Perspectives From a Manager Boot Camp Graduate

By Kim Hegeman 

The transition from individual contributor to people manager can be difficult. In many organizations, employees move up the management ladder without any formal leadership or people management training. But individuals who receive formal training, such as CPED’s Manager Boot Camp, have a deeper understanding of the role, improved communication skills, more effective feedback methods, improved conflict resolution, and the skills to manage effectively during times of change. 

If that isn’t enough evidence as to why new managers in your organization should attend a professional development program like Manager Boot Camp, hear it from a first-person perspective. 

“How can one grow in and with any organization if there is no professional development, small or big?”

Chelsea Kozak, Business Process Analyst, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Inc.

Chelsea Kozak is a business process analyst with the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Inc. Chelsea attended Manager Boot Camp in the summer of 2022 as one of CPED’s non-profit leader scholarship recipients. Grateful for the opportunity, Chelsea was happy to share how the experience has impacted her personally and professionally. 

Please share your educational background and career path. 

Chelsea Kozak

Chelsea Kozak (CK): I have been a business process analyst at Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Inc., (GSWISE) for four years. Before that, I worked at a small recruitment/tech firm in Brookfield, Wis., for almost three years. That is where I learned a lot about systems, QA, and processes. 

I attended school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for business. I have taken a couple of certificate classes to continue my education, which include MRA: Surviving as a New Leader: Making the Transition; MRA: Supervisor and the Law; and now Manager Boot Camp. 

What do you like best about your job? 

CK: The best part of my job, other than digging through processes and data to improve the performance of the business and the workplace, is at the end of the day I know I am working for an organization that gives back to the community. GSWISE is building girls of courage, confidence, and character. So, when I am knee-high in paperwork, processes, and data, at the end of the day, the work I am doing is helping to accomplish that.  

Tell us about your experience at Manager Boot Camp. 

CK: I truly enjoyed the Manager Boot Camp program. Getting real-life, real-time successes and difficulties in an open forum is beneficial. Ultimately, there are similar situations that we are all involved in, so being able to talk through those in a guided and constructive way can help change the perspective in a positive way. 

What did you learn in Manager Boot Camp that you plan to apply to your professional career? 

CK: The takeaways I will be using in my day-to-day work life include ways to determine coaching moments, communication and consistencies, the importance of DEI, and so much more. I find myself frequently referencing the Steve King resources (books) this program supplied, especially the Brag, Worry, Wonder, Bet model.  

What do you feel is the value of professional development, especially for non-profit professionals? 

CK: GSWISE is conscious of building a fun, friendly, challenging, collaborative, and supportive workplace. The continuation of learning is part of that. How can one grow in and with any organization if there is no professional development, small or big? I am learning new things weekly, not only about the job but about myself and my team.  

The benefits of attending Manager Boot Camp for individuals and organizations is clear. If your organization is looking to train or upskill new managers, CPED also offers team discounts. Set yourself, or your managers, on the path to success.