Meet Raul Matos, Product Owner for Nelnet Campus Commerce
Raul recently joined the Nelnet Campus Commerce Product Team as a Product Owner for Nelnet Storefront.
He comes to Nelnet with product owner experience from the insurance industry and is excited to learn all he can about higher education.
Before coming to Nelnet Campus Commerce, what are some highlights from your career?
Before coming to Nelnet Campus Commerce, I worked in IT Digital Claims at a national insurance agency for just over five years. There I held various roles including Business Analyst, Software Analyst, Release Management Analyst, and Product Owner. In those roles I applied various agile methodologies to design, plan, test, deliver, and support self-service claims products for both auto and boat. Prior to this, I worked in various auto claims handling roles for 10 years.
What interested you in the position of Product Owner?
I am a naturally curious person and with that curiosity always come the question of “How can this be better?” I believe continuously asking and answering this question is at the core of providing value as a Product Owner. Also, I really enjoy collaborating with teams and clients to deliver value. Of all the roles I’ve held in my previous work experience, Product Owner is my favorite and I plan to have this continue to be true here at Nelnet.
Can you describe what you see as an important aspect of this role?
To me, the most important aspect of this role is to maximize the value of delivered products to our respective clients. Delivering a functional product is important; however, without value that functionality may never find use. I will work closely with my clients, my Product Manager, my peers, and the development team to maintain that focus on value.
What excites you about beginning a career in the higher education industry?
What excites me about a career in higher education is that there are so many new things for me to learn. There are a lot of different institutions providing students with life-changing education. I’m excited to be a part of this team and to put in the work that helps institutions meet their needs as the industry grows and evolves.
List three unique characteristics you bring to this position.
I have a natural curiosity which results in lots of questions. I am not afraid to ask as many questions as it takes to have a deeper understanding of things. Also, I am driven by improvement. I always want to understand how something can be done better. Whether it’s efficiency, value, or cost I want to know where the area of opportunity for improvement is and how I can help deliver it. Lastly, I am open-minded to alternative ideas and varying perspectives. Looking at things with a different perspective can create new possibilities and solutions not previously considered.
How will you collaborate with clients to identify new product features?
I like to collaborate using inquiry and empathy. Using my knowledge of the product, I will ask targeted questions to understand the wants and needs of the client as well as the potential value a new feature could provide. While doing this, I try to see things from the client’s perspective to better understand why a new feature or enhancement is important to them and what the pain points are.
What motivates you to work hard?
The opportunity to learn as part of a team. I want to learn how things work and how they don’t, and I want to experience that with a team that is at their best when people are both learning from and teaching one another.
Share with us a valuable piece of advice that someone has given you?
Never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” It’s not just the first step to learning something you don’t know, but it is also an opportunity to provide a fresh perspective to those that do know.
Outside of work, do you have any activities or hobbies that you enjoy?
Outside of work I enjoy spending time relaxing with my wife Shannon and our two children Aurora, 12, and Addison, 9. Also, I love playing and collecting video games. The family and I enjoy playing games together on the Nintendo Switch, but if it’s just me, you’ll find me with a PlayStation controller in my hands.