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Employee Spotlight: Jeremiah Christie

March 28, 2024

Jeremiah Christie | Senior Instructional Designer | Joined Penumbra in 2021

Q. What is your current role at Penumbra?

As a senior instructional designer, I’m a part of the Learning Experience Design team, so the short answer is, I make training resources like e-learning modules and instructional videos. But the core of what we do is look for how we can connect our learners with new information and ideas and behaviors and perspectives in a way that’s meaningful both to them as individuals and to the company as a whole.

Q. What drew you to Penumbra?

Penumbra is helping humans. And by that, I mean: A lot of companies solve problems for a fairly narrow set of people – banks help people who have money, software companies help people who have computers, and you can interpret that narrowly or broadly. But Penumbra’s target market is “people with bodies,” and that’s all of us – literally any human could experience the conditions our products are designed to address. Penumbra is making something that’s truly for anyone.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

I love figuring out the storytelling. It’s so much fun for me to try to see a set of information from all the different perspectives involved: How do product builders think about this problem? How would a new employee understand this information? What is upper management looking to accomplish with this program? What change will help everybody get what they want? What perspective can we take so that everything is aligned? What’s the story we can tell that will connect all these ideas?

Q. If you did not pursue your current career, what do you see yourself doing professionally?

Before becoming a full-time instructional designer, I was a language teacher, and one of the most fun parts of that for me was designing curriculum and materials. After eight years of teaching, I took a UX Design course because I wanted to broaden my horizons, and instructional design was the perfect combination of all my experience. So, to answer the question, I have absolutely no idea. But I also write fiction as a hobby, and I hope to get professionally published soon.

Q. Describe yourself at age 10. What career aspirations did you have at that age?

When I was 10 years old, I think I wanted to be a brontosaurus.

Q. Describe a travel adventure that you’ll never forget.

I took two weeks and traveled solo all around Tunisia. So much happened, but some highlights were seeing a bunch of the places where Star Wars was filmed (Obi Wan’s hut is right next to the Mediterranean Sea) and riding a camel into the Sahara to spend the night under the stars.

Q. What is your personal philosophy?

I try to look at the world through the lens of potential and probability. What’s likely to happen? What could happen? If what I want is “possible,” what would it take to move that to “probable”? Often, it’s much easier than you might expect. I spent a lot of my life learning to “go with the flow,” and while I still think that’s important, I’m pushing myself to take a more active role in my own life, and to decide what the flow will help me accomplish.

Q. Before working at Penumbra, describe the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had.

While I was teaching English at a university in China, I was recruited to voice all the English-language announcements on the city’s new metro system. So, if you take the subway in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, you’ll hear me telling you what the next station is and where the doors will open.

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I wrote a collection of stories for children, got a bunch of illustrators to work with me, and got the whole thing printed and self-published as a big full-color hardcover book called The Crown of Secrets.

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