We had the privilege of sitting down with our Director of Strategic Accounts, Lauren Bodenschatz, fondly known as ‘Bodie’ by her KellyMitchell Family. Bodie has been an integral part of the KellyMitchell organization for over a decade, with a unique career journey that is a testament to her unwavering dedication and exceptional prowess [pun intended for our resident cat-lover] in the world of sales. What has set her apart from the crowd from the very beginning is her innate ability to lead by example and her resolute determination for success, both fiercely rooted in a genuine passion for connecting with people. We invite you to join us as we delve into her history and the indelible mark she has left on our organization as well as the clients she serves.
What led you to KellyMitchell?
I graduated from Southeast Missouri State in search of an opportunity to launch my career. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew I craved both stability and a work culture where I wouldn't want to hit the snooze button every morning. I was willing to work hard and prove myself, and so I was introduced to KellyMitchell by way of a friend who was already working for the organization. I was offered a position in Human Resources but turned it down. I don't believe in regrets, but after months of training, passing the life and health insurance exam, and tons of role-play — which would later benefit me a ton — but then, the first week on my own in the position I had accepted in lieu of KellyMitchell, I decided immediately that it wasn’t for me. Jen reached out to me and shared that there was an open Office Coordinator position. With my tail between my legs [a lot of animal puns because I am proudly the resident cat-lady, and more recently, puppy-lady], I re-applied to the still-open position at KellyMitchell. Thanks to some humility and a little bit of empathy on the part of my interviewers — shout-out to Kim Paxton, now EVP, and Deb Kirn, now Payroll Director — I officially joined the team in 2013. The rest, as they say, is history.
How has your career evolved since joining the company?
It was told to me at the time I took the position at the front desk that it was one of the hardest positions in the company but one of the most rewarding. Both the challenge and the reward were that you'd get to work with everyone in the company — from the back-office team to the sales team to the C-Suite. That insight turned out to be resoundingly true, but more importantly, it allowed me to see the organization from the lenses of every business unit, and every individual. I owe a lot of who I am today to the year I spent in that position.
From there, I dabbled in Human Resources. Well, I more than dabbled. I spent a couple of years there, and it even inspired me to pursue a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management, before sitting down with a colleague and mentor who had been encouraging me to leave the safety of Human Resources and enter the 'Wild Wild West' — aka Sales. She was recently appointed oversight on an entire market with a large book of business, and in no uncertain terms said: "I'm trying to build something. I'm not going to ask again. It's now or never. Join me." Never one to back down from a challenge, I took the leap, and I haven't looked back since.
What do your days look like?
By the book, I am definitively an extrovert. However, all play, which is honestly what I consider the ability to get to work with my colleagues and client partners, requires a little bit of work, and so I really value the early morning hours. I love being the first one at the office, putting in an hour or two at my desk to get ready for the day [cue Fleetwood Mac on the AirPods], and then kicking off the start of the official workday by visiting clients on-site. Monday morning breakfast drop-offs are my jam [pun intended], and my favorite way to start the week. I have the ability to make sure new consultants get settled in, client partners are happy, and more. My days are never the same, which is a big part of what I love, but they typically include elements of in-person and virtual meetings to understand my client partners' needs, connecting with my internal team a million times over to make sure we are supporting the client, and reminding everyone that my clients are sincerely the best.
What do you enjoy most about working at KM?
It's all about how it makes me feel! I get to be my true self, and the opportunity for success at KellyMitchell is simply incredible. Since I took on my current role, there have been moments where I can't believe I'm actually getting paid to do what I love while staying authentic. I look forward to coming to work every day, surrounded by amazing colleagues. It genuinely feels like the possibilities are endless!
Another incredible aspect I cherish about working at KM is the relationships I've built. I'm all about nurturing genuine connections, and I've been fortunate to develop strong bonds with peers, managers, and candidates over the years. I mean, some of our client managers even attended my wedding — which is both super rare and incredibly heartwarming!
What career advice do you have for people looking to succeed at KellyMitchell?
I have three pieces of advice.
Be yourself. If you come in every day with a smile, and give it your all, the possibilities are endless.
Be creative and innovative. When I first started as a CEM, I didn’t wait for the hiring managers to contact me. I was proactive. I went on LinkedIn to reach out to anyone and everyone who had the word “manager” in their title — even project managers who didn’t hire. I was able to connect the dots quickly and reach the right people by networking, which enabled me to build major accounts. Taking an unconventional route when looking at a new account or reaching out to new individuals sometimes takes a little creativity.
Last but definitely not least, be caring! Whether it is someone in need, a colleague facing a challenge, or a stranger you encounter on the street, we should be supportive. If you can connect with people, it establishes trust. One way to do this is by truly listening to what others have to say. Hear the stories they share or check in on personal events that are going on in their lives. If you truly care, you can see the qualities they bring to the table.
Thank you, Bodie, for being such an amazing team member at KM. We have the privilege to see Bodie shine her big heart, hard work, and creativity every day! Bodie’s unwavering kindness, empathy, and positivity are a testament to her. She shows us that a single person can impact the lives of many. Bodie’s built a legacy at KM, and she isn’t stopping! As she said, “The sky is the limit!”
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