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Sallie Mae Director, Business Strategy and Planning in Newton, Massachusetts

When you join Sallie Mae, you become a champion for all students.

We’re on a mission to power confidence as students begin their unique journey. To help them plan their higher education, successfully finish, and prepare for life after school. To help them Start smart. Learn big.

Students need guidance navigating this important time in their life. They need someone who acknowledges that their education path is unique. They need a partner willing to evolve and not only meet but surpass their expectations. We’re changing. Because students need a better way.

We’re looking for people who are excited to drive this transformation. To break barriers and think of new ways to adapt, help, and create better experiences for students—and for each other.

This is where diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives matter. It’s where you’re empowered to bring your authentic self to work.

Feeling your best allows you to do your best. Our benefits take care of the whole you—from physical and mental to financial and professional. You’ll get opportunities to further your education and career, support for you and your family (including your pets!), paid time off to volunteer for the things that matter to you, and more.

We’re obsessed with impact and making a real difference. For us, that means putting relationships first, asking “why not?” when tackling challenges, and continuously learning new skills.

Come do more than join something, change something. For students, for future generations, for the future of education.

What You'll Contribute

The Director of Business Strategy & Planning will support our flagship Private Student Loan & Retail Deposits Businesses to drive transformation. The candidate will operate as an internal consultant within Sallie Mae collaborating across multiple functional teams to solve complex business problems. The Director will serve as a thought leader within the organization managing a broad scope of projects across strategic, financial, operational, and technical parameters from ideation through delivery.

As a proven leader, you will leverage your strong commercial acumen, relationship management prowess, and structured thinking to inspire followership in a matrixed organization to drive change at scale. You will demonstrate an innate intellectual curiosity to question all aspects of the business, and proactively identify optimization opportunities. You will conduct extensive research, both internal and external, to inform the different aspects of the strategies you will develop. You will have the tenacity and resilience to attack business problems from several different angles and not be daunted by roadblocks or headwinds. In essence, you will play an integral role in creating an archetype for thought leadership and operational excellence at Sallie Mae.

What You'll Do

  • Serve as a thought leader and collaborative problem solver to drive performance improvement across a broad set of initiatives with an initial focus on Product Management & Development, and Operating Model / Governance Processes.

  • Be a proactive self-starter who will seek to gain in-depth knowledge across all aspects of the business and develop strong hypotheses around business optimization.

  • Develop strong working relationships with executive leaders, business partners, and stakeholders to learn the business and partner to drive performance improvement.

  • Perform internal, market, macroeconomic, and competitive research to develop a view of potential risks and opportunities and formulate a mitigation plan

  • Develop financial models and sensitivity analyses to size the economic impact of business alternatives

  • Develop and deliver compelling presentations to all levels of the organization in order to drive support for business alternatives

  • Conduct due diligence activities and analyses in collaboration with key stakeholders across the organization

  • Design and facilitate collaborative and effective ideation sessions which include participants from all levels of the organization

  • Engage external parties and conduct due diligence for large strategic partnership opportunities

  • Demonstrate superior influencing skills and lead by example, acting as a coach for direct and indirect reports creating agents of change within the business

The above information is intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this job; it is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees in this role.

What you have

Minimum education, skills and experience required.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline such as engineering, economics, Information Systems / Computer Science required

  • 7-10 years of relevant industry experience required within Management Consulting or Corporate or Business Strategy roles in Financial Services required

  • Superior business and financial acumen; able to think end-2-end across multiple functional areas including Product, Marketing, Risk, Operations, Technologies, and Finance

  • Ability to break down complex problems to their root cause drivers and leverage quantitative analysis to prioritize categories of work to move towards target-state

  • Ability to form and influence relationships across a matrixed organization to gain buy-in and alignment towards a common direction

  • Intellectual curiosity with the ability to learn fast and drive results in the right way

  • Ability to operate independently and work with a sense of urgency

  • Strong attention to detail but can also elevate up and see the big picture

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products

Preferred education, skills, and experience.

  • Master’s or MBA degree strongly preferred.

  • Prior experience in the lending space preferred but not required.

The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination by employers, in compensation and employment opportunities, against qualified individuals with disabilities who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the “essential functions” of a job. A function may be essential for any of several reasons, including: the job exists to perform that function, the employee holding the job was hired for his/her expertise in performing the function, or only a limited number of employees are available to perform that function.

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Sallie Mae is proud to be an equal opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, gender identity, disability, Veteran status or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Click here ( to view the U.S. Pay Transparency Policy, here ( for federal job applicant notices, and here ( to view the California Employee Privacy Notice.

Reasonable accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities in all phases of the application and employment process. To request an accommodation please call (855) 756-2007 and choose option 9. All information you provide will be kept confidential and will be used only to the extent required to provide needed reasonable accommodations.

Sallie Mae is proud to be an equal opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, gender identity, disability, Veteran status or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. If you'd like more information about your EEO rights as an applicant, please click https://https/ https://https/ Click https://https/ to view the U.S. Pay Transparency Policy.