Beth Osborne started her journey as a Hokie when she came to Virginia Tech for graduate school where she earned a degree in Career and Technical Education with a concentration in organizational psychology. When she graduated from Tech, there was an open position in Finance and Administration, so she ended up staying. Beth has now been with Virginia Tech for 20 years and is currently the Finance Director in Pamplin and has held this position for 8 years.
Beth attended Bluefield College for her undergraduate degree in organizational development and leadership. After she attended Virginia Tech for graduate school, she attended Cornell’s Administrative Management Leadership Institute which is a several week-long program that is specifically targeted to leadership training. Coupled with the education and professional experience, Beth is also a Certified Gallop strengths coach/consultant. This allows her to help people identify what their strengths are and how they can use them to diversify their experiences and work better with others who may come from different types of strengths in their life.
Beth described that her favorite part about her job is the diversity of the position. She also enjoys how innovative the college of business is and the fact that the college is in a place of continual improvement. “We’re always assessing ourselves and always trying to look at the data. We’re very data-driven and constantly improving ourselves based on what we know is happening currently.”
Beth shared that she goes by a quote that is hung up on her wall by Ken Blanchard. The quote states, “The most effective coach or leader is one who can provide for the individual or team what they cannot provide for themselves.” She explained how she incorporates this into her roles as a leader by making sure she can provide opportunities to people who look to her as a mentor that they may not be able to provide to themselves. “I feel like number one, that is probably, as a leader, the thing that I want to make sure that I do the most of because I think that that grows the individual more than anything else.”
Beth revealed the qualities that she believes every leader should possess. She thinks that you must have a balance between confidence and humility. She adds that a leader must also understand that value in constructive criticism and debate in order to combine that with your strengths and leverage the two to gain something positive from the situation.
Beth explains that she leads by example. “I feel like I want to be the leader that I would like to have as a leader. I’m asking questions of individuals, I always want them to know that I don’t really feel like I know the answers all the time. My ideas can be challenged, just like anyone else’s idea because that’s how we get to a final product. That’s how we reach success. Leading your team and getting them started on the right track, but also being open to the fact that they may come up with a better idea. They need to be comfortable with that and knowing that their ideas and opinions matter.”
Post written by Jane Lake, BLC Student Assistant