Women in Leadership Spotlight: Kirsten Hansen, Assistant Director, Project Management, Teleservices

We interviewed our very own Kirsten Hansen and asked her six 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.

I am grateful to support the advancement of Teleservices key initiatives.  My day is mixed with a nice balance of creation and execution of plans.  I work with an amazing group as there is a lot of trust and respect for individual talents.  We also have a lot of fun together.  We know each other’s buttons and delight in pushing them a lot!!!  We are united in achieving our PACE dream.

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

My ambition was and is to make a positive impact on people.  To listen more and talk less.  To be more curious about others rather than myself.  To use my creative people instincts to delight others.  Toys and things are just nice to have’s but not must haves for me. I believe it was Albert Einstein who said the key to happiness is to live simply.  There’s a lot of genius in that statement!

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

Feeling like I had to have all the answers all the time.

How has mentorship impacted your career?

You have to mentor yourself.  You will find people along your own development path that support you.  In the end, you have to mentor you!

How would you describe your leadership style?

Encourage people to be thoughtful and take pride in their work.

How do you identify potential leaders on your team?

They self-identify and then I help them

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

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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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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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