Faces of Nelnet: Christy Phillips, Director of Client Services
Dawn: What are the goals of your department?
Throughout the past two years, Nelnet Loan Servicing has remained focused on our clients, while working to realign our structure and ensure continued dedicated support in a changing market. Despite recent change in policy on how loans will be financed for higher education – our commercial clients remain a powerful driver behind our loan servicing business today and into our future. I am proud of our team’s ability to adapt to the changing needs of our customers while remaining true to corporate our mission and values.
Nelnet’s Client Services is responsible for managing and nurturing of our interactions with clients and sales prospects for all commercial lender clients. We work in conjunction with business leaders to ensure processes met clients’ needs and expectations. Our goal, simply stated is Customer Service Excellence.
Dawn: What is a typical day for you?
Christy : I start my day by checking my blackberry for new messages and reviewing my meeting schedule for the day. Then I drink a cup of coffee while getting ready to commute into the office. My commute has changed this last year after moving from our Denver office to our corporate headquarters in Lincoln Nebraska in June. In addition to a shorter drive in the morning, I now have the benefit of working in the same office as our Lender Intake team. I recently hired a new manager to focus on diversification of our intake model to support more of Nelnet’s customers for increased efficiencies and leveraging cross product support opportunities.
In the office, I will review inventory stats and service performance from the prior business day and seek clarification on any aging items and send kudos if we are ahead of service levels. Then I am typically wrapped up in client calls and/or project calls for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. Our team is relatively small and our scope relatively wide-spread across our servicing division – we are kept on our toes and work hard to push through a lot of projects to enhance our client experience.
Dawn: What has been your biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12 months?
Christy: My biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12-months has been keeping on-top and mindful of the impacts of transition(s). These transition(s) can be grouped as:
- Restructure transition(s) – Jacksonville, FL and Woodbury, MN;
- Personal transition(s) – my relocation from Denver to Lincoln; and
- Market transition(s) – including ending of the FFEL program and increasing regulations for private student loans.
Dawn: If a school asks you what you do for Nelnet that impacts them, what would you say?
Christy : We support the various lender programs that allow for competition and variety in their loan offerings to borrowers. In the past, this included the FFEL program and now focuses on our Firstmark Services – private loan lender programs. As Nelnet continues to find economies of scale across our servicing division – we are positioned to provide lenders and their programs strength, stability, quality service and borrower continuity.
Dawn: What are doing for New Years Eve this year?
Christy Phillips: This is an interesting year for me. My sister is getting married in Maui in mid-January, so for the first time ever I am spending Christmas and New Year’s solo in a new home town. I’m sure I will sip some bubbly and eat some black-eyed peas while packing for Hawaii.
Dawn: What is one piece of clothing you just can’t live without?
Christy: That’s an easy one – I really don’t have anything in my wardrobe that I could not live without. Now shoes or hand bags… that would be a different answer.
Dawn: What was your very first job?
Christy: I used to babysit for a piano teacher after school every day. She would give lessons and I would take her two little boys to the park and play. I would use the money I made to buy things that my parents wouldn’t buy me – like a Swatch watch or Gloria Vanderbelt jeans. My first REAL job was a hostess at Grandy’s. I would take a basket of rolls around to patrons of the restaurant – I quickly advanced to the drive-thru window, and then quit after I’d earned enough money to pay for my Sadie-Hawkin’s mum.