Meet Caryne Mesquita, CRM/CSM Manager
Being with Nelnet for 13 years already, Caryne is eager and excited for her new role.
Caryne is looking forward to forming genuine partnerships by going above and beyond to assist institutions in any way that is needed.
She is thrilled to take on a leadership role with such a stellar team made up of CRMs and CSMs in the West.
Effective communication, maximizing outcomes, and passionate listening are all top of mind for Caryne as she works to create a positive team environment.
What has been your experience in the higher education industry before coming to Nelnet Campus Commerce?
My entire career has been focused in higher education. Starting in the Financial Aid Office at my alma mater Clemson University, gave me a strong foundation in how universities work, who is involved not only in the decision making process, but in the actual implementation, and how it affects the student/family experience. My four years on the Nelnet Affinity Marking and Sales team working with the consolidation of student loans showed me the other side of funding education options. There was a brief stint in between my Affinity Marking and Nelnet Campus Commerce, when I worked at Harris Connect where I was involved with Alumni Associations’ online directories. Finally, in 2012 I returned to Nelnet as a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) and have learned, grown and have enjoyed this role tremendously.
What unique characteristics do you bring to the table?
Passionate listening. My CRM ‘super power’ is taking time with my partners and internal team to listen, gather all the details, and then come up with a win-win plan. Knowing the arsenal of subject matter experts we have at Nelnet Campus Commerce and the expertise our schools have on their side – listening allows me to pull together the right team to solve problems and brainstorm on solutions in a partner centric forum. Our partners want to be heard, as they should, and they value timely communication. With that in the forefront, working with my fantastic Nelnet Campus Commerce team, we continue to expand our relationships, add to our customer’s suite of services, and create champions across the nation.
What do you think is the most important part of your role at Nelnet Campus Commerce?
It is my goal to create and empower a team who strives to find win-win solutions and understands that working together is the key to our success. As we navigate our journey, everyone should have a voice and it is my goal for the team to know that I am their champion and ally. In good times and bad, we are only as strong as the person next to us and we can all make a positive impact regardless of the circumstance.
When it comes to serving our partnerships/future cliental, what do you enjoy most?
I love that no day is ever the same – it’s always an adventure. Creating an environment where we all feel comfortable enough to be ‘real’ daily is pivotal. I enjoy working together to build solutions and solve problems and the fun that comes with working hard – laughter is important. I love showing the depth of the Nelnet team and their commitment to our partners.
Ensuring institutions are utilizing Nelnet Campus Commerce products to the fullest and troubleshooting any issues is a big part of the CRM and CSM team, how do you go about doing this?
To ensure institutions are utilizing products to the fullest, open and frequent communication is a must. We schedule check-in calls and annual report meetings to ensure there is regular communication. Having internal calls with key team members allows us to troubleshoot from all angles. When allowed, we have in-person meetings with their full team and representatives from Nelnet who can problem solve, answer the technical questions, and show the clients the full force of a Nelnet Campus Commerce team that is there to support them.
How has your experience been with the Nelnet Campus Commerce team for the last 9 years?
I have treasured my time as a part of the Nelnet Campus Commerce team since 2012. As we move into 2021 what I find most exciting about taking on this leadership position is implementing the vision that Jackie Strohbehn has for us. With Jackie at the helm we have someone who has taken the time to understand every facet of the higher education team. She believes in that team and especially in the role that the CRM/CSM plays. The changes she’s put into practice and those that are part of her plan not only elevate the CRM/CSMs, but are reflective of the importance of this role to partnerships, revenue, and innovation. This restructuring is the new chapter NCC needs to be ready for the ever changing higher education landscape and I am thrilled to be part of the leadership team who will make it a reality.
When best-in-class service is implemented, what outcomes do you see?
‘Best-in-class customer service’ isn’t just a set of words. It is our North Star that guides us in every interaction; internally and with our partners. This set of values provides us with a foundation, creates continuity, and opens the door to clear and transparent collaboration. In its most basic form, when implemented, best-in-class takes customer service to the next level. The trust that is built allows Nelnet to be seen as a champion for our partners, a resource for their needs/ideas, and ultimately earns us a place as principal partner as we work together to support their students and families.
How do you help institutions increase payment efficiencies across campus?
I help institutions increase payment efficiencies by communicating effectively, bringing in key teams that need to be a part of the process, and utilizing Hubhelp or in-person training. Encouraging institutions to take part in webinars so that they can learn the latest and greatest about our solutions, ultimately to give them the tips and tricks on how to maximize the system is another strategy. We also have many case studies that are available to institutions so they can see the numbers for themselves. Offering client connections, we encourage the users to talk to each other about how they have solved a problem or instituted something that is ERP specific.
Who has given you the most important advice you’ve ever been given and what was it?
Mark Schilmoeller, when he hired me as a CRM, gave me important advice. He said, “This is technology so change will be your constant. You will never know everything about our solutions. Focus on your resources and knowing who to go to so that you can make sure your clients have the best experience working with us.”
My mother has also given me priceless advice. She gave me this quote telling me to always be myself, to be real and true to the energy and passion that surrounds me:
“The most invisible creators I know of are those artists whose medium is life itself. The ones who express the inexpressible- without brush, hammer, clay or guitar. They neither paint nor sculpt- their medium is their being. Whatever their presence touches has increased life. They see and don’t have to draw. They are the artists of being alive.” Donna J. Stone.
What is one thing that can instantly make your day better?
I am happiest when the team comes together to solve a problem no matter the size. I am fortunate to work with talented, smart, and creative experts here at Nelnet Campus Commerce. When we come together we are a force to be reckoned with. The willingness to help and go the extra mile is outstanding. When lightning like that strikes and a client gushes over our team – that makes my day better!
In your personal life, what do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about giving back to my community, making an impact, and living an adventurous life.
I am a member of the Junior League of Denver which has given me the life changing opportunity to give back here in Denver. Currently, I have the honor of serving as the President-Elect for the League, which allows me to be impressed daily by our passionate members. They help contribute to the 100+ year tradition of working towards positive changes in the community and to ensure that others can experience the same profound effect this organization has had on my life – for which I am beyond grateful!
I also serve as the secretary to the Colorado Clemson Club. This aligns with our mission of making educational dreams possible. When I was president of the club, we created an Endowment Scholarship. Once it is funded, there will be a scholarship for a student from Colorado to attend Clemson in perpetuity.
Life is short and I am lucky enough to surround myself with friends who embrace living a ‘why not’ life style. What does that mean? We are up for just about anything! Trusting each other and the opportunities that come our way has given me a crazy list of spectacular experiences and memories.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of the relationships that I have built within Nelnet Campus Commerce and with our clients. Relationships thrive when they are a based on the very qualities that make up our Best-in-Class customer service list. It is character that matters and I have spent my career focusing my attention on people. Showing kindness, generosity, and a sincere interest in others requires skill and keen observation. Putting those elements in to practice on a daily basis has forged friendships, resulting in a level of sincere trust across the board, and knowing that when my phone rings I will be there to answer the call.
In your personal and professional life, what motivates you to work hard?
The challenge of putting all the pieces together for a win-win motivates me in both my professional and personal life. Getting it right through listening, knowing my clients and my team puts a smile on my face! I get up every morning knowing that I have a chance to make the day better for someone – it’s that simple!