Home > finals > Finding dream job took Nelnet communication director several years

Finding dream job took Nelnet communication director several years

By Melody Claus
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ben Kiser is the Communications Director of Nelnet in Lincoln, Nebraska. (photo courtesy of leadershiplincoln.org)

Ben Kiser is the Communications Director of Nelnet in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo courtesy of leadershiplincoln.org)

After graduating from college, Ben Kiser didn’t worry about finding the perfect job right away. Instead, he focused on learning new skills from each position he held.

That helped him acquire his current position as the communications director for Nelnet, a student loan service company, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Kiser grew up in Columbus, Nebraska, but moved to Oklahoma City where he graduated from high school. Later, he traveled back to Nebraska where he eventually graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Eventually, he earned a master’s degree in leadership from Bellevue University.

Before he graduated from UNL, he worked part time for a chemistry lab and was a member of the Republican Party Club. He worked full time for the club and ran campaigns for the Nebraska Republican Party for the next several years.

Seven different jobs in the next several years led him to acquire skills that would eventually make him a perfect fit as the communications director at Nelnet. He started with Nelnet as director of media and public relations after seeing the job posted in a newspaper ad. He said he was grateful to find a job where he felt he fit in and could add value.

Now, Kiser works with the media and on public affairs, legislative positions and public policy initiatives.

“For me it’s different than most people on my team. There is variety, a meeting for a project, a media call for the Huffington Post,” Kiser said, “I love the variety and handling things I wasn’t expecting. It’s so rewarding to have that variety.”

Nelnet offers plenty of room for variety.  The company focuses on communications, marketing, public relations and Web development, which are important features for servicing student loans and working with its target market.

Editing and revisions are important factors in his work, Kiser said. Today’s fast pace doesn’t allow room for errors.

“Editing and proofreading are incredibly important. When Nelnet goes to print with reports, there are usually many revisions and people provide comments to edit them. Each time there are editing sessions, it helps the final product look better and better,” he said. “The editing process can take a long time but in most cases it makes the end product better. Editing is vitally important in digital, electronic and social media because finding a good process for editing and proofing is essential.”

Kiser’s advice to students is:

“Go out and find the best organization that you can, dig in, and get going. Jump in and get a feel for what it’s like and see where you can add value. Find what you like to do and what you’re passionate about.”

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