We're excited to connect with our alumni through our Darlington Connects series. Today we hear from Shanarra Goode (‘09), project manager for brand and innovation with Avaline, a startup wine company created by actress Cameron Diaz and American fashion entrepreneur Katherine Power.
Raised in Southern California but seeking a more rigorous academic environment, Sha Goode (‘09) considered numerous private schools out West for high school. Her mother suggested boarding schools as an option and, as an eighth-grader, Sha researched and applied to several schools in the Northeast. Their family had connections in the Atlanta area, so Darlington also made the list.
Sha’s Darlington story began with a Discover Darlington overnight visit and she knew Darlington was where she wanted to be. While at Darlington, she played volleyball and served as a house leader in Cooper House, a girls’ dorm for first-year students.
“I loved mentoring the younger girls,” Sha said. “If I could give current students any advice, it would be to take advantage of the leadership opportunities available at Darlington. I learned to create relationships with faculty and fellow students and speak up in class. These skills are the foundation for later in life -- both in my career and personally. I can’t imagine my life, or where I would be, without having gone to Darlington.”
When asked which faculty members made the greatest impact on her, Sha said, “Aside from Angie and James Milford, who were both amazing, I’d have to say Mrs. Debra Myrick and Mr. George Awsumb had a profound impact. Mrs. Myrick, my math teacher, was tough, but she made it a point to help me and let me do work for extra credit. I really felt like she cared about me. Mr. Awsumb gave me a love for cinema and art history.”
Mr. Awsumb was such an inspiration to Sha that as a marketing and retail management student in the business school at Syracuse University, she minored in art history.
“Art history was something I took just for myself,” Sha said. “When I completed my study abroad program in Madrid, Spain, so much of what I learned in AP Art History with Mr. Awsumb came alive.”
In the little more than a decade since she left the Lakeside, Sha has studied and worked from coast to coast. After graduating from Syracuse University, Sha headed to Minneapolis, Minn., to work in retail management for Target. Working for one of the largest corporations in America, she learned project management skills and best practices that have continued to guide her career.
After four years with Target, Sha moved to New York City, where she worked for retailers like Cole Haan and One Kings Lane in addition to being a fitness coach and trainer.
Sha now resides in Los Angeles and has worked with The Honest Company for the past two years. She is beginning a new chapter this month with Avaline, a startup wine company created by actress Cameron Diaz and American fashion entrepreneur Katherine Power. Excited to be working with a company from the ground up, Sha will be building new processes, launching new products, and bringing life to a new brand.
“I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me with this new position and new company,” she said. “Most people start their careers with smaller firms and work their way up to larger companies. I’ve done just the opposite.”
Sha is also excited about the Darlington Connects program and willing to help fellow alumni who are interested in marketing and retail management. Email email@example.com to connect with Sha and other alums who have been featured in Darlington Connects blogs.
Are you a Darlington alum (or do you know one) with an interesting career or community involvement? We'd love to spotlight you in a future blog! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being featured.