Former student-athlete gets the job done with teamwork and leadership

Former student-athlete gets the job done with teamwork and leadership

C aroline Snider, ’19, is used to a hectic schedule. As a former student-athlete at Georgia College, it was crucial to have efficient time-management skills in her studies and on the ball field. Since mid-July, she has applied a similar skillset to her new role, as the education and outreach specialist at the Georgia Cotton Commission.

Her Georgia College experience began while she was enrolled in the Bridge Scholars program—a transitional support program for first-year students designed to maximize their achievements at the university.

Caroline Snider at the Georgia Cotton Commission.
Caroline Snider at the Georgia Cotton Commission.

“It helped me get ahead with classes and adjust to college while making awesome friends,” she said. “I made some of my best friends through Bridge and kept up with them throughout the rest of my time at Georgia College.” 

The Bridge Scholars program helped her become comfortable talking to professors when she needed help.

“It also helped me learn time management and proper study habits and to find where I studied best on campus,” she said.

Snider learned how to manage her time wisely and stay organized at Georgia College. This was necessary, because she played outfield in softball and was active in other organizations. 

“I’ll use my skills I learned at Georgia College to educate others about the cotton story—the importance and benefits of cotton and supporting Georgia farmers. It’s been an awesome learning experience, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
– Caroline Snider

A typical day for Snider consisted of waking up at 5:15 a.m. for workouts. Then, she attended classes in the mornings and studied throughout the day during breaks. She headed to the ball field for practice from 3:30 until 7 p.m. Snider would eat dinner after practice and do more homework, then sleep. In the midst of her busy schedule, she also served as treasurer of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), as well as a member of the Game-Changers leadership program, Kudzu Campus Ministry and the Colonnade staff.

“Serving on SAAC taught me the importance of having a voice and speaking up for our athletes,” she said. “I also had the opportunity to lead the organization and plan events for them.”

SAAC keeps Georgia College athletes informed on new or changing rules or policy put in place by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It also serves as a voice in making changes or improvements in all sports at the NCAA level.

“Caroline was not only a great representative of the softball program, but for Georgia College, as well,” said Jamie Grodecki, assistant athletic director-SWA, head softball coach and deputy Title IX coordinator.

“SAAC is a crucial part of the NCAA governing body. With her help,” Grodecki said, “SAAC lead the department in the charge to grant a wish through the Make-A-Wish program.”

In addition, Snider helped lead the Game Changers leadership program for five years, where she learned life skills like etiquette, interview preparation, financial tips and more.

“Caroline used the Game Changers program as an opportunity to grow her personal leadership and communication skills. She learned that leading is serving,” said Grodecki. “She also learned that there was more to her than just being an athlete.”

Snider was also on the leadership team with Kudzu-college Ministry. It helped her step out of her comfort zone by talking to strangers, leading small groups and serving her community.

Playing softball in addition to her mass communication studies instilled a sense of teamwork in Snider. She plans to apply these leadership skills at the Georgia Cotton Commission.

“I worked on many group projects with many different people within my major, so teamwork and communication were vital,” she said. “Distributing an equal amount of work and bringing that back to the group to reach the end goal by working together, making changes and accepting feedback—these are the keys to successful leadership.” 

Caroline Snider takes a picture of Dr. Phillip Roberts, professor and extension entomologist for the University of Georgia in a cotton field.
Caroline Snider takes a picture of Dr. Phillip Roberts, professor and extension entomologist for the University of Georgia in a cotton field.

On the job, Snider also plans to use the skills she learned in photography, editing and video production. She will use virtual ways of teaching through platforms like Padlet, Book Creator and FlipGrid. She learned these skills at Georgia College, along with how to be a leader.

“I took advantage of those opportunities at Georgia College that could improve my leadership skills in the future,” she said. “Understanding yourself and your personality and figuring out how to work with other individuals, who have different ideas and personalities—just knowing how to encourage and work with others—is a major part in being a leader.”

A significant amount of Snider’s time at work has been spent getting the Georgia Cotton Commission website ready for launch soon. She also manages the organization’s social media platforms, does radio and social media ads, writes media releases and conducts virtual events.

Considering Snider does not have an agricultural background, she takes advantage of every opportunity to grow and learn more about cotton every day.

“I’m still learning more about the research being conducted with cotton,” she said. “I constantly learn more every day and use my communication skills by asking questions and doing a lot of research on my own.”

Soon, Snider will teach the basics of cotton to groups of all ages.

“I’ll use my skills I learned at Georgia College to educate others about the cotton story—the importance and benefits of cotton and supporting Georgia farmers,” she said. “It’s been an awesome learning experience, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”