How storytelling and teaching help a corporate career

By Nia Sarinastiti, Senior Manager, Accenture, Jakarta

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"I am grateful to couple my passion for teaching and storytelling with a rewarding marketing career."

I’ve been pursuing my interest in storytelling since I was a child and have found it to be a great tool for teaching and communicating with people, both personally and professionally.

I think it’s extremely important for people to be able to tell their stories and communicate well if they want to get hired and progress in their careers.

Others support this view and emphasize personal storytelling in career success. In a TED Talk, filmmaker Andrew Stanton, who wrote the “Toy Story” movies, notes that a great story comes from talking about what you know and revealing values that are important to you.

An article in The Washington Post notes that behavioral job interviews, where "hiring managers want to hear your story" are becoming more prevalent in the corporate world. The article notes that effective storytellers are ready with a library of personal anecdotes to reinforce their brand and their values.

Effective storytelling at all ages

I was born in Indonesia, but, as I grew up, my family spent some time living in the United States. As a foreign elementary student, I was given an assignment to “show and tell” where I came from.

To tell my story, I decided to hold a puppet show depicting Indonesian folklore. So, I put extra effort into making papier-mâché dolls. My dad made the stage, and my mom made the dresses.

My puppet show was a hit. From that day forward, it became a standing show every other Friday at my grade school.

After I returned to Indonesia during high school, I began teaching my friends conversational English. I taught them how to tell stories in simple English as a way to master the language.

When I was in college, I began helping my father, who was an economics professor, grade his students’ papers. At the same time, I continued my storytelling career as a host of an Indonesian history television show.

It was then that I realized that teaching and storytelling came naturally to me. This revelation led me to become a teacher’s assistant while in graduate school and to pursue a graduate teacher certification. I have now had my teaching credentials for almost 25 years!

Now, working at Accenture, I am grateful to couple my passion for teaching and storytelling with a rewarding marketing career.

In the consulting industry, one can’t always rely on a picture telling a thousand words. I have been active leading orientation sessions for new members of our organization, bringing to life inclusion and diversity and leadership discussions through personal examples. And for our social media marketing, I ensure our posts help to tell a story.

Being able to tell a story, whether it is your own story or the messages of your organization, is a vital skill I hope to share with others. To pass on my knowledge of storytelling, I take part in a Women’s Mentoring Program, in which we tell our stories of work and experience to university students.