Proficiency in Microsoft Excel on your resume has two meanings. The first is being able to print and open an Excel sheet — the second is actually knowing how to use it as a valuable tool and resource. Kathleen Norton, MBA ‘16, aims to help make sure that students really meet the requirements of the second definition.

Norton interned and worked full time upon graduation at Protiviti, a global financial advisory and consulting firm. Norton saw firsthand how important being efficient in Excel was at Protiviti. It not only saved people time, but it also allowed them to get ahead in their careers and be more productive. Norton used her advanced knowledge in Excel to help train her co-workers, and then founded her organization, Miss Excel.

“As a new consultant at Protiviti, I also developed an Excel training workshop [for fun] where I trained hundreds of employees ranging from interns to managing directors,” Norton wrote in an email. “Excel was always something I was passionate about! In June 2020, I started my company and social media brand, Miss Excel, on Instagram and TikTok. The business exploded very quickly on social media, and, by January 2021, I left Protiviti to become a full-time entrepreneur!”

Norton said she values the education, resources and opportunities BU provided during her time as a student, stating it helped her get to where she is today. Norton is also interested in partnering with BU and providing her Excel resources to current BU students.

“I learned so much from my time here [BU] and am so grateful for the time I got to spend with our amazing students and staff,” Norton wrote. “The skills I learned in the leadership and consulting concentration through [Kimberly Jaussi’s, collegiate professor of Dickinson Community,] classes were especially pivotal to my development. I also made friends that lasted a lifetime — I even met my soul mate in her class! The classes pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me learn how to publicly speak and think critically. The data analytics major in the MBA program was huge in growing my passion and capabilities in Excel.”

Norton spent a lot of time researching ways to make her videos as effective as possible. Her educational videos take an untraditional approach when it comes to informing her students about the various aspects of Excel.

“My videos are infused with creativity, music and dance that sparks emotion and creates a memorable experience for the viewer,” Norton wrote. “If you haven’t seen them — think freezing your cells to ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice or creating a drop-down menu to Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot.’ As learning expert, Jim Kwik says, ‘Information + Emotion = Memory.’ This is why my teaching strategies are so successful in various countries and languages around the world!”

Norton has students of all different backgrounds and ages, as the course is open to anyone who purchases it. Her typical students range from professionals in the business world to everyday college students. Currently, she has four full Excel courses: The Dashboard Mini-Course for $44, The Excelerator Course at $297, The Advanced Excelerator Course at $397 and The Ultimate Excelerator Bundle at $497. The Excelerator Course is currently valued at $1,615.

Norton currently has over 260,000 followers on TikTok and 100,000 followers on Instagram. The Morning Brew, a daily digital newsletter for young business professionals, reached out to Norton regarding a partnership due to her growing account aligning with the Morning Brew’s current market. In addition, Norton was also nominated by Microsoft for the “Microsoft MVP Award” because of the impact she has made in the Excel community.

Norton said the best piece of advice she has to offer to current BU students interested in becoming entrepreneurs and creating their own businesses is to be true to themselves.

“Believe in yourself and take messy action,” Norton wrote. “So many people don’t follow their dreams and just sit on the sidelines waiting for everything to be perfect. Now is your time!”

Norton has created an exclusive discount code for current BU students. The discount code is “BING20” and will apply to any of her courses. The courses can be found on her website.