Alex Leavenworth: Alumni Spotlight

Alex Leavenworth: Alumni Spotlight

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 11:15am
Alex Leavenworth singing with Carrie Underwood
Alex Leavenworth singing with Carrie Underwood

Alex Leavenworth Alumni Profile

Current Location: Monterey, CA
United States
Major(s) while at CoJMC : Journalism (formerly News-Editorial)
Minor(s) while at CoJMC : Integrated Media Communications
Name a person who helped you be successful at Nebraska and how: : Since I was an online graduate student, I have to give a special shoutout to Jodi Bergstrom. I would constantly email her questions and concerns, and she always wrote back and was so helpful! Living in California with a 2-hour time difference, Jodi was an instrumental part in helping me stay on track.
Where are you currently working and what are you doing? : I was recently promoted to Promotion Manager at KSBW 8 & Central Coast ABC. We are a local NBC and ABC affiliate located on the beautiful Central Coast in California! (Omaha's KETV is our sister-station under Hearst Television)

As Promotion Manager, I manage and develop brand and marketing strategies for all of KSBW Action News 8’s media platforms including the principal promotional oversight of our multicast station, Central Coast ABC. Responsible for creation of on-air and cross-platform image campaigns, franchise promotion, IDs, news opens and other related production elements.

I also oversee and coordinate all special projects our stations run, from reoccurring awards presented by KSBW, to sponsored events and programs. I also serve as the Executive Producer of the Share the Love telethon in partnership with the SPCA for Monterey County, and Share Your Holiday telethon - an annual eight hour live telethon, involving over 200 acts, broadcasting from five remote locations across two channels - which has raised more than $2 million to date.
What was your first job postgrad and how do you think it helped you grow in your career? : My first job was as a Creative Services Producer at KSBW & Central Coast ABC - I was in this position until my recent promotion a few weeks ago. I was able to create powerful on-air and digital campaigns for KSBW using the skills and tools I learned in the COJMC graduate program. Even when we were in meetings discussing brand and marketing strategies, I was able to use some of my research to make my points and drive my ideas.
What is one CoJMC class that impacted your current career? : JGRD 902 (Multi-Platform Journalism) has hands down been the biggest class that's impacted my career. Because I work in journalism, and because I'm responsible for our news brand, I have to find creative ways to market ourselves and present the news on various platforms. For example: After receiving my M.A., I helped launch our KSBW Instagram page as another news platform for KSBW. Using everything I learned in the COJMC graduate program, I helped grow our Instagram 151%, making it the fastest growing Instagram page in Hearst Teleivision.
Fill in the blank: "The best thing about being a Husker is ___________________.": that we are EVERYWHERE!
Even all the way in California, I feel the Husker love.
Are you currently working on any special projects? : ALWAYS! (But they're still in the works, so I have to keep them under wraps)
Right now I'm gearing up for our annual "Share Your Holiday" telethon this December.
Any funky talents or hobbies? Life changing experiences? : I recently (May 2019) got the chance to sing with CARRIE UNDERWOOD on stage in Oakland, CA! Seriously, it was the greatest moment of my life!
I won a fan contest and got to perform "The Champion" with her on stage in front of 15,000+ people at Oracle Arena. (I attached some photos!)

Check it out here: https://www.ksbw.com/article/monterey-woman-belts-out-on-stage-with-carrie-underwood/27517174
& here: https://www.ksbw.com/article/monterey-native-wins-chance-to-sing-on-stage-with-carrie-underwood/27460285
Have you completed any other degrees postgraduate? If so, where, when and path of study::
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? : A singer, of course! What little girl didn't want to be a superstar?! And my dream literally came true a few months ago when I got the chance to sing with my idol!
What would you say is the most important skill or quality to have "out in the real world"?: Determination.
Being "out in the real world" is hard, and journalism isn't an easy field. When you first start out in this industry, you have to work the weekends, nights, overnights, holidays. But with a little persistence, perseverance and determination - your hard work WILL pay off. Just be patient and stay the course.
Why should Nebraska students enroll in CoJMC courses? : Let me tell you, there is nothing more powerful than sitting in a boardroom and have stats and knowledge to back up your argument or your pitch. The things I've learned in the COJMC graduate program have helped me tremendously in my career. I'm the youngest manager at KSBW, so I work with a lot of people with a lot more experience than me. So when I sit there and pitch my crazy idea(s), and then tell them WHY they're good and WHY they will work; it feels great to hear them say "Yeah, that's great. Do it!" And I wouldn't be able to pitch these ideas with confidence and promise if it wasn't for this program.
What advice do you have for current students, prospective students? : Working three jobs and going to grad school full time was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I was constantly stressed, constantly studying, and felt like I had no life. But, once those 18 months were over; it was the best thing I've ever done for myself and my career. So when you're feeling stressed, overworked, exhausted; just keep on going! It's SO worth it in the end.