MVP: Most Valuable Professional is an occasional series that features a brief Q&A with a different NASFAA member. Do you know a financial aid colleague with something interesting to say? Send the names of potential future MVPs and a short note about why you're nominating them to email@example.com.
Meet Amy Cable. She has been working in financial aid for 15 years, beginning as a student worker in the financial aid office at the University of Memphis—a job she was offered as she was completing a promissory note for her student loan. As she stood at the counter in the aid office, a man approached her and asked if she was an independent student. When she answered that she still lived with her mother, he responded that her honesty was refreshing and offered her a job. "I was just starting college and needed some extra money. Who could have known that would start my career in financial aid?" she said. Amy currently serves as the executive director of enrollment management at the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), which she enjoys because she loves working with students, her team, and the college system's "overall mission to educate the citizens of Louisiana."
"Financial aid can be a tough job, but when you see a student you helped walk across the stage and receive their degree, it makes the job worth it," Amy said.
Amy has served on NASFAA's Publications Editorial Board, Assessing Tuition and Debt-Free Higher Education Task Force, Conference Mentor Task Force, and Standards of Excellence (SOE) New Service Focus Group.
What is one thing that working in financial aid has taught you?
To be patient with students and the Department of Education, and to be organized so that I can keep up with all that is financial aid, from regulation changes to due dates, etc. Lastly, it has taught me to be resilient.
What was your most motivating financial aid experience?
I encountered a student who received so many scholarships her first year that her entire four years of college were paid for. I had to do a budget adjustment so she could get all of the funding. The student was so excited, and she would come and see me every year up until she graduated. I often talk about her experience when I give presentations to students about the value of exploring scholarships.
What advice would you have given yourself when you first began your career?
To never underestimate the value of the community college system and the education it provides to students from all walks of life.
What's on your desk right now?
To-do lists—I have to set up the new aid year so we can begin downloading Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs)! I also have awards from committees I have served on and candy for when my team and I need a pick-me-up!
What is a goal you've set for yourself for the upcoming year?
To take advantage of professional development opportunities, to explore enrollment management, and to expand on centralizing services on behalf of our colleges.
What is a fear or obstacle that you have overcome?
Conflict resolution. To be a good team lead, you have to be able to manage conflict in a positive way.
Name one thing on your bucket list.
To travel to Germany.
Who is your hero and why?
My grandmother, Patsy. She always encouraged me to get an education and to never stop reaching for my goals. She worked very hard to help me reach my goals, from buying me a car to get back and forth to school, to helping me buy books.
(photos top to bottom: trip to France/ LCTCS Christmas decorating contest/ celebrating Mardi Gras with husband, Bob)
Want to say hello to Amy or reply to something she said? Please leave your remarks in the comments section below. You can also take a look back at our past MVPs to read any you missed the first time around.
Do you know a financial aid colleague with something interesting to say? Send the names of potential future MVPs and a short note about why you're nominating them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Date: 11/7/2018