Published: Nov. 30, 2015

Karen Goodman is an Administrative Assistant III, serving as CCO’s first point of contact, and assisting with CCO’s HR. Get to know Karen a little better in our brief interview below.

Please tell us about your prior experience and what brought you to CCO?
My career path has been a strange one. I originally set out to be a pharmacist, but through various life events and direction from fellow pharmacists, decided I didn’t want to stand behind a counter all day and that being out amongst the people is where my passion truly was. So I left pharmacy school and graduated with a Biology degree, thinking I would do pharmaceutical sales, but through more life events, moved from Indiana to the Mojave Desert. Being from rural Indiana, this was a bit of a cultural shock and it took some time to find a job. Eventually, I landed at Edwards Air Force Base as a substitute teacher. I had no idea what I was doing, but was surprisingly good at it and was starting to think I should go back and get a teaching degree when plans changed again, and I was blessed to leave the desert and land in Colorado.

I’ve been in Colorado for eight years now and while I did not go back into teaching, I found administrative opportunities in the aerospace industry. I have worked as an office manager and executive assistant for the past five years with two small aerospace companies and while it was exciting and challenging, I decided this past summer I had achieved as much as I could at the time in that role and decided to seek new opportunities in a different industry. 

I have always been interested in higher education; my mother works on a university campus and is always bragging about how amazing it is! I decided to take her advice while looking for new opportunities that would allow me to apply my administrative skills and align with the career direction I want for myself. I found this Administrative Assistant position with the Campus Controller’s Office and knew after my first interview that CU-Boulder was where I wanted to be. I am thrilled to be part of such an incredible team and university! 

What do you view as the greatest opportunity within this role?
I was hired, in part, to streamline the front desk and make it more efficient and am excited to make that a reality. I also look forward to improving standard administrative practices so that we are well organized, effective, and help CCO remain a model department on campus. Also, having never worked at a university or in accounting, I am excited to learn more about the inner workings of university finance. 

What best practices would you share with CU-Boulder staff members working in a role similar to yours?
The best advice I could offer is to develop a plan to keep yourself and your tasks organized. If you are organized, efficiency will follow, and the rest will fall into place. I’d also advise developing a good sense of time management, as well as making yourself available to help whenever needed. Real-time interrupts are part of the job, but are entirely manageable if you’re able to stay organized and manage your time. Personally, I feel like if I can make your job easier and your day better, I have done my job!

On a personal note, what do you enjoy doing outside of CCO?
I absolutely love living in Colorado and try to be outside as much as I can. You will often find me somewhere in the mountains, hiking with my dogs, taking pictures along the way (amateur photographer alert!). I also enjoy traveling, flying (my brother is an F-16 pilot – how cool is that?), learning foreign languages, Latin dancing, laughing (at how bad my dancing is), and anything percussion. I enjoy writing and “bleeding” all over manuscripts – I am a freelance copyeditor for the Gravitational and Space Research Journal and love it. My biggest passion, however, is my family and friends - they are an amazing bunch and I am beyond blessed to have them in my life!