Organized chaos. That’s how Laura Jensen describes working in the accounts receivable management industry, and it might be the most apt characterization ever mentioned in these profiles. Even though she would drop everything to run a dog rescue, Laura has clearly found a home in the ARM industry and the industry is all the better off because of it. Read on to learn more about Laura, what she likes to watch to disconnect, and why she will never turn down a trip to the nation’s capital.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was a paralegal for a BPO in-house legal department, and my position was eliminated. I was looking in the classifieds for a new job (in an actual newspaper) and there was an ad for working with external collections attorneys. I responded with my resume and got a call from the hiring manager who said the ad was actually for an attorney. I was mortified that I missed that key point in the ad, but he said he thought my background would still be a fit and with that I was hired as a legal supervisor for Collect America.
What is your career highlight so far?
I’ve been able to visit Washington, D.C. for various industry events many times and I currently serve as a co-chair on the State Legislative Committee for RMAI. Through these channels I’ve been given some amazing opportunities to see and do things with Legislative bodies that most Americans aren’t lucky enough to experience. As a major politics geek, having the opportunity to blend my passion for policy and my professional work has been totally awesome.
When or how are you most productive?
Late in the afternoon/early in the evening when everyone else has gone home and the office is quiet, I can really get into a groove and get tons of work done.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Wow. This is by far the most difficult question to answer. I really do have so many people I have looked up to (and continue to). To make this a little easier I’m going with someone who is currently in the industry and that would be Kaye Dreifuerst. She has always been someone that has helped me navigate this crazy space and along the way became a great friend!
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Make connections, either for myself or for my industry peers. I love to make connections to help everyone out.
What do you like most about this industry?
The organized chaos. There is never a dull moment. We are all looking for the next best product or solution and navigating our way through the latest regulatory or legal challenge.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The misunderstanding that we have from the outside. Legitimate industry participants all want to work with consumers and business who have the ability to pay to help them navigate their way out of being in tough financial situations. No ARM company I know is targeting anyone who can’t pay, and in fact we all spend massive amounts of time and resources to avoid those individuals. Unfortunately, there are agents of misinformation and bad actors that seem determined to misrepresent us as an industry.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Policy work to advocate for education reform.
Describe a typical work day
If I happen to not be on the road, I will get to the office and work to source new portfolios or support existing portfolios and usually have a day full of meeting with teams across the organization in order to so.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Binge watching “Sex and the City.” I call it comfort watching.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
There is a difference between listening and hearing what someone says. You have to hear them.
What are you currently reading?
“Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA“
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
That if I could live out my days running a dog rescue, I would start tomorrow.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?