BYU dropout creates inspiring podcast series

From left: Kleo Olsen speaks with Alexa Jorgenson during an interview for Jorgenson’s “Munchin’ With Moguls” podcast. Jorgenson shares the stories of inspiring women with her listeners. (Sierra Lippert)

Dropping out of BYU was Alexa Jorgenson’s first step in pursuing her dreams.

Jorgenson, 21, was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. Growing up, her parents encouraged her to be her own person and pursue individuality.

“My parents are super into travel and following your dreams and kind of the unconventional life, so that’s kind of what turned me into the person I am today,” Jorgenson said.

This profound sense of individuality led Jorgenson to a very unique path after graduating high school.

She said she never really planned on going to BYU, but when she was accepted to the university, attending seemed like the logical choice. Once accepted, Jorgenson struggled to decide on a major.

Then in January 2016, Jorgenson went on a trip to New York City to escape the stress of college life.

“I felt really inspired. I saw my friends there doing what they loved and I didn’t feel like school was getting me there in the way I wanted,” she said. “I was ready to jump right in. So then I came back from New York and just never went back to school.”

Rather than feeling uneasy and regretful about her decision to drop out, Jorgenson said it was an exciting and motivating turning point in her life.

She spent six months living in New York working as a freelance marketing director, pursuing her dreams and searching for a project to call her own.

“I always wanted to start something that was kind of my own thing,” Jorgenson said. “I just never really knew what that was, so I played with a lot of different ideas.”

Once Jorgenson returned to Utah, she began listening to podcasts during her daily commute to and from work. The thought of starting her own podcast quickly became an idea she couldn’t ignore.

“I just felt so drawn to this idea of starting my own podcast. It became one of those ideas that I just couldn’t push aside any longer,” Jorgenson said. “I felt like I had to do it right now, and so I did.”

She then began researching how to go about turning this dream into a reality. Jorgenson searched websites and blogs for material on creating a podcast and found one blog post with all the information she needed.

When considering possible topics for the podcast, the choice was clear for Jorgenson.

“I’ve just always been influenced by a lot of really cool women,” she said. “Pretty much all of my bosses have been women. My mom has always been a working mom, and it was always really inspiring to me. So it felt like there was this call to empower women and to create a community where women could strengthen each other and also be vulnerable.”

This constant influence of strong women inspired Jorgenson to create Munchin’ With Moguls.

Alexa Jorgenson decided to drop out of BYU after vacationing in New York City. Jorgenson now runs a podcast with over 100,000 downloads. (Sierra Lippert)

Despite her own concerns and doubts surrounding the project’s potential success, Jorgenson said she was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and how much support she received.

Now, five months since the creation of her podcast, Jorgenson has featured 22 moguls, created an Instagram page and blog to accompany the podcast and hosted a Munchin’ With Moguls event. She plans to continue expanding.

Munchin’ With Moguls intern Katie Grass said she fell in love with the podcast from the first time she listened to it and immediately knew she wanted to get involved.

“It’s been interesting because none of us are making money on this, but I know it’s so worth it,” Grass said. “For each of us on the team, we just know it’s something so important and something that just needs to be out in the world and so we want to make it happen.”

Munchin’ With Moguls has featured influential women from all walks of life, including small business owners, social media personalities and fitness coaches.

Each featured guest shares her personal story of success and hardship and how she became the inspiring woman she is today.

Former model and fashion mogul Summer Bellessa was one of the first women featured on the podcast.

Bellessa spoke about her experiences in the fashion world, balancing work life with motherhood and the struggles she faces with social media as one half of The Girls With Glasses web show.

Bellessa said she loved the behind-the-scenes look Munchin’ With Moguls offered listeners and the positive community Jorgenson has created through the podcast.

“The more you listen to the podcast and you hear all the different stories and all the different places that all these people came from, the more empowered you feel, hopefully, to have your own journey,” Bellessa said.

This feeling of empowerment and motivation inspired BYU graduate and Munchin’ With Moguls events intern Kate Shaw to take action in her life.

Shaw said she felt like she was in a rut with her career before listening to the podcast and contacting Jorgenson to be part of the team.

“Listening to all these women who had come from a similar place but just went after it motivated me,” Shaw said. “So reaching out to Alexa maybe wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was something that made me feel really vulnerable.”

Since joining the Munchin’ With Moguls team, Shaw said she hopes to help other women feel the same sense of confidence and motivation she felt while listening to the podcast.

Looking back on her own journey, Jorgenson said she couldn’t be happier with where her life has taken her. Even though her own path has not always been clear or easy, she said she wouldn’t do anything differently.

“(The) best choice I ever made was dropping out of school, 100 percent,” Jorgenson said. “There’s never been a single day where I thought maybe I made a bad choice.”

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