show me anybody who located

Featured on Aug 23, 2011

Alyson Shontell

"Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it all."


Alyson joined Business Insider in July 2008 as the 6th employee. Formerly Sales Planner, Alyson is now an editor for SAI and covers startups. She graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications where she majored in psychology and advertising. The Virginia-native also studied abroad in Sydney and interned at Conde Nast. She's a big fan of country music and playing sports.

  • Title: Editor, Business Insider (SAI)
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Flatiron District
  • Contact: @shontelaylay

How did you first get interested in NYC startups?

I've been plotting million-dollar ideas my entire life, so I'm an entrepreneur at heart. Somewhere along the way I became interested in writing too.
I interned at Conde Nast Publications during the summer of my senior year in college.  Julie Hansen was the executive director of the group I interned for.  When I graduated, she and I met for coffee. Julie had just started a new role at Business Insider (then Silicon Alley Insider) as Publisher/COO.
I asked her for Conde Nast interviewing advice, and she gave me a much better alternative.  "Why don't you come work for me? It's a startup, and you'll get your hands dirty in some of everything," she said. I fell in love with startups my first day on the job. There's something inexplicably inspiring about joining a company as the 6th employee and watching it grow into a real business. Everyone is so passionate about what they're building; you can see the direct impact you're making on the product. I get to meet the most motivated, passionate people in the world -- entrepreneurs -- on a daily basis. Their passion is contagious.

In 2008 you made a blog post listing your dream jobs. How does working for Business Insider compare to these aspirations from 3 years ago?

In 2008, I wanted to be an MTV VJ. I also wanted to work for Facebook, or Google, or Conde Nast, probably because I was most familiar with their products. In other words, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I believe I also wrote that I wanted to work somewhere "cool" that would "make me rich." You know how us Gen-Yers are...

Funny enough, working for Business Insider lets me dabble in all of those things.  I got the writing gig at Business Insider because of a popular article I wrote about my nightmare job interviews with Google.  I get to cover Facebook and surf it all day as a tech reporter.  I get to go off site and conduct video interviews, which somewhat fulfills my VJ dream. And I believe Business Insider is building something amazing, and that we'll all see the fruits of our labor someday.

Do you get many chances to listen to country music live in NYC? Who are you favorite country artists?

You know, it's really difficult to find country music here in NYC, even on the radio. The entrepreneur in me wants to go out and start a station.  The opportunities outside of Spotify and my iPod are few and far between.
But I have seen Taylor Swift at Prudential Center. I've also hiked out to Mohegan Sun to see my boys Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker.
My favorites? Brad, Keith, Kenny, Toby, Taylor, Carrie, and Rascal Flats.