We’re thrilled to sit down with DeeAnn Wenger, president of Nelnet Campus Commerce, to learn more about her leadership and outlook for the company.
What does the typical day look like for you at Nelnet Campus Commerce?
I’m in several meetings per day ranging from 3-4 on a slower day to 9-10 meetings on a busy day. I block one day a week where I do not accept meetings (it doesn’t always work) in order to have more focused time to work on bigger projects and business strategy. Otherwise I rely heavily on my to-do list. My list is color-coded by deadlines, which allows me to plan times during the week when I need to work on certain projects.
What’s the best decision you’ve made professionally? What’s the best decision you’ve made personally?
Professionally, the best decision I’ve made is to constantly challenge myself to learn something new – either in the industry or to improve my overall leadership.
Personally – to share our faith with our three sons.
What did you want to be when you were young and how did you eventually end up on this career path?
I wanted to be a veterinarian as long as I can remember, but I did not enjoy chemistry in high school at all. I loved math and my business classes and decided to study finance in college. After college, I worked in banking and wealth management before joining Nelnet in 2012.
Which books on business or leadership would you recommend?
I am constantly reading books on leadership and listening to podcasts on the subject. I recommend all books by Patrick Lencioni, he is my favorite business author. Also, the Extraordinary Coach by John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett, and BOOM! by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg.
As a female executive, what are three things that women just starting their careers should aspire to or think about in terms of growth?
- Be in charge of your own professional growth and challenge yourself to develop new skills.
- Find a good mentor.
- Exceed expectations in your current role and take on more responsibility.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Balance in life fluctuates constantly. There is no secret formula to achieving balance in your life. Be in tune to your priorities, both at work and with your personal life, and determine where you are needed most that day or hour.
Nelnet Campus Commerce is known for having a great work culture. How would you explain our corporate culture to someone?
Our associates have a passion around promoting strong education options for the families we serve and providing outstanding customer service. We care about our customers, and we care about each other. You can feel it inside our company.
How does the future of Nelnet Campus Commerce excite and motivate you?
We focus on supporting education in a variety of ways and adapting new technologies to benefit students, teachers, administrators, and parents. With the pace of change and disruption in the market, we are excited about the opportunities to grow and continue to add value to those we serve.