After graduating from Indiana State just a few years ago, Heavenly Goodrum-Mitchell has risen fast in the corporate ranks of the largest cabinet-maker in North America, MasterBrand. And she attributes her quick ascent to being a Sycamore.
“Because of these people at ISU, I am able to keep up with the newest technology and be such an essential part of my company,” Goodrum-Mitchell said. “There may have been times when I would think, ‘Why so much work?’ or, ‘Why so many presentations?’ but in all honesty, each bit prepared me for the work I do today and I am happy for it.”
Goodrum-Mitchell, who earned a bachelor’s in computer engineering technology and information technology, is an Analyst Business Developer II at MasterBrand. Her responsibilities range from supporting production to meeting with customers to help them advance their analysis or reporting.
“In a short snippet, I make sure that the business has everything they need for reporting and analysis in any reporting tool I manage,” Goodrum-Mitchell said. “Currently I manage two reporting tools that are used by all our divisions, and we have five-plus divisions that fall in Canada, Mexico or the U.S. This is major, because if you report sales wrong, everyone in the company basically sees it. The majority of my travel is related to training.”
She also manages an international team. “They make sure while I sleep at night everything is still working or completed when I get back to work in the morning,” Goodrum-Mitchell said.
And if that isn’t enough, she is also working on a master’s degree in data science, and she’s scheduled to graduate this fall.
Even with this fast-paced and rewarding career, Goodrum-Mitchell still finds time to come back to visit Indiana State, particularly to assist the professionals who manage the university’s Females in Technology program. “Those teachers and mentors are a key reason why I continue to come back to Indiana State,” Goodrum-Mitchell said.
State’s College of Technology and the student organization Females in Technology (FIT) offer a variety of activities and events designed to help young women explore the many options available to them, including an annual conference, school visits and social events.
Another reason Goodrum-Mitchell volunteers her time dates back to when she was a teenager. “From middle school to high school, myself and another girl were the only females in the classes as students or lab assistants. Although it made us closer as friends, it was still quite lonely and (our classes) lacked female diversity.
“I want to see more young women in STEM fields. I know as a woman, we bring such great input and a new high-standing platform to anything we do,” she added. “Going back to FIT (at State) allowed me to simply continue on the path to meet, encourage and possibly recruit more students, especially young women into the STEM field. Apart from my own initiative, I knew that FIT and the university have encouraged this diversity.”
When Goodrum-Mitchell was a student at State, she was treasurer of the FIT program, as well as an officer with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/International Society of Automation. As a freshman, her inspiration was to get involved and to associate with other “geeky” people like herself, she said.
“I wanted to make a difference in some way — and still want to,” she said. “Being in these two organizations, I was able to definitely bring skills back to my profession. I am able to professionally provide input to group meetings and communicate more effectively based on my audience. Although (my undergraduate experience) may not have been comparable to engaging in an executive meeting at MasterBrand, it still placed me on solid ground to get started, which is great for any graduating students coming into a new career field.”
Goodrum-Mitchell said every Indiana State faculty or staff member she encountered mentored her in some way and left a lasting impact.
“I say this because each person I ever met there has left some impression on me that I use in my day-to-day life now,” she said. “I whole heartedly thank God for them.”
Indiana State now means “opportunity” to Goodrum-Mitchell, who spent her early childhood in Cleveland, went to high school in Terre Haute and now lives in Jasper, Ind.
“When I say ‘opportunity,’ I mean something that gives you the essentials you need and it is what you make out of it,” she said. “Just like many places, ISU provides the faculty, the extracurricular activities, the job fairs, the library, and the list goes on. But, if you never go to class, never join in the fun, never network, never explore any of the possibilities, then you will miss opportunities. However, if you do the exact opposite, then not even the sky is your limit. Your possibilities are endless, and that can be a notion to keep anywhere.”