By Carter Anderson
Liza Goodlett’s four years on the UGA Equestrian team were fast and fun, and she made friendships that will last a lifetime. Now, Liza’s tackling the professional world while holding onto the lessons she learned as a collegiate equestrian. When she accepted her new position at Charleston Shoe Company, Liza said that the head of human resources liked her before she even saw her resume, because she was a student athlete. Whether it was interviewing on the sidelines and working the World Equestrian Games for Equestrian Sport Productions or now working a trunk show for Charleston Shoe Company, Liza keeps the lessons she learned from collegiate equestrian as her backbone to help her figure out any obstacles she faces in her professional life.
How would you describe your experience on UGA Equestrian?
My four years was one of the most fun, yet one of the busiest and most challenging times of my life. The years go by so fast and it was such an amazing experience. My senior year was my favorite, because my class had become so close by the end. I mean, we got to ride horses in college! I don’t really know what’s better than that. Life is easy now, because of the way the team prepared me.
What were your three biggest takeaways from the team?
I learned time management, accountability and what I need to be successful. No matter what role you had on the team, whether you were competing or braiding, everyone was always accounted for and held to a standard. I also learned a lot about myself and what I personally needed to be the best student athlete I could be. Whether it was how much I needed to sleep or who I surrounded myself with to encourage me to be better, I was able to use the team to mature and figure out what I need to thrive.
How has being on an equestrian team affected your career after college?
Being a student athlete not only gave me a great work ethic and the ability to work well with a team, but it also gave me a leg up when applying for jobs. My bosses recognized that I would be an asset to their team before they even read my resume, because of the four years I spent in college athletics. I already had the skill of getting my work done in a timely manner and being accountable for all my responsibilities. On the team, I would have to go from a 6 a.m. workout, to 8 a.m. tutoring, to 9:15 a.m. class, to 11 a.m. class, to 2 p.m. practice, and there was no one but me responsible for getting it all done. That has translated to my professional life in being on top of all my tasks and completing them between 9 and 5.
How do you think your life would be different if you decided not to pursue riding in college?
If I had not pursued riding in college, I would have attended College of Charleston. I probably would have continued to pursue a major in journalism, but wouldn’t have been able to rapidly adjust to the marketing position that I’m in now. As a student athlete on campus, I was held to a higher standard and had to be disciplined on how I spent my time while remaining flexible and susceptible to change. Juggling all that I did on the equestrian team allowed me to conquer a career in marketing, which is outside of my major. If I had not been a part of the team, I probably would have become a reporter or a journalist.
What advice do you have for graduating seniors in the NCEA?
There are so many outlets to stay in the horse world, and to do it in your realm of studies. If that’s something you’re interested in, do your research and find a company in your desired field in the equestrian industry. Just looking at the Winter Equestrian Festival, there are endless possibilities. If you’re interested in a career in public relations, go work for Phelps Media. If you want a job in magazine publication, talk to Sidelines magazine or Noelle Floyd. There are so many outlets in the horse world to continue your love for the sport.