UAA student Dakota McKenzie shows balance between school, work and snowboarding

Being able to maintain balance is what keeps business marketing major Dakota McKenzie sane throughout the fall and spring semesters. Between school and work, McKenzie manages to find time to snowboard and film for video parts.

McKenzie picked up snowboarding around the age of 13 after attending snowboard camp coached by the team manager of Arbor, McKenzie made an effort to get sponsored by Arbor. Several months later, McKenzie began receiving flow merchandise from the company.

Working at a board shop, McKenzie has been intrigued by the way business works and hopes to utilize the business marketing degree that he is currently going to school for.

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McKenzie performing a front 180 switch 5050. Photo credit: Kolben Saetre

“I chose UAA because it was the closest to home and allowed me to work, film and ride as much as possible while pursuing a degree,” McKenzie said. “I hope to tie it into snowboarding or skateboarding someday — whether it’s making my own company or whether I go work in marketing for other companies.”

McKenzie is currently working at Blue & Gold Boardshop, attending UAA and filming for the snowboard and skate video ‘Evoke.’

“It’s pretty much like having three jobs with working, school and filming. It’s overwhelming at times, but putting the work in at the end of the day is definitely worth it,” McKenzie said.

Friends are what inspire McKenzie the most in snowboarding. His friends claim the same about him because of his drive and positive attitude.

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“I think Dakota has a gift. He’s a very talented snowboarder and I believe that he is going to go far with it,” Riley Stewman, business marketing major, said. “You can tell that he is very passionate about it, which I feel is a huge part on why he’s so good.”

Jason Borgstede, the owner of Blue & Gold Boardshop, is teaching McKenzie about how to run a business. Although McKenzie has a hectic schedule, he is always able to put that aside and work to his full potential.

“Dakota is destined to leave the shop and do big things,” Borgstede said. “I know the mind of a 20 year old is constantly focused on what’s coming up and where life will take them, but Dakota is able to balance that with taking care of business when he’s in the shop.”

Juggling work, school and snowboarding can be overwhelming at times, but McKenzie stresses the importance of finding a balance between these priorities and the benefits of achieving someone’s goals.

“I think it’s important to remember what you’re working towards and the good times that are to be had once the hard work is done,” McKenzie said.

Students attend UAA for different reasons and goals they hope to achieve in the future. Like McKenzie, many students face the struggle of balance between work, school and recreation, and continue to work hard through busy times.