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20 Questions with Cortney Goodson

June 5, 2017

Name:  Cortney Goodson
Position/Institution: Paralegal/Licensing Assistant, Mississippi State University
Number of years in your current position: 1.5
Alma Mater(s): Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS                      
Hometown:  Calhoun City, MS

1. Why did you become involved in ICLA?
My involvement was encouraged by our licensing director, Sharon Hewlett.

2. What is your favorite part about being a member of ICLA?
The ICLA community knowledge is so valuable. The friendships that develop are a bonus!

3. What is the biggest challenge to working in a university environment?
Keeping up with the ever-changing environment.

4. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?
Four years after graduation, I finally worked up my nerves to take a national certification test that would allow me to become a nationally certified paralegal. I can neither confirm nor deny if I took the test multiple times!

5. What is the most important skill you have developed in your career?
Multi-tasking. Also, learning names and faces is a skill I’m developing. Attending ICLA conferences has really helped in developing that skill. I’m a work in progress.

6. Who has been the most influential person in your career?
God has provided so many influential people in my life, and I’m so thankful. My mother is my rock. I look up to my husband because he is always striving to be better and always learning new things. Sharon Hewlett, my boss, is an amazing person. I truly look up to her, and hope to be as smart as she is one day!

7. What is one item you cannot live without?
Chocolate

8. Who would you choose to switch places with for a day?
Someone that is changing/saving a life.

9. What is your favorite sporting event you have ever attended?
Last year, my youngest brother in law played for and won the High School State Championship Football title. It was amazing to see, because his father, my husband, and the middle brother all strived to win that title growing up (at the same school), and it was breathtaking to see it come to fruition for him and our hometown.

10. Why/when did you decide to pursue a career in collegiate licensing?
It kind of “fell in my lap.” I applied to be a legal assistant at Mississippi State University, and when I got the job they informed me of licensing. A completely new world was opened in my eyes.

11. In your mind, who in this industry can serve as a good role model?
So many people have different talents. It’s always good to observe everyone, and learn from others. For me, I look up to our licensing director, Sharon Hewlett.

12. How has your involvement with ICLA influenced your career?
Joining ICLA and being involved has helped me learn more about this business. It’s ever-changing and the ICLA community helps keep you on top of the latest.

13. What educational or business experiences best prepared you for a career in licensing?
My work background is in retail so it gives me a sense of product and timelines. I have an educational background in legal studies so it comes in use as well.

14. What challenges do you face when working with students or vendors?
I think miscommunication plays a big part in challenges. Sometimes it is better to talk to an individual instead of emailing.

15. Would you please explain a professional success and how you implemented it?
Becoming a certified paralegal has been the latest success. Being a paralegal and passing the test gives me a reassuring factor that I am capable of doing my job.  

16. In your opinion, where is collegiate licensing headed in the future?
I think collegiate licensing will continue to grow exponentially. With its growth, hopefully the public will become more aware of licensing, its elements, and how important it is.

17. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the field of collegiate licensing?
Be a sponge. I will absolutely tell anyone to be a sponge. For some reason, those three words opened my eyes to absorb as much information as I can.

18. What was your biggest professional failure/mistake and how did you learn from it?
I’m still new to the game, and have people check over what I do so I don’t recall having a mistake that could not be fixed. (keeping my fingers crossed and knocking on wood now)

19. What percentage of your work-week is spent in your office?
I spend all my time in the office. We are short-handed so we have not been able to get out and see retail and visit local vendors. Unfortunately, we have other duties in the office so licensing is about 10% of my job.

20. What are you most looking forward to at the next ICLA Convention or Winter Symposium?
The great sessions and listening to all the great ideas everyone implements in their program.