Business, Business Analyst, Financial Aid, HEUG News, Lifestyle

Introducing HEUG Famous: Meet Scott Cho – The Financial Aid Trailblazer!

The HEUG is thrilled to kick off our new blog series, “HEUG Famous,” dedicated to spotlighting exceptional individuals within the HEUG community. Today, we have the pleasure of introducing Scott Cho, a seasoned consultant who has left an indelible mark in the world of PeopleSoft Financial Aid. Get inspired as he shares his journey and experiences within the HEUG community and answers questions about his time in higher education and being a part of the HEUG.

Scott, where do you work? How long have you been there?

I have been a consultant since 2003, mostly in the Campus Solutions Financial Aid area.  Over the years, I have also dabbled in Campus Community and Student Financials, as well as Project Management.  The “old timers” know me as one of the “O.G.” PeopleSoft Financial Aid Trainers – which I did to start my PeopleSoft career back in the late 90’s.”

Are you working on-site, remotely, or hybrid?  What has that experience been like for you?

“As a consultant, I used to have to get on a plane every week to be at a school for the entire week, then come home and repeat.  Post Covid, I am working exclusively from home.  It’s been weird to work with no one else physically around – I think I get more done, but there’s less collaboration and less comradery.  It’s good and bad on both sides.”

What Student or ERP system do you work in, and what modules do you primarily work with?

“I primarily work with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, but lately, I’ve gotten involved with Oracle Student Cloud’s Student Financial Planning.  As you can guess, I am primarily a Financial Aid guy.  And, as a Financial Aid person will tell you, once a Financial Aid guy, you’re always a Financial Aid guy.”

When did you get involved with HEUG?  How did that happen?

“When I was starting out as a trainer, I wanted to see how the schools were using PeopleSoft, so I lobbied my bosses to be a part of the community.  In those days, it wasn’t so unusual for PeopleSoft employees to post to the HEUG and participate as “regular” conference attendees.  I learned so much, I continued to do whatever I could to be a part of the community and attended conferences.”

What is your first HEUG related memory?

“I recall being in sessions at my first conference, trying to “blend in” and see what kind of differences there were in what I was teaching and how it was being used in real life.  At one of those sessions, someone found out that I worked for PeopleSoft and very quickly, I had a little group of people bombarding me with questions about the functionality.  It showed me how hungry people were for information and at the time, I was happy to provide what I could.  It also helped me understand how I needed to change the way I teach – to focus on certain things because they were not well understood.”

In what capacities have you been involved with HEUG?

“I’ve been an active member of the community, participating in many regional and national conferences.”

Do you have a favorite or meaningful story regarding your time in HEUG?

“There are so many countless people that I have taught/consulted over the years, climb the ladder of success to become so important that I need to talk with their secretaries to get an appointment to shake their hands!  Seriously, it’s so encouraging to watch a person start in the community with a nervous and unsure demeanor, blossom to confidence and eventually become a mentor to others.”

Have you ever been to a HEUG conference (Alliance or a Regional)? If yes, which was your favorite and why?

“I think I may have been to over 20 conferences.  Over the last 20+ years, I think I have missed 3 or 4 national conferences and about the same number of Midwest Conferences (where I’m from).  Honestly, a lot of them blend together, but I love the fact that there’s always something familiar (sessions with knowledgeable people, discussion of ideas) and something new (new types of sessions, new ways for sharing information, and especially, new people).  In almost every conference I go to, there is a moment, a conversation, or a session where I didn’t realize/know something, that transforms something I was doing.  It happens so regularly; I go to conferences expecting it!”

What is your value proposition for HEUG? What makes it worth being a part of?

“It fascinates and shocks me how institutions that are designed to train and teach, typically do not invest the time, money, and resources to train and teach their staff.  So often, I see staff thrown into jobs that they know little about.  Thank goodness that the HEUG consistently fills that gap with people willing to extend their time and knowledge to help others do their job a little better.  Also, I don’t think there is a community as active as Financial Aid.  It makes sense since the business of financial aid changes so much.  Knowing that we are all in this together, members of the HEUG are always willing to share information and resources to inform us of changes (at the Oracle and Government levels) so that we can stay on top of our jobs.”

Do you have a work-related philosophy you would like to share with us?

“Do good (quality work, for the best interest of the school) and good will follow.”

What new app/technology/platform is intriguing to you right now?

“I always look for ways in which schools are leveraging those unused features that have been available for years.  With the ongoing support of PeopleSoft for at least another decade, “new, unused” features (Common Attribute Framework, Drop Zones, Questionnaire Framework, etc.), become more important to extend the lifecycle of the product.”

Scott, thank you for your time and we are so excited to celebrate you as our first “HEUG Famous” member!

“Thank you for the opportunity!”

The HEUG Famous blog series serves as a gateway to unite our community, giving you an opportunity to get to know some of the remarkable individuals who contribute to our collective growth and success. We are immensely grateful to Scott Cho for sharing his inspiring journey and insights with us.   Now, we turn to you, our valued community! We want to hear your thoughts and nominations for the next HEUG Famous entry. Who do you believe deserves to be recognized for their exceptional contributions and impact within the HEUG community? Whether it’s a colleague, mentor, or friend, share your recommendations in the comments below! Let’s celebrate the unsung heroes who make the HEUG community thrive. Your engagement and feedback will play an essential role in shaping the future of HEUG Famous, making it a platform that truly celebrates the brilliance and dedication of our members.   Stay tuned for more captivating stories, and until then, let’s keep the spirit of connection and camaraderie alive within the HEUG family.

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