Jenny Thow | Stepping Stones Learning

Jenny

If you are interested in a little more background on me, here goes:Jenny

Laying the Foundation

I have been on my own path of self-discovery for as long as I can remember.  I have always been a curious little so-and-so and asked so many questions (much to my parents’ despair during long car journeys!).  As I began to travel more, meet new people and spend time in foreign countries and cultures, I got even more curious.  I wanted to know how other people experience our world, what they learned at school, what their perceptions and opinions were on different topics.

I became fascinated with learning.  I realized that where you are from, what you have learned and the experiences you have gathered are what makes you unique and that is why I want to get to know you better.

Broadening My Horizons

I studied for a BA in International Business and Modern Languages at Strathclyde University in Glasgow and I enjoyed what I was learning and knew it would be useful, but it didn’t catch my interest as much as what I was doing in AIESEC, the largest student organization in the world.

Within 6 months of joining AIESEC, I became a VP on the local executive board, responsible for recruiting a team of new members and sending 8 graduating students for an internship abroad. So there I was, 18 years old, lacking in self confidence, frightened of speaking in public, and having to force myself to go into lecture halls and deliver speeches in front of 500+ first years to entice them to become AIESEC members, and then going into final year lecture halls to recruit students to join the working abroad program.

It was a major turning point in my life, and it wouldn’t have happened if my fellow board members hadn’t coached me through it.  From that point on, I knew I had found my passion….helping others to experience new things, learn from those experiences and grow into someone they wanted to be.  It was happening to me and it felt amazing, and I wanted others to feel the same.  I was growing so much that I didn’t even recognize the person I was becoming, but I knew it was right and I trusted that it was good for me.

Hello World!

While studying in Germany, I qualified as a Cultural Sensitivity Trainer and facilitated workshops for students who were preparing to go on their internship abroad.  We would discuss culture shock, what it is, how to overcome it when living and working abroad and how it can be difficult to come back to your own culture after learning to live in another.   Then I moved to Spain and spent a year living in Madrid, studying at university 3 days a week and embracing the Spanish culture the other 4 days of the week.

After finishing my degree back in Scotland, I packed my bags and moved to Costa Rica for a year, where I was a VP for AIESEC Costa Rica and spent a year working voluntarily, opening the AIESEC world to Costa Rican students and earning a living from teaching English.

How I Got Here

My professional career has continued to follow my passion and I have been working in learning and development for almost 10 years.  I have worked for a couple of the largest global logistics companies in the world, small non-profit organizations and in the public sector, each of which have provided many challenges and multiple learning opportunities.

However, it was in the process of being laid off and finding myself between jobs too many times over a short period that I discovered my calling to become a coach.  I became a career adviser working with MBA and specialized Masters students who were studying in the US on a visa.  I helped them to understand the US work visa minefield, and worked with them individually to help them determine their goals, strengths and interests that would shape the next era of their career.

At the same time, I studied my Masters in International and Intercultural Education with a specialization in human resources development.  This allowed me to study indigenous education programs, religious considerations in international politics, and ways to deliver virtual learning experiences, among other things.  Now, after also completing training to become a Co-Active coach through the prestigious Coaches Training Institute, I am able to offer you the opportunity to invest in yourself, to learn, to grow and to achieve more than you could ever imagine.