Tigger' (bouncy, upbeat, fun and ferocious)?  I will always choose 'Tigger'," she reflected. "I enjoy pointing out the lesson and the silver lining in the toughest of situations to people to remind them that life really isn't that deep. Celebrating people's successes of any magnitude is seriously fun. Celebrate overcoming obstacles, celebrate your strength, and celebrate your life."