Junior Achievement Interviews Alaska Business
From left to right: Briley Loncar, Ashley Jean Smith, Katelyn Smith, and Megan Smith
By Ashley Jean Smith, Katelyn Smith, and Megan Smith
On October 25, 2018, we visited the offices of Alaska Business. We were curious about how a magazine operates and what we would need to do to prepare ourselves for a future in journalism in Alaska. Our past experience in the Junior Achievement CEO Academy gave us first-hand knowledge and experience with business, and we wanted to know how what we learned is put into practice on a daily basis at a magazine. Our interview with Alaska Business was an eye-opening experience because we learned that it takes many amazing, talented people to run a great magazine.
During our visit we met with many different employees of Alaska Business. Before this experience, we did not understand the role of editor, creative director, customer service, sales, social media, or general manager. During our visit, each of these professionals took time to meet with us and discuss the different aspects of their jobs.
Kathryn Mackenzie is the managing editor of Alaska Business. We learned from her that stories are planned a year in advance. Editors need to find stories that are interesting, appropriate, and current. Finding the right ideas can be tough, but there will always be something to say. We learned that you have to be able to work with deadlines, be a good communicator, and look for potential in both people and stories. We learned that you always need to be ready to change things up because everything is always in flux.
Ashley Jean Smith
Tasha Anderson is a writer for Alaska Business. We asked her to talk to us about some of the hardest stories she had to write. She told us that the toughest parts can be getting the information you need from people when they can’t give it to you, and that it is tough when writing about a subject that is emotional. Tasha told us that most of the stories that she writes about are based on companies and industries here in Alaska, and she gets to meet with all kinds of interesting people. We thought this job would be fun because you get to meet with interesting people and tell their stories.
We asked Alaska Business Managing Editor Kathryn Mackenzie to talk to us about the future of the magazine and how they were adapting their business model to reflect current technology. She explained that their staff works hard to make sure that the magazine is always changing and renewing to connect with their readers. For instance, we learned that Alaska Business has rebranded.
They have recently redesigned their website and the digital edition to make content even easier for readers to access and to include upgraded technology, including video ads. They utilize their online presence to keep their readers and followers up-to-date with current information and news affecting their businesses and industry. Alaska Business magazines are sold in stores and are also available directly to business professionals.
Summary of Our Experience
The Junior Achievement interview experience gave us the opportunity to work with real-life professionals and talk to them about their jobs and the steps they took to get them where they are today. We realized that our experience in the JA CEO Academy helped prepare us for this experience by giving us a background in business. Our experience at Alaska Business showed us that working at a magazine is often fast-paced, people-oriented, exciting, and a lot of fun especially with a boss like Jason [Editor’s Note: So, so true].
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