Jodi Standrowicz - Sales & Operations Coordinator
Jodi started working for GeoVisions in 2011 as the sales and operations coordinator. Before working for GeoVisions, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in marriage and family counseling from Hofstra University. With 10 years experience in student life at both Hofstra University and Northwestern University, Jodi came to GeoVisions prepared to help participants find the right way to see the world. She believes it is important to be more than spectator in the stands, which is why she encourages students to get in the game and experience life through travel.
How did you get connected to GeoVisions?
I heard of an opening through a friend who was working here at the time.
You have a masters degree in marriage and family counseling. How does your academic background help you in your current role?
I counsel people everyday! In sales, contacts are trying to figure out which path to take. In operations, if someone is home sick, having issues abroad, having difficulty assimilating, then I counsel them through their issue.
What international experiences have impacted your career most greatly?
I work with people all over the world. There are plenty of sites to see, but for me, it’s about the people I work with. Learning how our cultures are different and discovering the ways that we are similar.
What does a typical day of work look like for you?
Everyday is different, which is what I love most about my job. I reply to emails, I have appointments with those interested in our programs, I trouble shoot issues, speak with participants preparing to go abroad, listen to feedback to make improvements, watch videos participants send me, look at pictures, etc.
How have your previous jobs at both Hofstra and Northwestern University prepared you to work for GeoVisions?
I gained experience in programming, student development, supervision, teamwork, personal development, and counseling. I utilize these skills each and everyday.
What is the most frequently asked question you receive?
Is it safe?
In your own opinion, what sets GeoVisions apart from other international education program providers?
We work with everyone one-on-one. The programs are individualized to each participant. We listen to feedback and make improvements, and we strive to provide a positive platform for those we are sending abroad.
What do you think participants are most surprised by when they arrive in their new home?
People are most surprised by how people in other countries live differently than we do. In other countries, people are not as technologically plugged in as we are. They do not utilize technology 24/7, which is a nice escape. People abroad also eat healthier than we do, lots of fresh ingredients and smaller portions.
Over the past five years or so you’ve been with GeoVisions, what do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
Helping create our teach programs in Asia. I have been here since the beginning, so I consider it my baby.
What is your best piece of advice you’d like every potential participant to know?
To challenge themselves to go out of their comfort zones. Immerse themselves and be respectful of a new culture while sharing their own culture. Take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Have an open mind and learn from each experience.
What do you like most about your job?
The people in our office, the partners we work with, and all the participants that I work with. I love to grow and learn with others, and hope I play a small role in their life’s journey.
If you could choose one GeoVisions program to participate in, which one would you choose and why?
I would choose the Language Camp Counselor program in Thailand. First, Thailand is a beautiful country with incredibly friendly, welcoming people. Second, this program provides a comprehensive orientation focused on the culture and language of Thailand. There is always a fun group of counselors in the group, and you travel to a new location each week. Third, the program allows down time to travel or to just hang out when you are not teaching.
Is there anything we can look forward to from GeoVisions in 2016?
New programs for sure! Shorter programs for people who have less time to commit to a program. We have brought on new staff as we are growing to meet the demands of our participants. GeoVisions will continue to be an innovative leader in the field of cultural exchange.