Jenni Peterson has lived in Minnesota all her life. "I haven't strayed far from the Twin Cities area," she said. "I grew up in St. Paul and still live there now."
Jenni and her husband got married in October 2012. They own a duplex in St. Paul with their two-year-old Boxer named Rocky. They live in one half of the duplex and then rent the other half.
Though Jenni hasn't lived anywhere else but Minnesota, she loves to travel. She has been to a dozen countries, including all over Western Europe, Japan, Israel, Belize, Mexico, and Canada.
Her favorite spots to visit are Belize, where she recently went on her honeymoon, and Barcelona, Spain. "I studied abroad in Spain and I also spent a month after college there," she said. "I have been to Spain three times and have spent a total of six months of my life there. It's one of my favorite places."
Not only does Jenni love to travel, but she also loves to eat. "If I could be anything, I would be a food and travel writer," she said. "I'd love to be like Jeffrey Steingarten, the author of The Man Who Ate Everything."
In fact, Jenni's love of travel and food is what helped her recently get the job as the Manager of University Veterans Services in One Stop. "When I was interviewing for the Manager position at Veterans Services, I did a presentation about my favorite food from each country that I've been to," she said. "I love studying other cultures and there is no better way to learn than to travel and eat."
Jenni has been working at the University and in One Stop Student Services for five years. Her first two years of working here, she was a One Stop counselor and then became a Senior Counselor in University Veterans Services. At the end of November, Jenni was promoted to the position of One Stop Manager where she manages University Veterans Services.
Now, Jenni oversees all of University Veterans Services, including managing the Veterans Affairs (VA) work-study students, three veterans coordinators, and five One Stop counselors. Jenni works with all students, but she primarily works with student veterans. Jenni will be working on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project in the coming months as well.
The best part about her job, Jenni says, is helping a "student veteran who has no idea where to start or go, and I'm able to help them transition to life at the U."
Jenni is in a unique position because she often has the chance to get to know the student veterans that come into her office. "There are roughly 750 students who receive GI Bill benefits, so we see them a few times a semester," Jenni said. "You get to be more familiar with veteran students and their families."
Though many people who work in University Veterans Services offices are veterans themselves, Jenni is the exception. "Prior to working here, I had little to no experience with veterans," she said. "I feel honored to serve veterans and University students as a whole."
One surprising thing you may not know about Jenni: she's an adrenaline junkie. She has gone skydiving, paragliding, and recently repelled 300 feet into a cave in Belize. "I'm a short woman so I don't fit the stereotype of the person who enjoys jumping out of planes," Jenni said. "But I love anything that gets my adrenaline going."
1. Her favorite movies are Casino and Amelie.
2. Jenni enjoys cooking, especially Mexican food, and loves to bake fresh bread.
3. People have often told Jenni that she looks like Natalie Portman.
4. Jenni is terrified of rodents, but bats are particularly frightening because they are "flying rodents."
5. Jenni studied Global Studies and Sociology and European Area Studies at the U.
6. Her favorite book series is the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson.
7. She loves the Flaming Lips. She has seen them in concert six times.
8. Her first concert was Alanis Morissette in junior high school.
9. Jenni loves to go camping, especially in the Boundary Waters.
10. Her best Halloween costume was when she dressed as a pumpkin sitting on a table. "My mom put a box over me to look like a table and my head was the pumpkin," she said.