Creating an awesome work environment By Dana Staats February 4, 2021

Interns to Full-Time Associates – January’s New to Nelnet Update

It’s a new year, and we’re excited to highlight some wonderful interns who transitioned to full-time

positions here at Nelnet. We appreciate all the great work they do, and now it’s time to learn a little bit more

about these associates in our New to Nelnet January 2021 feature.

This month we sat down with Samantha Crandall and Austin Essman, two associate accountants at Nelnet Business Services (NBS).

How did your Nelnet internship prepare you for a full-time role?

Samantha: My internship was really the reason I decided to stay with Nelnet. I loved Nelnet’s culture and the people I worked with. The internship also helped me gain technical knowledge that wasn’t taught in my classes.

Austin: My internship introduced me to the accounting environment of Nelnet and many associates across teams in NBS. My internship also taught me more about the company and its products and services, and how my role relates to those products and services.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

Samantha: I typically log on around 8 a.m. and check my emails first. I was kind of shocked by how many emails I get each day now. Then I have two daily reports I start with each morning, and after that I work on Peace of Mind claims. I usually take a break for lunch around 12, and I’m still in training so a lot of my afternoons are taken up by training.

Austin: The first part of my day involves checking emails, both my own inbox and a shared one that my team uses for billing inquiries. The next step is to determine what projects or job-related tasks need to be finished from the preceding day(s). Additionally, depending on the time of month, completing the necessary month-end or reconciliation tasks is important. The rest of the day is spent on other miscellaneous tasks that need to be completed and answering client inquiries as they come in throughout the day.

How would you describe Nelnet’s culture?

Samantha: Lively. Everyone I come in contact with at Nelnet loves their job and is excited about working at Nelnet. It goes a long way in making others feel welcome and excited about logging on to work.

Austin: I would describe it as friendly, welcoming, and encouraging. My experiences with my colleagues and teams have been incredible. I’ve always felt like I was welcomed and a part of a stellar work environment. Everyone is friendly and extremely helpful whenever I have questions, encouraging me to perform at my best and reach my potential as a member of the team.

What are a few of your favorite things about working at Nelnet?

Samantha: Once COVID hit I think a lot of companies struggled with being able to have everyone stay in contact and feel like a community, however, I never felt that with Nelnet. Nelnet was able to adapt quickly and there wasn’t a period of time when we fell out of contact or failed in communication.

Austin: With the environment and atmosphere at Nelnet, further fostered by my team members, it’s impossible not to have a great day! I also love how accommodating Nelnet has been for its employees, allowing me to work from home and placing importance on my schooling while I was an intern.

 Any advice for college students seeking internships?

Samantha: Say yes. When I applied to Nelnet I actually applied for a tax internship, at the time that’s what I wanted to go into so I was only applying for those internships. My recruiter called and explained they had the NBS Finance and Accounting internship available that they wanted me to apply for, so I went out on a limb and just said yes. I figured at worst I’d get a little more interview practice, and ended up loving my internship and wanting to stay on.

Austin: My advice is to work hard and apply yourself! Network with companies that visit campus and apply to any and all internships available to you. Do not feel discouraged if you do not succeed on the first try either, I applied at Nelnet for an internship twice before getting accepted.

Bonus question: Give us a fun fact about yourself!

Samantha: I love to read, since graduating I’ve read 10+ books.

Austin: I have a twin sister and I’m an alumnus of the Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band!

Visit our internship page to learn more about life as a Nelnet intern.



Dana Staats

Senior Corporate Communications Writer