Faces of Nelnet: Janet Dehnert, Product Manager, Responsible Repay
Dawn Knight: What are the goals of your department?
Janet Dehnert: As the Sales Manager for Nelnet’s new school financial wellness and default prevention service, Responsible Repay, my goals are to:
- Assist schools with the challenges of managing their cohort default rates
- Assist schools by providing financial wellness services to their student loan borrowers
Dawn: Please describe a typical day for you.
Janet: At this time there is not a “typical day!” Responsible Repay is a newly developed service for schools based on Nelnet’s extensive experience in working with student loan customers. As such my days are filled with many different types of activities that involve providing information about our services. My day may include giving webcasts to interested schools, developing informative collateral, responding to school-issued Request for Proposals (RFPs), business travel, or other related duties designed to introduce this service to the market.
Dawn: What is your biggest challenge for your new role?
Janet: I would love to have more hours in the day. I am very excited about this new service and have so many ideas on how to share information on what we are building and how it can help schools. It would be great if I could be in multiple places at that same time.
Dawn: If a school asks you what you do for Nelnet that impact them, what would you say?
Janet: I can say a lot in answer to this question. My role is to introduce our Responsible Repay services to schools who are seeking innovative and effective ways to promote financial wellness and responsible repayment behavior to their student loan borrowers. Nelnet has been a trusted partner for schools for over 33 years and our new service is an expansion of that partnership. Today, schools are facing greater challenges in managing their cohort default rates while at the same time experiencing budget cuts and regulatory changes. They are looking for ways to do more with less. We have a great solution that is cost effective, and because of Nelnet’s recent investment in technology, provides services that schools cannot perform on their own.
Dawn: Who is your favorite comedian?
Janet: I saw Steve Martin when he was wearing that silly arrow through his head. At the time I thought “this guy is never going to make it.” Boy was I wrong! He is now one of my favorite comedians and comic actors. He just gets funnier each time I see him.
Dawn: What is the one piece of clothing you just can’t live without?
Janet: Well it is really not clothing in a strict sense of the word. But I cannot go a day without wearing a watch. I seem to collect them and love wearing different ones with different outfits or based on the season. My current favorite is one that my husband just gave me for Christmas.
Dawn: What was your very first job?
Janet: I got a work permit when I was 15 years old. My first job was working at the snack shop at our community swimming pool. It was a great summer job. I think my pay was around $1.32 an hour so I did not make a lot of money, but I sure had fun.