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Faces of Nelnet: Kenna Schneringer from Corporate Communications

August 5, 2011


Kenna Schneringer from Corporate Communications - and her son, Wyatt

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

Kenna:  Well, I think that you have to work in a place where you believe in their mission.  Just as Nelnet, I am a firm believer in higher education.  I was privileged to go to a four-year liberal arts school, at the time, I didn’t quite understand why I needed to take classes like Basic Drawing or World Civilizations, but now it all makes sense. Just allowing students to explore the opportunities out there opens so many doors that they never thought were there. I feel that I was very lucky to have that opportunity.

On the work side, I would have to say that my favorite thing at Nelnet is the people.  I work within a pretty small team but it’s like we’re family – when you think about how much time you spend together it would be pretty miserable to work on a team different than this. Overtime, we’ve learned each other’s quirks and definitely how to have fun. In my position I also get to work with several different business units and departments at Nelnet – not just loan servicing – such as Peterson’s, 5280 Solutions, and FACTS.  So, I get to learn quite a bit about different areas within Nelnet.

Dawn: Please describe a typical day for you.

Kenna:  Most of my days revolve around delivering mass e-mail messages to the majority of our student population. It can range from welcoming new loan holders to our system to promoting our new web site initiatives. Along with this, I also facilitate the corporate communications side of the School Service Center through internal and external communications to schools. As school gets back into session, I will also spend a lot of time coordinating the delivery of FACTS e-mail blasts, which market their payment services to schools.

I also am part of the overarching conversion group, as I represent Corporate Communications in this process.  I work to ensure borrowers and schools are aware (as loans move onto our systems) of the changes to ensure they are informed in a simple way so they can best understand those changes on a timely basis.

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

Kenna:  Really, my role has changed so much over the past year.  About a year ago, I was just dabbling in e-mail communications.  But, over the past year, I became the lead on that – which I love.  It’s been a huge learning curve and a quick one at that, but it’s been a good challenge. I make sure that we’re delivering timely communications that are easy to understand and then circling around to the business owners to ensure the communications were meeting their goals. There are quite a few things to always keep current on relating to large communications like we do – the regulations and all opt-out considerations.

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

Kenna:  With the schools directly, I work to make sure they’re informed of any updates that might impact them such as loan conversions, PUT process transactions, etc.  For instance, when all the originations changed, the Department of Education encouraged the servicers to ensure schools and borrowers were informed of what was going on. I played a part in fine-tuning the messages directed to schools and ensured they were delivered on time.

 Indirectly, I work to make sure that borrowers are aware of their loan process, make it simple for them to understand, and hopefully help clarify the process and alleviate schools of some of the questions they receive into their financial aid office.

Dawn: If you could rewrite your high school year book quote, what would you say?

Kenna: I would steal the quote from the infamous Marilyn Monroe, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” I spent too many of those years to concerned with what others thought and not embracing who I was. Quirks and all.

Dawn: What is one habit you have that actually annoys even you?

Kenna:  Funny. I have a very random mind. I’m pretty used to getting those raised eyebrow looks when I voice my observations. Annoying for others as they often come out at weird times.  Annoying for me because, well quite frankly, it’s hard for me to patiently wait for my opportunity to share them. Ok, so maybe this is just what annoys others.

With this, I also have a hard time staying on one task for long periods of time. The problem is that I am also very detailed oriented.  Those two things conflict and I find myself jumping from one thing to another, knowing that I want to complete all the little details. Oh wait, maybe that’s called self control….regardless, it’s annoying to me.

Dawn: What super-power would you like to have?

Kenna:  Being a working mom, the ability to “duplicate” sounds pretty awesome. I learned of this super power after researching super powers on Wikipedia. Obviously, I’m not really into that stuff.

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

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