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Faces of Nelnet: Sean LaNoue from Audit Services

March 14, 2011

Sean LaNoue, Information Technology Auditor, Audit Services

Dawn Knight: What are the goals of your department?

Sean LaNoue: With the Department of Education contract, we’re subjected to increased scrutiny from 3rd parties such as Federal Student Aid, and have had to expand our audit processes to accommodate the increase in controls that are examined to ensure they satisfy our contractual requirements.  All of the changes had to be completed on a very compressed timeline and I am appreciative that my department was able to “buckle down” to incorporate those changes to facilitate successful 3rd party reviews.

Dawn: Please describe a typical day for you.

Sean: I start each day with a Venti Carmel Macchiato….and a full email inbox.  I typically spend the first hour responding to e-mails from the preceding evening then, depending on our audit schedule, will start working on the internal audits we’re performing or the coordination of document procurement for the external audits .On an ad-hoc basis, I also serve as a consultant for different IT areas within the organization on a new processes or procedures that they might be implementing.  Our team assists in ensuring that processes being implemented pass the guidelines we maintain as a company.

Dawn: What has been your biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12 months?

Sean: With all the changes and regulatory requirements, I’ve had to take multi-tasking to a whole new level.  Being able to work on multiple things is one thing, but making sure that everything is being prioritized – properly – at the same time is something entirely different.  I’ve realized that I am able to see the bigger picture and prioritize accordingly.

Dawn: If a school asks you what you do for Nelnet that impacts them, what would you say? 

Sean: I am a monitoring tool for our information technology division that helps to protect their students’ data.  We take this very seriously as an organization and, along with that; I also take this very personally.  I have several friends who have loans on our system and I would never want to have their data compromised when I know that there are controls to help alleviate that from ever happening.

Dawn: If you could have dinner with anyone on the planet, who would that be and what would you order?   

Sean: Edward Norton – because I think he is the most versatile actor on the planet.  I would order surf & turf since I assume he would be paying.

Dawn: What is one piece of clothing you just can’t live without? 

Sean: My baseball hats.  When I am outside of work, I wear hats quite often.

Dawn: What was your very first job?

Sean: I was the floor associate at a Wal-mart.  I was responsible for the toilet paper and paper towel department.  I have to say that we goofed around a lot.  It was a fun job.

Dawn Knight, Rocky Mountain & Western Regional Director (AZ, CO, ID, NV, ND, OR, WA, WY), Nelnet Partner Solutions

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