Born and raised in the beautiful city of Medellin, Colombia, Lizeth Miller has spent most of her life in South America. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Medellin-Colombia and completed an internship in the Bank of Bogota as a credit analyst. But Miller was looking for something different. In 2014 she made a life-changing decision to move to the U.S. with the purpose of learning a new language—and culture. In 2016, Miller joined the McHale Landscape Design team as an HR assistant. As a testament to her hard work and dedication, the Upper Marlboro, Maryland-based company just named her HR manager.
We caught up with Miller to find out more.
What led you to move to the U.S. and pursue a career here?
My main goal, when I decided to move to the U.S., was to learn English. It was a big move, but I knew learning the English language was going to be beneficial for my future.
What made you choose to stay?
Compared to my country, the U.S. is very organized and has significantly more opportunities. In my country, your career is based on your college degree. It is hard to venture out of your degree field. Meaning, I would have to obtain a degree in Human Resources to have a career in that area.
However, it is common for individuals in the U.S. to have careers that are not necessarily in their original field. I believe this gives you the opportunity to find what you are passionate about.
What do you like most about working in HR?
What I enjoy most about my job, is how involved HR is in the improvement of the company. I love the variety of challenges I am faced with every day, which allows me to utilize my problem-solving skills. This enables me to create new policies and refine processes to help the company achieve goals.
What do you like most about having a career in the landscape industry?
I have not had a career in the landscape industry prior to working for McHale, however, I have always loved nature and spending time outside. I believe the landscape industry has the capacity to make a difference in people’s lives by creating and maintaining beautiful outdoor spaces, of which they can admire and appreciate. It is incredible to see the completed work of our talented employees, and how they transition our customers’ properties into their dream outdoor living spaces.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in the landscape industry?
I assumed the landscape industry was a predominantly male environment. But the number of women working in this field has grown significantly in recent years. Every day I see more women applying to work in the industry, not only in administrative positions, but in many different roles in this field. I believe the industry has platforms that allow anyone to be successful in any position.
What advice might you have for other young women considering a similar career path to yours?
It is a very fast-paced, quickly growin, and highly motivated industry that can be very rewarding. Like other forward-thinking companies, at McHale Landscape Design, we not only have women in the office in more traditional roles, but we have women in the field working as landscape designers, landscape architects, account managers, crew members and our head of operations is a woman.
What is a typical day like for you and what are some of your primary tasks and responsibilities?
McHale Landscape Design now has 248 employees at five locations. So there are few typical days because of constant change, which I love. However, my daily role is to implement and maintain company policies and compliance.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Besides painting and yoga, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and taking care of my dog, Arthur. My husband and I love to go to the movies, go bowling and try different restaurants. Together we enjoy spending time outside, like going on walks, hiking or riding bikes.