From Lakota to Starbucks, Microsoft to Amazon

12 Feb

Kris Peterson might be the most genuine and over-qualified person I’ve met. Since her graduating from MU, Peterson has worked for The Seattle Times, Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon. To me, this seems almost unreal considering that she was a very humble person. Luckily, I was blessed in hearing her speak about her experiences and about her advice for the next generation of Mizzou graduates.

Peterson simply stated that the key to progressing in one’s career was to become flexible. The business world can be cutthroat and harsh, but she accused that sort of atmosphere as self-creating. Journalism graduates of my generation have become increasingly competitive and dedicated to their work. Not saying that is a bad thing, but it makes the industry dissolute and intimidating. Peterson believes that we’re able to control that environment and even turn it around.

I found her story enthralling because I easily can put myself in her place. Admittedly, I’m not one to understand the workings of technology very well, but I do see myself as someone who has many interests and a variety of skills to offer. Peterson is a prime example of someone who’s had a long journey and has learned a lot. I found that sincere and encouraging.

As for her latest work on the Kindle, she broke down the business of targeting and developing the market for the device. Competition with Apple and Barnes and Noble has made her job challenging. Who would purchase a Kindle over an iPad? Well, someone who values reading over browsing the web while television. It seems like a simple target, but finding that audience can be an issue. As for developing the Kindle app, Peterson mentioned that IT and creatives don’t always see eye-to-eye, which is an easy story to tell in any technical-oriented industries.

Author: Matt Mazick

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