BSNC’s Career Pathways Series helps showcase jobs held by successful shareholders and descendants. This series aims to raise awareness of these career options and the essential skills needed to succeed in these positions.
BSNC shareholder Jenna L. Krohn joined BSNC as corporate counsel in 2021. In 2013, Krohn graduated from the University of Alaska with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice and a minor in English. In 2019, she graduated from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she earned her law degree. While she completed her education, she worked in human resources at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and later at North Star Behavioral Health. After graduating from law school and passing the bar exam, Krohn began practicing law at private firms in Anchorage, focusing primarily on family law, insurance defense, and employment law. Krohn grew up in Anchorage and is the proud daughter of the late Kenneth Dewey Jr. of Koyuk and Karen Alatalo of Bay City, Michigan. She has extended family in Koyuk, Nome and Kivalina, as well as in other areas of the state and in Michigan.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE YOUR CAREER?
“During my last year or so in undergrad, I was able to take Professor Jeff May’s rural justice course through the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). That course opened my eyes to so many issues that Our People (and Alaska Natives and American Indians in general) face when it comes to the justice system. I knew I was headed toward this field.”
WHAT SCHOOLING, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES DID YOU NEED OR WERE HELPFUL?
“I found it extremely helpful to intentionally engage in events, activities or courses that would require me to do a lot of writing and speaking. You will need this skill for presentations, interviews and more. The more you do it, the more confidence you will have.”
WHAT WERE SOME CHALLENGES OR BARRIERS YOU FACED?
“Time, resources and money. I did not have the traditional school experience. When I started college at age 19, I was a parent, a full-time employee, and a full-time student. It was always a challenge to find the time to balance school with work and my family. I tried to plan ahead as much as I possibly could.”
WHAT RESOURCES DID YOU USE TO PURSUE YOUR DEGREE?
“I applied for scholarships that pertained to my field of study, but I also tried very hard to keep my grades up so I could receive academic scholarships. Earlier on in my school career, I also applied for grants. Some years, I used my Permanent Fund Dividend and birthday or Christmas money toward schoolbooks.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS FIELD OF WORK?
It is extremely rewarding. The legal field can take you to so many different areas. Any topic you can think of, there is likely an attorney somewhere that specializes in that very thing. If you are interested in helping people during some of the most challenging times of their lives or helping businesses run smoothly and advising companies on high-risk issues, this is a fantastic option for you.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE?
“(1) It is okay if you don’t know what you want to do. When you know it, you’ll know it. (2) If it takes you longer to finish your degree or certificate than it might take other people, keep going anyway – the time will pass regardless! (3) Intentionally go outside of your comfort zone – that is where you will do most of your growing both personally and professionally.”
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING AT BSNC?
“I am the corporate counsel. I work in the Legal Department and do a variety of in-house legal tasks. I love the mission and working for Our People. Knowing that I am contributing to not only our current generation but our future generations is something I am proud of every day. I also love our environment. BSNC has the most positive and welcoming work environment I have ever worked in.”