By Warren Peper // Marketing & Communication // 3.8.18
“I just enjoy what I do,” says Liz Niblett Thornton, matter of factly. The question, though, is how does she do it all?
Thornton graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2002 with a bachelor of music degree. She spent three years in the Army, and when that hitch ended, the Texas native decided to teach English in South Korea. Along the way, she became a wife and is now a mother to three children ages 5, 4 and 1. Her husband is a nurse and his job brought the Thorntons to Charleston.
Thornton decided sometime after her second child was born that she wanted a career in accounting. Her music degree would not quite satisfy those professional requirements. She needed to go back to college to accomplish that.
So here we are, as Thornton is taking four courses this semester, on her way to graduating with a degree in accounting in CSU’s School of Business in the summer of 2018.
In case you’re a little winded just hearing about Thornton’s goals and accomplishments, there’s one other element to add. She’s already taking some postgraduate courses online in order to get a head start on her MBA. And just for good measure, let’s throw this into the conversation, she has a 4.0 in all of these courses.
“My mom always said I was a bit of an overachiever,” smiles Thornton as her middle child, Parker, rests in her lap. “I feel really good when I accomplish something, though, it keeps me motivated.” But why with everything else that she has to juggle, would she choose one of the most challenging business majors? “I guess it’s my love of order, numbers make sense. The rest of my life is one big gray area.”
A vocational rehab advisor pointed her to CSU and she was able to use some VA funding, thanks to her military service. “The classes aren’t so big, it feels more personal.” Thornton also admits having some of the same professors for different courses is an advantage.
During her years on campus, she’s actually found some students in her classes who were willing to accept opportunities as baby-sitters. It’s been a whirlwind experience for this mom, with a military and musical background, who finds a calmness in the world of numbers and figures. Eventually, she’ll earn an additional title as a CPA.
At that point, will she just run out of gas? Her immediate answer is, “Hopefully, I can schedule some time to collapse in about a year.”