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Nelnet Interns: Gregory Henning

December 13, 2013

29392c7Last year at this time, I was finishing my first semester of college as an Advertising and Public Relations major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I was just starting to get the hang of living in the dorms, finding my way around campus, and, of course, eating in the dining halls. My stress level was at an all-time high as I started to prepare for finals. If you would have told me that I would have a part-time internship now, I probably would have laughed. As a sophomore, I still have a lot to learn and am eager for any experience that will help me learn more about the advertising and public relations field. While I was looking for an internship, it was frustrating to see that many companies require students to be at least a junior, so I was ecstatic when I was given the opportunity to interview with Nelnet. Nelnet offers internships to students of all levels, including graduate students.

Gregory Henning is in his third and final year of law school at the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver. Over this past semester, he interned in Nelnet’s legal department at the Aurora, Colorado office. Before Gregory moved on to the next chapter in his life, I had the opportunity to ask him about his experience with Nelnet:

  • Why did you decide to accept an internship at Nelnet?

I decided to work for Nelnet because I wanted to gain more experience in a business setting, learning the needs and items of importance to a business client, in order to more effectively serve my clients when I work in a firm. Working for a law firm has the potential of isolating an attorney from understanding the business context their clients are working in, as well as creating the  possibility that an attorney will consider an issue from a legal perspective without taking into account all of the possible business ramifications. In working for Nelnet, I sought to ensure that I would have a more firm grasp on the needs of the client so that I might take that understanding with me when I go to work for a firm.

  • What aspect of being an intern at Nelnet did you most enjoy?

My favorite aspect of my Nelnet experience has undoubtedly been learning about how the legal department interfaces with the rest of the company. Law school has been very good at teaching me the legal complexities involved in working for a business client, but only practical experience permits me the opportunity to see how the legal considerations operate in a real-life setting. It has truly been a pleasure gaining experience in taking legal considerations and learning how to implement them in such a way as to be beneficial to the various departments with whom I have worked.

  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Because I grew up in Wisconsin, I really enjoy learning more about Colorado and exploring its many sights and attractions. My wife and I both enjoy the many days of sunshine here, sand volleyball, and hiking in the mountains.  When I’m not outdoors, I enjoy reading and watching college football. Although I’m not able to do so as much I would like, my greatest joy is travelling and learning about different cultures.

  • What do you want to do after school?

I plan to join a law firm specializing in transactional work, hopefully one which affords me the opportunity to engage in work with an international dimension. My wife and I are also looking forward to starting a family and settling down somewhere in the Denver area.

  • What’s something you have learned about Nelnet that you didn’t know before you started your internship?

I was pleasantly surprised to learn about how philanthropic Nelnet is and of the many organizations it helps support. Giving back to the community is very near and dear to my heart, so it is inspiring to see a company as actively involved in giving back to the community as Nelnet continues to be.

  • What financial literacy topics do you think are most pressing to students your age?

I believe that every law student yearns for financial assistance in any manner. It seems the common mantra among students is to dread looking at the amount of the loans they must repay, and loan forgiveness is such an appealing proposal for just such a reason. Due to the significant amount of loans they must borrow to finance their education, however, I know many students who feel compelled to take high-paying positions over positions that would be beneficial to the many organizations and clients who simply cannot afford legal services. This causes many students who truly wish to make a change or who seek to champion a noble cause to abandon those aspirations because of the need to find a home and eat.

  • What apps do you use the most on your phone?

I frequently use my phone to check email, driving conditions and traffic, and as an alarm clock. However, the app I use the most is undoubtedly Unblock Me. It is one of my proudest accomplishments to have beaten 500 levels of that addicting game.

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

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