Jeanette P.

Business Manager, ACIO Finance — ISC ACIO
Portrait photo of Jeanette P.

ISC service(s) or programs/projects:  ACIO Finance

Length of time in ISC:  Joined ISC in 2022 and Penn in 1986

Previous work experience:  Joined Penn as fiscal coordinator for Athletics in 1986, then business manager for Recreation at the Pottruck Center, then 15 years for Facilities. When I first came to Penn we were typing purchase orders on trifold paper!

Tell us about a challenge at Penn that made you proud to be part of ISC.

When I first came to ISC, I had to learn new software like Apptio. I’d previously used systems with similar functions, so using concepts from there I was able to catch on quickly. I’m an independent learner, and I’ve been working so long that I don’t want to be babied. It sinks in better if you show me the basics, let me explore and then ask my questions. My supervisor, Michelle Hickman, is amazing! She’s never bothered by my questions and always shares what she knows. She and everyone on the team let me be me. It makes your work life so much better if you can just be yourself. Being in that kind of supportive environment is freedom.

What’s an interesting technical or business problem you’ve faced with ISC?

We had a vendor providing Penn with an ongoing, mission-critical service. They had credited our account with a large, six-figure sum — but due to differences between the vendor’s billing system and our payment system, we found ourselves unable to redeem that credit. We kept making monthly payments even when we carried a huge untouched credit balance. To get to a resolution, I reached out to people on the vendor side. We worked closely with each other to understand the details and limitations of our different financial systems. Together, we were able to figure out a new way to set up Penn’s bill that satisfied the technical requirements on both sides — and allow Penn to claim our full account credit.

What do you like best about working with clients?

I answer all of the ISC Remedy tickets that come in about billing. I'm a teacher by nature, and I get so excited when I can take what people may think is a complex issue and break it down. I enjoy that. When I arrived, there was a backlog of Remedy tickets about billing. I had to respond to all the ones that still needed an answer. Now I keep that queue down to one or two. I’m big on customer service—it’s one of my passions. I research the answers and double-check to make sure we haven’t missed anything. We treat people with respect and don’t leave them hanging. I want our group to look good. That’s always on my radar!

How do you stay connected with colleagues in our hybrid work environment?

If you ask me a question in email and I answer that question, and then you ask me another question, I’m going to call you because after two emails, I’m done — we need to get on the phone. I’ll open Teams and we’ll talk on a video call, that way you can see who I am. I’ll say “Okay, this is what we’re looking at and this is where we need to go with it. Let’s break it down.” If you give people the knowledge they need, you empower them. But that means you have to take the time to empower them. Recently I spent 45 minutes on a video call with a new staff person resolving an invoicing issue. When they walked away, they were comfortable with the process and knew that if they had a question, they could call me. And that’s the beginning of a relationship.

What do you appreciate most about the time you spend on campus?

The University campus is amazing. It’s a beautiful space, and the way it’s set up I always feel safe. A colleague and I went to the Bio Pond and my eyes got so big. I was like, are you kidding me? Is this really on a city campus? And I tell people all the time there are great things about working at a university because generally it acts with integrity. At Penn, working for the university has integrity. I’ve had opportunities I would not have gotten if I was in the corporate world.

What are you passionate about in your free time?

Definitely my family. I have a set of twins. They’re grown and married, and I now have six grandsons who are all under the age of three. So this part of my life right now is amazing. My children work for the airlines, so I’m able to travel for free. I paid for them to get University dollars and go to college, and now they pay for me to fly all over the place. I’m also a line dancer. I go to practice, and I travel to different cities to line dance. I started line dancing when my husband passed away. It was a nice release and distraction. It kind of worked me through the grieving process. So I just kept doing it, and that builds muscle memory. It’s a lot of fun—I’ve met some great people.

What would you like people at Penn to know about you?

If you have a question or need something, just call! I'll stop everything I'm doing to help people. I like to be empowered, so I want to empower other people.