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Faces of Nelnet: Geoff Kruse -Team Leader in Nelnet’s Customer Interaction Center

June 19, 2011

Geoff Kruse,Team Leader of the Solutions Center

Dawn Knight:  What is your favorite thing about what you do at Nelnet? 

Geoff Kruse:  Without a doubt the most rewarding thing I do at work is helping a borrower.  Most of the time they are calling us because they have a question, or maybe they had a problem, or there was something they couldn’t understand. Solving that issue is the most gratifying thing about my job.

Another one of my favorite things at Nelnet is the people I work with – they’re great.

Dawn: Please describe a typical day for you.

Geoff: There is no typical day in the Solution Center – which keeps it even more interesting. We handle a wide variety of research and escalation issues as well as monitor any congressional control mail, privacy breaches; identify theft, and social media.  We have a program that scans the internet for Nelnet related postings – negative postings – and part of my team communicates back to those folks and tries to address whatever they might be upset at.  We actually have some replies afterwards that thank us – or no reply at all, but at least they know that Nelnet is out there and cares about people’s experiences with us.

My primary function is to keep the team running smoothly.  I am there if they need a second set of eyes, maybe access to a system they don’t have, or to brainstorm an issue.  My face time with customers is less then what is used to be but I do work on escalation calls when needed.

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

Geoff: The biggest challenge has been the variety of new functions our team has taken on over the past year….like the privacy breach, congressional mail, and social media monitoring.  It’s all great stuff but the challenge has been trying to learn the processes and being able to juggle our time accordingly – while not missing anything. 

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

Geoff: We’re available to their students and borrowers and try to get to the root of the problem, solve it, and satisfy the customer. 

Dawn:  OK, all the work questions are done, let’s go through the non-work stuff.  If you could rewrite your high school year book quote, what would you say?

Geoff: Well, I didn’t say any brilliant, life-changing quote in high school and I’m not sure I have one now.  Let me think about it and get back to you.  (Sidebar: Geoff did not get back to me which only encourages me to use this against him at a later date.  That’s how I roll.)

Dawn: What is one habit you have that actually annoys even you?  Before I let you speak though, I see that you’re wearing a Yankees shirt….I have to be honest, being an avid Boston Red Sox fan, that shirt annoys me. 

Geoff: Well, the Red Sox won last night so you can’t be too upset with me wearing it.

Dawn:  Yes, I can and I am.  Anyway….what is your annoying habit?

Geoff: I tend to beat a dead horse on all kinds of things…and totally get it from my Dad.  Basically, I get over analytical and can’t let things die when they really should – and that’s even annoying to me.

Dawn: What reality TV show is your favorite and why?

Geoff: Hells’ Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey.  Cooking is very tangible and everyone can do it.  I enjoy watching the food and I think food is something that everyone enjoys.  A few years ago, I would have said American Idol but the past couple seasons – although I didn’t watch a single episode this season – were not good at all.

Dawn:  This season was excellent though!  The talent was amazing and the new judges made it a more positive experience instead of being in attack mode as in the past. 

Dawn: I haven’t asked you about your band – can I add that to this interview?  It’s the coolest part of you!  Tell me about it…

Geoff:  It’s going great!  The band is called ‘All My Friends Are Dinosaurs” and I am a singer / song-writer and bass player.  Some of the other guys in the band work at Nelnet, too.  It’s just a big passion of mine.  If you ‘like’ us on Facebook, you’ll be number 215.  (Sidebar: I am now infamous number 215.)

Dawn Knight, Western Regional Director: AZ, WA, OR, ID, NV, CA, WY and ND

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