Wailin Wong (BSJ/MSJ03) has switched mediums, but she is still enjoying life as a business reporter. After covering consumer technology and local startups for six years at the Chicago Tribune, Wailin brought her expertise online. In December of 2013, she helped launch a site called The Distance. The Distance is an online business magazine featuring in-depth profiles of long-running businesses. Specifically, she writes about privately held businesses that have been operating for at least 25 years without taking outside investment.
The Distance is sponsored by Basecamp, a Chicago-based software company (formerly known as 37signals), but the publication is editorially independent. Wailin chooses the profile subjects and reports on her own.
Wailin entered Medill never even considering business reporting as an option for her future.
“Medill very much helped me refine my journalistic interests,” she says. “Early in my undergraduate career, I thought I would be a metro reporter. Then, during my Teaching Newspaper quarter junior year at the Orange County Register, I was put on a rotation where I spent a couple weeks on their business desk. I had never tackled business reporting before and had such a great time!”
Prior to the Tribune, Wailin covered emerging markets and Latin American economies for Dow Jones Newswires. She started her career as a correspondent in Dow Jones' Buenos Aires bureau and later transferred to the emerging markets/Latin America desk in their New York headquarters.
“I participated in Medill's global program and was the first intern to be sent to Dow Jones Newswires in Argentina,” she says. “I ended up getting hired full-time to stay on at the bureau—an amazing turn of events. I never imagined I could have an overseas reporting gig right out of school.”
Follow Wailin on Twitter: @VelocityWong