“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” — Brandon Sanderson
Here at Presence, stories are core to our mission. Not just our own story as a company, but the stories of the folks on our team, of our campus partners, of the people from our community. That’s because storytelling invokes some of the most essential skills: communication, empathy, and listening.
“We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”
— Jimmy Neil Smith
We want to help student affairs tell the story of its work, whether that’s through our software tools or through our blog.
Today, I’m incredibly excited to introduce our newest addition to the team, Jodi Tandet. Jodi is Presence’s first-ever Lead Storyteller.
As Lead Storyteller, Jodi will support our team of freelance writers in shaping their ideas and creating outstanding content. Plus, she’ll create some of her own! I could continue, but I’ll let Jodi tell you her own story through our welcome Q&A.
1. What lead you to Presence?
When I came across the job opening, I was struggling to decide if I wanted to continue along the student affairs path or veer on over to writing. Though I’ve adored being out and about in the field as a student affairs professional, I’ve deeply missed flexing my writing and editing muscles. But the job description for Presence’s Lead Storyteller straddled both worlds! I could use my writing skills to enhance the wide, wild world of student affairs?! It literally felt perfect.
Plus, how rad a title is Lead Storyteller?
2. What benefits or experiences do you hope to gain from working at Presence?
My role at Presence will undoubtedly enhance my writing and editing skills while widening my knowledge of student affairs — all within a super enthusiastic, caring team who has a fantastic sense of humor. Oh, and I’ll surely develop a stockpile of GIFs; I can’t hate that.
3. Where did you attend school? What did you study? Were you involved with any co-curricular or extracurricular activities?
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing with a minor in Jewish Studies at Emory University. (Point of pride: our football team has never been defeated. Yes, that’s because we don’t have one, but shhhhh.) I also wrote a blog for university admissions, led recruitment for the Panhellenic Council and my sorority (shoutout Gamma Phi Beta!), and mastered the art of walking backward as a campus tour guide.
Later, I earned my master’s in College Student Affairs at Nova Southeastern University. (Go sharks!) My graduate assistantship was in student media as the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.
4. Why are you excited to be a part of the Presence team?
Two words: office dogs. My human teammates are OK too, I guess.
I’m kidding; my new coworkers are incredible. They’re a wonderfully passionate bunch, filled with tremendous love for higher education and innovative solutions. I’m thrilled to further boost our team’s creativity by doing two of my very favorite things: writing and connecting with student affairs professionals.
5. What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to hike, read, binge-watch TV (latest obsession: season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), bake, make ice cream, come up with new nicknames for my calico cat, Aubri, and of course, write. Oh and Pinterest projects! I love to start those. Sometimes I even finish.
6. What is something you’ve always wanted to try? What are some goals you have in the future you’d like to accomplish? Why?
I’d still like to become an Olympic figure skater. I’ve never taken a single skating lesson, but it’s not too late, right?
A debatably more realistic goal is to author a children’s book. As a child, books felt like absolute magic to me. I’d love to bring things full circle and gift kids with a similar sense of awe and whimsy.
Jodi, we’re all thrilled to welcome you to the team. Happy first day!