Mark Jestel, director of residential living at Piedmont College, wanted to be a biology teacher.
“When I first entered my undergrad, actually got my degree in biology,” Jestel says, adding that his first experience in housing came as he was “making friends with wrong the wrong group of people.”
After getting into housing, he would then become an RA at his college. He would realize that he was actually a good RA and wanted to pursue a career in housing. He would then get his master’s degree in housing, and the rest is history.
“I had never heard of Piedmont before, they extended an offer to me to be able to interview with them,” says Jestel.
After getting his degree, Jestel would find out how much fun housing would be and how cool all the job placement conferences were. It was very stressful for him having to have many back-to-back interviews with schools. After hitting it off with Piedmont, Jestel would get close with his coworkers and is enjoying his job here at Piedmont, where he has been for more than seven years.
“One of the biggest challenges is be an advocate for students, while also recognizing that this is a business,” he said.
Jestel said he will always back his students up when it comes to things. But he recognizes that this is a job, and he has to make sure they spend money wisely.
Outside of his job here at Piedmont, he does like to do other things. For example, he says he enjoys frisbee golf, which is a fun sport to play, as well as watching movies. He is also an avid reader. “I read 5 books every month,” he said.
But he doesn’t have a lot of free time to do other things because he is working on getting his Ph.D. right now.
Jestel is a great at his job here at Piedmont and continues every day to make sure that the students here always have a smile on their face.
“I realized this is actually something you could do for a living and got my master’s degree in it and the rest is hidtory,” says Jestel.