75 Stories – Betsy Hagan, CPED Instructor

This year marks our 75th Anniversary. To celebrate, we’re publishing 75 stories about members of our community. Betsy Hagan has been an instructor at the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development since 2013.


Betsy began her career in operations and human resources, working in customer operations at Baxter Healthcare for 10 years and Hewitt Associates in human resources for 15 years. In 2010, she decided to start her own consulting business. Steve King, former CPED executive director and current instructor, was Betsy’s boss when they worked at Hewitt Associates. They reconnected around the time Steve became CPED executive director and asked Betsy to teach one day of Manager Boot Camp. From there it escalated quickly!

Betsy currently teaches three programs at CPED: Manager Boot Camp, Coaching and Motivating in the Workplace, and Managing Teams Effectively. She is the former program director for the Foundations of Management Certificate, is currently that certificate paths lead instructor, and Betsy looks forward to continuing her work at CPED.

“CPED affords the opportunity to create networking through the classroom with students and other instructors that is amazing, and I appreciate it. Beyond that, I can’t appreciate the CPED staff and their commitment enough. It is such a cool idea to help professionals grow in this way. The quality and care to the types of learning that we bring to people and make available to them is a testament to the organization. It’s a highlight of my career to participate in it, too. I have really enjoyed all my interaction with the CPED team, those that run and work with all the programs. The whole group is so professional and so much fun to work with, it really is a pleasure every time I am there to any capacity. The process we go through it highly enjoyable with everyone at CPED.”


When you meet Betsy, it doesn’t take long to see how passionate she is about coaching.

“Coaching occurs in my day-to-day life with everyone around me. There are so many opportunities to understand a little bit more about what people are struggling with and offer them perspective, to help them think things through, and how they might approach those struggles going forward. It’s all about mindset. Coaching is about relationship building and maintaining those relationships. We use Human Synergistics assessments to gain insight into the style and preferences of our participants. I then use the time I have with them to help them think about how they might use those insights to create development goals for themselves. They get insight into their own relationships from a professional context with their colleagues, employees, and superiors and think about strategies for what they want to accomplish, whether that’s greater success and influence, being a better coach or manager themselves, or more effectively resolving conflict. I really enjoy the process of using data and information to help them gain clarity in those areas.”

When she’s not working, you will likely find Betsy somewhere warmer than Madison, Wisconsin. “I love being anywhere where there is warmth and sunshine! I like going to the beach, being outdoors, by the pool, anything that’s out in the sun.”

With such a deep passion for coaching, Betsy finds her role as a CPED instructor incredibly rewarding. “I have always enjoyed that my work is helping people learn and grow through coaching and mentoring. I’m hearing and learning from participants as to how things are going in their workplace and the challenges they face. I find that really rewarding so that’s my driver for why I continue to do this. I spend so much time, my consulting time, focusing on the learning and development aspects, helping managers and leaders, that’s where I get my greatest sense of engagement.”


After six years as a CPED instructor, one recent moment will take the cake for Betsy’s most memorable program.

“There was an emergency in the building on the last day of Manager Boot Camp. That last day is so important because that’s my chance to wrap up and bring together all five days of teaching in a way that helps people connect the dots to the days prior and a chance to create a memorable last experience that they walk away with – what happens on that last day will stick with them. The fact that we had this emergency in the building, and we worked through it and flexed with it was an amazing testament to everyone who was managing the emergency. There was so much distraction, and yet, the whole class got right back into it and focused during the last exercise and made the most of that last hour. It was really amazing to me and it goes to show that when people are motivated and maintain openness and flexibility that you can really accomplish just about anything. No other memory is stronger than that at CPED!”

Betsy encourages all professionals to stay curious. “Try not to lose your sense of curiosity about everything, including other people. It’s our curiosity that keeps us open during times when we are feeling frustrated or feeling like we’re stuck and not making progress. Don’t focus on that frustration but focus the curiosity that’s causing you to think that way. What do we see and experience in the people around us that we can learn from? If you can maintain that in our career, you will find your way to things that are highly satisfying to you.”

You can learn more about the Foundations of Management Certificate here. Check out more stories from our community in the 75th Anniversary section of our blog.