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Marcus Brauchli encourages students to be career curious

Marcus Brauchli encourages students to be career curious

Image courtesy of Emily Sauchelli//Hofstra Chronicle

Marcus Brauchli, a former top editor for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post spoke to students and faculty in the Guthart Cultural Center Theatre on Wednesday, May 1.

Dr. Janet Lenaghan, Dean of the Zarb School of Business, hosted the event. Students from a variety of majors were in attendance and were encouraged to ask Brauchli questions surrounding his experience in the media industry. The event covered many topics, discussing journalism from the standpoint of a reporter and from a business perspective. 

Brauchli left The Washington Post five years ago in order to pursue other ventures besides journalism. One of his interests include investing into developing countries. Since 2013, Brauchli has been the co-founder and managing partner of North Base Media. Brauchli detailed his journey of finding new ideas and another passion postleaving the journalism industry.

“After I left the post as editor, I went to work for the family who owned and helped me think about media strategy and investing. During that year, I had this epiphany which was, the media market in the U.S. is a saturated market,” Brauchli said. “I was working at incumbent players in a saturated market at a time of disruption and that’s really an ugly place to be because there is only one way your market share is going. It wasn’t where I wanted to spend time.”

After this, he returned to China where many of his friends had started media companies. Brauchli said.

“I realize the difference was the government of China [was that] they weren’t consuming a lot of media,” he said. Countries such as Indonesia and India are other examples of areas that do not consume a lot of media, according to Brauchli.

“Along with a friend of mine, Sasha Vucinic, we started North Base Media to invest in media companies, what we call growth markets, where there are large populations just getting access to smartphones, lots of young people where there hasn’t been a lot of media. We try to build quality content - news, sports, business information for new consumers who are just getting access to phones,” explained Brauchli.

Brauchli explained that  he and Vucinic had discussed plans to build the company starting five years ago..

Brauchli said he is very involved in these companies and gets the opportunity to work with smart and talented people who are working to provide content for those who don’t have access to media. Brauchli says his new field is similar to being in journalism, but part of it is totally new to him.

“For me, two-thirds of it is still journalism – t’s like journalism. You find interesting companies, assess whether they are credible, figure out what the market is, think about audience, think about content, you know that part’s all very familiar. Part of its new. We also invest in technology companies so I have to learn about some of the technologies we invest in but we also have to deal with investors and raising capital,” he explained.

Students from both the journalism school and the business school attended the event.

“I thought it was very informative.Especially since he was the top editor of the Wall Street Journal for some time, I definitely thought it was interesting to kind of know and learn about the work behind the editing and journalism. I also thought it was interesting all the experiences he had to learn about it, like the 9/11 story, cause it’s another perspective that we got to learn about,” said junior accounting major Sally Shamouilian.

Shamouilian said the event showcased the importance of how to present yourself in your career around other people. “[Try to] see the perspective of other people. I think it’s definitely something I try to actually work on and try to use in my career. I think that definitely was a great piece of advice,” Shamouilian said.  

“It was very insightful,” said Zarb School graduate student Daniel Hanson He has been there before in the industry and he knows what he’s talking about. He was definitely able to shed some light on you know some of the current issues and topics  over the years and how things have changed in the last few decades.”

Towards the end of the event, Brauchli gave some advice to students. “Be relentlessly curious about everything. There is nothing that’s boring. If you encounter something that’s boring it’s because you don’t know enough about it. Just learn about everything.” he said. “Be insecure, meaning don’t be sure of yourself. Always second-guess yourself, always consider the possibility that the way you see the world, the way you understand something, what you think about something, is based on your assumptions and not based on facts. Check yourself constantly. Assume that there may be another way of seeing the world and assume that the person you’re talking to or listening to, may actually know something. It may not align with what you think, but maybe it’s worth listening to and thinking about and incorporating into what you’re doing.”

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