Women in Leadership Spotlight: Emily Madsen, Senior Director of Product Marketing

We interviewed Emily Madsen, our Senior Director of Product Marketing, to ask her eight questions about her experience as a female leader within Progrexion! Read her interview below and leave a comment to tell us what you think!

Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day.

My day to day is focused on selling our Care products. I work with the marketing channel managers, the product team, and sales team to work on new strategies and ways to get our Care products (Lex OnTrack, and CR’s ThinkCredit), into the market. It’s an exciting new area of our business! I also help drive culture for the marketing group.

When you first started your career, what were your ambitions? Have they changed? 

I graduated from Utah State in English Literature, teaching emphasis. I taught high school for a couple years and then realized I had more I wanted to learn/do, before teaching. It’s been a twisting journey, but I’m thrilled to have landed in marketing.

What were some of your biggest challenges when you first started to take on leadership roles?

When I first moved into a leadership/management role it took me some time to get used to delegating. I had been a strong personal contributor – it was hard to make the change and find personal value in supporting my team, not just completing my own task list. It wasn’t natural for me at first – but now it’s something I find very rewarding.

How has mentorship impacted your career?

I have had a couple mentors that have been key to my career. One was my Executive Creative Director at my previous company. He gave me an opportunity to move from the film and production side of the creative world, to creative direction and usability. His taking the time to teach me, and help me grow changed my career path. I’ll be forever grateful for that. I’ve been conscious to try and pay forward what he shared with me.

How would you describe your leadership style?

From a technical definition, I am an affiliative leader. I love to encourage collaboration. I care about people, how they are doing, and their emotional needs. From there, I make sure we are staying on the same path, and living into the vision and goals we have set. For me, caring about people is the most impactful thing I can do. With that relationship, I work at helping people reach their potential.

What female leader do you admire and why?

The female leaders I admire most are ones I know personally. My Mother, my sisters, close friends. I have a dear friend that is the COO of a local branch of a national non-profit organization. Her position often handles front line crisis that deals in domestic violence. I admire her steady head, and consistent compassion for those she serves. I look to her for an example of how to keep people first, use compassion, and be direct when navigating challenges.

How does diversity impact your team?

As a kid, I was a huge Mr. Rogers fan. There was a character on the show called “Purple Panda.” Purple Panda lived in a world where everyone was exactly the same. Even at a young age, I could see clearly that “all the same” was not interesting – or engaging. Working with people from different life paths, backgrounds, cultures, etc. helps drive me. There is so much to learn from others, when we take the time to do so.

How do you identify potential leaders on your team?

Drive. When I see someone with “fire in the belly,” I look for ways to help clear a path for them. Often times these people are seen as significant personal contributors – but it’s my experience when you can help driven people share there enthusiasm with others, it opens doors for them to grow and expand their influence.

If you would like to come work with someone like Emily, CLICK HERE to apply now!

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Women in Leadership Spotlight: Jen Cline

We interviewed Jen Cline, our Senior Director of Quality Assurance in our IT Department, to ask her eight questions about her experience as a female leader within Progrexion! Read her interview below and leave a comment to tell us what you think!

  1. Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day.
    1. The IT leadership team meets every morning to review where we are on key initiatives, get cross-team updates on current projects and to provide a forum for questions or concerns. Once our morning meetings are done, most of my day is split between meetings regarding current and future projects, planning for my resources and working with the QA team.
  2. When you first started your career, what were your ambitions? Have they changed?
    1. When I was first involved in software QA, my goal at each company and on each project was to become an expert in my area of responsibility. As a subject matter expert, I knew that I could positively impact the value the current project would have on the company and that I would have a personal role in its success.  Now, as a leader, my ambition is to develop an outstanding team that can deliver on their commitments while encouraging personal development and growth.
  3. What were some of your biggest challenges when you first started to take on leadership roles?
    1. Making the transition from an individual contributor to a leader of contributors. Ensuring the work is done well without doing it myself. Not getting so caught up in the hustle and bustle of meetings that I lose sight of the fact that I am a coach and have a responsibility to everyone on my team to provide them with what they need to succeed.
  4. How has mentorship impacted your career?
    1. I have been so fortunate in my very diverse career to have had mentors every step of the way. Having a strong, effective leader that I am able to reach out to for advice, encouragement and support is a key component of my personal growth, allowing me to benefit from their years of experience.  A mentor on my previous career was actually my biggest supporter in my moving into software QA and his absolute certainty that I would excel was one of the reasons I made the change.
  5. How would you describe your leadership style?
    1. First and foremost, I am a coach. My job is to help everyone on my team grow, improve and succeed.  I believe in treating others with respect and also know that teams succeed with strong leaders that are present, honest, focused on the right things and ensure that their team is likewise focused.  I have high expectations and it’s my job to ensure those expectations are clearly communicated and consistently upheld.  I also realize that my team is made up of individuals that deserve individual attention and accommodation, as well as recognition for a job well done.
  6. What female leader do you admire and why?
    1. There are really so many, especially in the IT While this is often known as a male dominated industry, I have known many woman in leadership roles that I admire. I was fortunate enough to work for a woman that grew into a leadership role while building a software QA department, pretty much from the ground up. I admire that she had a vision of what good software QA entailed and tenaciously put together policies, procedures and documentation that is still in use today.
  7. How does diversity impact your team?
    1. Our willingness to embrace diversity in the IT organization gives us an enormous pool of talent to select from. We have career IT professionals and high performers from our call centers.  We have individuals born and raised right here in Utah and from thousands of miles away.  Male, female, Master’s degrees, High School diplomas, any number of different religions and cultures and languages.  We hire for talent and work ethic and as a result have an extraordinary group of individuals that make up our teams.
  8. . How do you identify potential leaders on your team?
    1. First, I make sure I understand who on my team is interested in leadership. Wanting that level of responsibility is key to succeeding in a leadership role.  Next, I look for individuals that are problem solvers and natural coaches that operate with absolute integrity and are always willing to take on a new challenge.

We hope you were inspired by Jen’s interview! Have a question for Jen about her role and path to leadership? Email her at jcline@progrexion.com.

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Progrexion Joins Utah’s Fight Against Hunger

Across nine locations, including call centers and corporate offices, Progrexion assembled 90,000 meals to help feed those in need.

What is hunger? To some, it’s a rumbling stomach or a minor inconvenience. To others, it’s a matter of life and death. Rise Against Hunger is an international organization dedicated to ending the hunger epidemic by the year 2030. As ambitious as this goal may sound, it is equally possible if the world can come together and mobilize the necessary resources—everyone, everywhere.

Last month, Progrexion, a local company that enables American consumers to repair their credit, joined the fight against hunger. Across nine locations, including call centers and corporate offices, Progrexion assembled 90,000 meals to help feed those in need. You too can make a difference in the fight against hunger, by visiting RiseAgainstHunger.org and donating your time or money.

As for Progrexion, this trend of giving is one that’s going to stick. Progrexion is a growing (and caring) company that seeks to better not only the lives of its employees, but the lives of all those in need. At the core of Progrexion’s values is the belief that everyone deserves access to the tools of success. While that certainly includes food, it also extends to where you work. If you’re interested in starting a career at a company that rewards hard work and a helpful attitude, head online to www.progrexion.com/careers or text CAREERS to 444222.
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ProgrexionRiseAgainstHunger

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Three Key Basics to a Great Candidate Experience – A 15 Second Risk

Diversity People Recruitment Search Opportunity Concept

Several years ago, I decided to leave my career in the Latin American recruiting consulting field and transition back into corporate recruiting management. During this move I quickly realized how critical a new candidate’s experience is to a company’s overall culture. Even more important; this experience, good or bad, will have serious ramifications on a company’s reputation as a great place to work. As I interviewed for various positions, I became discouraged in my search, realizing that most companies tend to miss the mark in three key recruiting basics: attention, persuasion and experience.

  • Attention: The new candidate experience begins the moment a potential candidate hears about a company, regardless of the method. But once this person has heard of a company, what drives them to apply for said company over its competition? What draws their attention? Is it a key message, a single word, phrase or simply curiosity? If you are a recruiting or hiring manager; are you willing to bet your career on attracting someone’s attention in less than 7 words, or in 15 seconds? You better. With a passive candidate, that’s all you get. A 15 second phone call drew me to my current role at Progrexion. Keep your messaging simple. The best candidates will have a natural curiosity and will start to ask questions, do research and contact your company based on the simple messaging used.
  • Persuasion: At Progrexion, we offer each candidate a life changing experience. We stand by our motto, “Uniquely Different on Purpose” as an introduction to why Progrexion’s culture stands out against the competition. Would that persuade you to apply? What about benefits, culture or money? Is it more important for a company to offer community service or free food? In a candidate run world, and much like marketing, recruiting has the ability to persuade people into buying what you are offering. Moving them from their current status, location or job is all about marketing and the employee value proposition. What else can you offer to persuade today’s new top candidates?
  • Experience: Finally, the most important part is the candidates overall experience. To determine if the candidate had an excellent experience, ask yourself these questions: Can the candidate apply quickly over the phone? Can they find necessary company information, and is it clear what your company does and offers to consumers? Is your interview process streamlined? If it is a more drawn out process, is the candidate willing to stick around? How fast do you call to set up the first interview, and when do you set the face-to-face interview? How BOLD are you during the process? Are you willing to tell a potential candidate they might not be the right fit for a position? How is your tempo during the interview? Do you move so fast the candidate feels they are being sold something superficial? How is the onboarding and day one process? *SHRM research shows that 90% of new employees decide whether or not they will stay with a company in the first six months, with up to 17% leaving in the first 90 days. How much paperwork does it take to onboard, and are you prepared? What is the new hire’s experience on day 1, 30 and day 90? Do your new hires have mentors to help them succeed? If you miss the mark on these key items, your new hires will be gone in less than six months and will only stay with the company until the next job comes along.

Final thoughts: As I mentioned, the candidate experience begins the moment they hear about a company and does not end until well after the candidate has been hired and on boarded. Remember that candidates not selected are just as important as those hired. What story will candidates tell about your company?

During my transition back to corporate recruiting, I met and interviewed with several companies. To this day, two of those companies stand out because my candidate experience was so great, and I still refer people to them seven years later.

Candidate experience is ever changing, and what you do today will be different six months from now. As markets and generations change, the three key basics will always stay the same: attention, persuasion and experience.

Happy Hunting!

Ryan Reeder, Senior Director Talent Acquisition

*https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/onboarding-key-retaining-engaging-talent.aspx

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Women in Leadership Spotlight: Lisa Kimball

Meet Lisa Kimball,Women in Leadership Spotlight, Lisa Kimball Vice President of Partner Relations for Credit.com, working out of the Salt Lake City office. Lisa came onto the Credit.com team in April to manage strategic partnerships, account management and sales operations. She has more than 15 years of experience in banking and has worked in a wide variety of roles, including relationship management, operations management, process improvement and finance.

 1. Tell us a little bit about your day-to-day.

My days are very different depending on our team’s focus for the week and what kind of partner initiatives are underway. I love the variety. I switch gears from outlining strategies to optimize marketplaces for partners like Experian and myFICO, to working with our advertising partners on the inventory of offers we have available and placement of those offers, to reviewing operational and compliance processes. I enjoy working with the team and ensuring the success of our partners (which then drives our success).

2. When you first started your career, what were your ambitions? Have they changed?

I started my career as a CPA focused on corporate tax and forensic accounting. I found out fairly quickly that I didn’t love that work and began to consider how to switch gears. I was able to leverage my accounting background to work as a consultant specializing in system implementations for large financial and HR/Payroll systems. That led me into roles in finance, procurement, operations and relationship management. My career ambitions have been fairly consistent – to continue to grow and develop professionally while contributing to an organization that makes a positive impact. I have had to balance that ambition with a need for flexibility and stability to allow time to raise a family and enjoy activities outside of work.

3. What were some of your biggest challenges when you first started to take on leadership roles?

The biggest challenge in shifting to leadership roles was understanding that the work I did individually needed to take a backseat to making sure the team could accomplish their work. Basically, that the most important role of the leader is to set the vision, ensure it’s well communicated and help the team with any barriers that get in their way of executing. Making that shift, and letting go of the “doing it myself” mentality was very challenging.

4. How has mentorship impacted your career?

I have benefited from a handful of very impactful mentors – some were my direct managers and others were colleagues who were willing to take the time to provide useful feedback. In a variety of situations, those mentors have helped me tackle tough problems, provided encouragement and celebrated successes. I am grateful for each of these mentors and the help that they have given me.

5. How would you describe your leadership style?

I aspire to be a supportive leader – helping each person on my team to be successful. That includes providing direct and thoughtful feedback alongside encouragement and removing barriers and roadblocks. I tend to be very results focused and enjoy helping find creative solutions to our business problems.

6. What female leaders do you admire and why?

When I think of female leaders, I tend to think of women that I have known personally.  My grandmother is a great example – she had many challenges during her life and forged through them with amazing strength. At the same time, she instilled her values of hard work, fairness and service to her children and grandchildren.

7. How does diversity impact your team?

Diversity is an important aspect to my team because it helps us to see things from a variety of perspectives and to solve challenges in more creative ways. Valuing the contribution that each team member can make, especially when their experience and opinions differ from mine, is a key element of success.

8. How do you identify potential leaders on your team?

I believe that everyone is a leader – that individual actions have an impact on those around us whether or not that is part of the job title. I encourage my team to be aware of their own influence and to leverage that to help themselves and others be successful.

Learn more about our careers at https://www.progrexion.com/careers

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Progrexion 2015 Community Impact

2015 Progrexion giving poster_Page_1

Progrexion Community Impact

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