Member Spotlight – Kathleen Stender-Theuring, Expat From Germany in San Francisco

My name is Kathleen Stender-Theuring. I am German and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015. Since then I fell in love with the abundance of different cultures, languages and the entrepreneurial atmosphere in this area. I also became a first-time mum and started many new projects like facilitating mediations, teaching German and graduating as one of the first Neemo Coaches in the US. Having a highly diversified professional background; I am hoping to bring my professional expertise and passion for communication, cultures and the start-up scene together, to build up my own coaching business. 
 
 

What brought you to the US?

Like many others in this area, I came with my spouse who is working in the tech industry. While he was quite hesitant towards relocating in the beginning, I was all in from the very first minute. After finishing my B.A. I lived in London for a little while and loved the multi-cultural atmosphere. I was hoping to find something similar in California. 

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career path?

I have a colorful professional background, even though I always worked in communication-related fields. I have a B.A. in business administration. I am a certified Life and Business Coach and freshly graduated as a Neemo Coach. Neemo Method is a unique photographic-art based facilitation tool for organizational development. I have 10+ years of leadership experience in the German B2C and B2B tourism industry. After being a tough and successful businesswoman for many years, I started working part-time as a Volunteer Manager at Make-A-Wish Germany in 2012. That was a turning point in my life. I also did my first steps as a freelance consultant and corporate-trainer. A year later I got married and enrolled in a 2-year life and business coaching training program. I graduated just before we moved to the U.S. Since then I only have had a few German coaching clients, but I started teaching German and volunteering as a community mediator. I have a passion for teaching, consulting, coaching, mediation and human communication in general. I love taking courses related to these topics. With my daughter turning two soon, I will have more free time. Therefore I plan to build up my coaching business, starting with facilitating Neemo method workshops and creating a group coaching program for women who recently relocated to the U.S. 

 

Why did you become a member of The Expat Woman Club and what do you like most about being a member?

I believe that we all can thrive in collaboration when we manage to unleash the collective potential of a group. The Expat Women Club seemed like the perfect match for me, as it promotes a safe and empowering community in order to support each other and grow together. I like the Expat woman events a lot, very informative and inspiring too. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to attend many in person yet, but I watch their event live streams and recordings.

 

What have been some of your biggest challenges and hurdles as an expat in the US? How did you overcome them?

The hardest thing for me is definitely to make friends. Even though, it got easier with having a child. Silicon Valley is a fast-paced and competitive area; people are coming and going constantly. We ourselves, want to stay in the US for a limited time period, which makes me feel like being in constant transition for a long time. Being actively engaged in the community helped me a lot to feel more connected and grounded.

 

What is one thing you love about the US and/or the SF Bay Area?

I love the abundance of cultures in the SF Bay Area. I get to know people (and food 😉 from all over the world – a truly enriching experience.

 

 

What is it like being a new mom in a new country?

I’d say, it’s a life-changing, rewarding and challenging experience no matter where and what. Being pregnant and a new mom in the U.S, however, is a great experience. People are very friendly and helpful. Our daughter and we enjoy the beautiful parks, fun playgrounds in our area, as well as camping in the many beautiful national parks in California. The only hardship is not having family and German friends around.

 

What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with women who are relocating to the US or are planning to relocate here?

That there is a whole new world to discover. Go out and explore!
Relocating to a new country is a life-changing experience no matter what. Adapting to a new culture, and leaving your social support network behind can be challenging, even overwhelming at times. Take care of yourself, keep yourself busy and engaged. Even though you might not be eligible to work, make sure to get out there with an open mind. Find a volunteer position, pursue your hobbies, take classes, whatever brings you joy – go for it.

 

How can The Expat Woman network support your endeavors or how can you support our network?

I would love to connect with other women in the coaching industry; maybe even find a mentor. I can use any advice and support you might have for running a small coaching business in the US, building a website or doing taxes, etc. As soon as I finish creating my workshop program for women who recently relocated to a new country; I will need some guinea pigs that are interested to check out the program. I would also love to offer a Neemo Method Growth workshop exclusively to the Expat Women network soon.
Please contact me if you have any tips, like to connect or maybe even collaborate.

You can contact me @The Expat woman club,  @Skype (kathleen.theuring) or on LinkedIn

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