Ema Roloff, Naviant Inc.
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Ema Roloff, account manager, Naviant Inc.
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1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
There is a steep learning curve in my industry and understanding the software solutions that streamline business processes can make anyone’s head swim. Oftentimes potential customers find themselves buried in technical resources that seem like they are written in a different language. The most challenging and rewarding aspect of what I do at Naviant is educating our customers on our industry and solutions.
I have been given the freedom to push myself to find new techniques to help our customers understand the potential behind the solutions that we provide. I really enjoy using my background in education to take a different approach to writing content for our blog, facilitating webinars, and presenting our message to our customers.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
The businessperson who I admire most is my father-in-law, Dave Roloff. Starting his career operating a printing press, he worked his way up over the years and is now the president of Econoprint, the company that he started at over 40 years ago.
He has built his career and company by genuinely caring about his employees and customers. Since joining the family, those traits and that passion for people have shaped me and my career. It has been incredibly valuable for me to have a business leader in Madison as one of my biggest cheerleaders and confidants. His constant encouragement and advice has helped me more than I can say.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
The high point of my career so far has been finding the right fit at Naviant. In general, I don’t strongly identify with the stereotypes that plague the millennial generation, but the bit about millennials needing a strong company culture that they can believe in is spot on for me.
We may not have a slide or some of the other more flashy cultural features that have become synonymous with technology companies, but we have a great group of people who believe in working hard, treating our team and customers with respect, and finding true work-life balance. I feel so lucky to be able to say that I am friends with my coworkers, I laugh every day, and I feel encouraged to try new things and push myself.
4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
As a young professional, I reserve the right to amend this answer in 10 years when I have gathered more wisdom. But at this point in my career I would love to go back in time and tell myself to take more chances and believe in the strengths that I bring to the table. Not 100% qualified for a position? Apply! The worst that will happen is you won’t get the job.
Personality can’t be taught but job skills can. Taking a risk and trying something completely new when you are young is a lot less threatening than later in life. Take the time you have to find a career path, not just a job.