Meet Laura Faurot, Product Manager, at Nelnet Campus Commerce
Laura was recently promoted to Product Manager after being a Product Owner for the last few years.
She enjoys working in the higher education industry and identifies with Nelnet’s mission of making educational dreams possible.
Describe your work experiences with Nelnet prior to this role.
I was a business analyst and tester for Nelnet Refunds and Nelnet Storefront products for four years. For the last three years, I was the product owner for our Storefront, Refunds, and Admin Dashboard products. Through both of these roles, I participated in different ways in the launch and maturation of the various products, worked with clients to help them successfully use these products, and worked with teams across Nelnet to help them best serve our clients’ needs with these products.
What do you enjoy about working in higher education?
I really identify with Nelnet’s mission of making educational dreams possible. It is so inspiring to see all the different kinds of institutions Nelnet Campus Commerce serves and the different and innovative ways they provide their students with life-changing education. I love being able to be a small part in making it easier for schools to do some of the critical tasks they need to do.
What does a typical day look like for you as a Product Manager?
One of the things I love about my job is that there are a variety of things I get to do and so many different people I get to meet. On any given day, I might be meeting with clients or prospective clients about how our products can best meet their needs, meeting with internal teams to make sure they can best support their clients, road mapping and collecting data to drive decisions, and planning out the future of the products I support.
What are some unique characteristics you bring to this role?
My education and early career background is on the tech side. In college, I minored in Computer Science. Early on, I found I loved translating between technical and business, whether putting business needs in terms the development teams understand or relaying technological information in ways that make sense to other areas of Nelnet and our customers. I think this will help me balance the various viewpoints to make the best decisions possible in this role.
What is your process when working with clients to determine new product features?
I think the best process is an iterative one. I like to meet with clients and dive in to understand their needs and what they are trying to accomplish. I ask a lot of questions and always want to be sure that at the end of a meeting I can confidently restate back to the client what they are trying to accomplish and the pain points they have. I then take that information back and work internally with various Nelnet resources to propose a solution. After that, I think the key part is circling back with clients, getting their feedback on the proposed solution, and iterating until there is consensus on the best path forward.
Share with us something exciting about our products Nelnet Checkout and Storefront.
I’m really excited about Checkout. We have several certified third parties and more in the pipeline and we are continually seeking more third parties to certify. I get excited to see more and more third parties that can take payments through Nelnet’s Checkout product. With Storefront, I’m excited about all the new clients and stores we’re onboarding. The Nelnet implementation team has been working on training videos and other content to help our clients get the most out of Storefront and expand their usage of the product.
Since you helped in the implementation of Pendo, can you tell us a little about that?
Pendo is a powerful tool within our products which allows us to create customizable and targeted in-app content. We use it at Nelnet within our applications to communicate to our clients, highlight or train on new features, or answer FAQs. In addition, we use it to provide clients who need it with targeted messaging to their students or consumers.
Can you tell us something exciting Pendo can do to improve our solutions?
If there are specific instructions you need to provide to your students, you can absolutely ask your account manager if that could be in Pendo. Some examples: holiday closure pop-ups informing students or customers that service may be delayed, specific service instructions that a school has, tool tips to answer an FAQ that they are seeing a lot of, and so much more. In addition, we are working hard internally to utilize Pendo in our products so you can get answers to more of your questions instantaneously in the product.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Basically, if you want something you have to plot the steps to get what you want.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy?
I’ve been a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer for over a year now, and I love getting to advocate for the best interests of children in the child welfare system and push to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks. In addition, I love following and blogging about royals from around the world. I’ve learned so much about different causes and different countries because of that. Finally, most nights you can find me watching an NHL hockey game.
Author: Natalie Schwarz
Natalie Schwarz is a Content Marketing Writer for Nelnet Campus Commerce. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and has over a decade of professional writing experience. When she’s not crafting content for blogs, case studies, and social media, you can find her enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their twin boys or relaxing with an embroidery project and a podcast.