Bridget Kaigler, a CPA and entrepreneur from Baton Rouge, La., assures that dedication and tenacity pay off. At age 18, Kaigler found herself orphaned from her maternal grandparents – her sole caregivers from the time she was born. Having to work to support herself, she put college thoughts aside.
By the time she was 21, Kaigler was married with a child, but found herself separated shortly after. She recalls how she was barely able to make ends meet as a single mother, getting occasional disconnection notices.
“At the time, I was working on a temporary job as a receptionist. I was in tears thinking about all my problems. I could not continue living like that,” she said. “Then, I remember someone I did not know came to me and said: ‘Whatever you’re going through, education is what will get you out of it.’”
Taking this advice as a sign of Providence, Kaigler started researching universities, knowing that she would have to keep working full-time to raise her 18-month old son. Shortly after, she enrolled at University of Phoenix.
“Each educational opportunity has changed my life greatly. They have opened not just one, but multiple doors.”
Bridget Kaigler, Bachelor of Science in Business Accounting (2005); Master of Business Administration (2007), University of Phoenix
Her educational journey, she knew, would take six strenuous years, as she wanted a bachelor’s and a master’s.
“Most people who were 23, like me at the time, were finishing their studies while I was starting mine. However, I believe if I would have been younger, I wouldn’t have been as focused and committed as I was,” Kaigler said.
At University of Phoenix, Kaigler earned a Bachelor of Science in Business/Accounting, in 2005; and a Master of Business Administration, in 2007. Simultaneously, she worked to become a CPA with a Chartered Global Management Accountant Certificate, which allowed her the opportunity to start working as a tax accountant for a global manufacturing company.
“I chose my career because of job security, and I’ve always enjoyed math. Every company needs a CPA,” Kaigler said.
As soon as Kaigler saw to fruition her educational dreams, she decided to explore entrepreneurship, launching her consulting business, Bringing Leadership Back, LLC, in 2015. She had been writing magazine articles for nearly three years and accepting speaking engagements for another five, when she realized she had a business opportunity to provide leadership and team development services.
“I’m inspired to pay it forward through motivating others. From a training and development perspective, I noticed many companies are willing to send you to workshops to polish your technical skills, but do not invest in leadership development training,” Kaigler said. “This is where my company helps.”
More recently, Kaigler was inducted as to the Board of Governors at the Institute of Professionals in Taxation, and couldn’t be prouder of where her career has taken her.
Her advice to others? “It doesn’t matter when you start. There’s always going to be an excuse why you can’t do it, but you can do it,” she said.