Kelsey Goetz is the Revenue Manager at Lily’s Sweets - a leader in the no sugar added movement that provides consumers with delicious, botanically sweetened confections! Lily’s started with a small team of four individuals and has quickly grown to 25 with headquarters in Boulder, CO. Kelsey credits Lily’s incredible growth to the company’s ability to connect with consumers looking to eat better without sacrificing great taste.
During Kelsey’s time at CU, she studied Operations Management and Anthropology, while also getting a certificate in Socially Responsible Enterprise (SRE). “I loved all of my Anthropology and CESR classes, especially Sustainable Operations with Keith Stockton. I really enjoyed being challenged to think critically and be exposed to completely new subjects and ideas.”
Finding a mentor
During her Senior year, Kelsey reached out to Career Services for guidance. They suggested she might be a good fit for an entry-level role at a small cookie company with Jane Miller, current Lily’s Sweets CEO, at the helm.
“I was initially unsure about even applying to the job when I was at Career Services, but I did my research, looked at the team’s background on LinkedIn, and even read Jane’s book (Sleep Your Way to the TOP: And Other Myths about Business Success). I went from indifferent to really excited about the team and opportunity. While Cookie Chips didn’t ultimately take off, I was able to learn so much in a very short amount of time and everything I experienced has made me better at my job today at Lily’s. Jane has become a mentor and very important person in my life. I didn’t initially envision myself at a small company after graduation, but today I am so grateful everything in the universe lined up to lead me to where I am now.”
Working for a startup
Kelsey’s first year post-graduation did not come without challenges adjusting from Leeds to the workplace. “There were times I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but I got through those times thanks to Google, asking a million questions, and a support group of friends feeling the same way. I found that more often than not, asking thoughtful questions led to thoughtful answers.” She attributes her career growth to her aspiration to understand why things are done a certain way, not just how.
“I have been lucky to work with an incredible group of people and connect both personally and professionally. If something isn’t right, we can change it and adapt very quickly. At a small company everyone plays an important role, so you don’t just feel like a cog in the machine. On the other hand, I take a lot of ownership over what I do at work and sometimes need a healthy perspective reminder!”
One piece of advice
“Don’t wear your headphones at the office! Listen to what is going on around you and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be open to what your next steps after school might look like and always trust your gut.”