Photo illustration by Jake Weir/B&W Staff

Edit desk: How journalism prepared me for Wall Street


As I sit down and write this, I keep glancing at my calendar to make sure I stay on schedule.

Julia DiRubbo

I have a case study due tonight for my global finance class. I am assigned to calculate the cost of bonds in a foreign currency. I have to start this soon, to make sure I leave time to edit the five or six stories waiting for me in a Google Drive folder.

I am a finance major. I have a wealth management internship this summer at a boutique advising firm on Wall Street. I am also the news editor of The Brown and White.

This unconventional college experience has led to both my happiness and frustration. There are several times where I have felt very confused about my identity and passions. 

I have heard varying, unsolicited opinions from people about what I should do with my life.

“Just drop the journalism thing, it’s taking too much time away from what you’re really here to study,” one would say. 

I have also been asked the complete opposite as well. Why would I study finance when I am having so much fun with journalism? 

The answer? Business was my first passion. I entered Lehigh knowing I loved economics and wanted to further my study of the subject. But I shouldn’t have to justify myself to others. 

Both aspects of my college experience bring me extreme happiness. I love dreaming about the dynamic environment of the finance industry I’ll be working in. But I also love writing and deeply appreciate the fact that this newspaper has opened the door to a second passion.

Rather than inhibiting this part of myself that I love, I applied to be a reporter for six semesters in a row. 

Throughout my first year of school, I didn’t consider working for the newspaper to be a big part of my life. I was a business student first and foremost.

I ultimately joined the investigative team during my sophomore year, which piqued my interest in journalism and gave me the determination to reach the spot I’m at today.

I am now the news editor. I oversee a team of almost 40 reporters and work in my position almost full-time. 

This is a far cry from continuing to use The Brown and White as a side-hobby. 

I have argued with several business students and professionals about this increased level of commitment. I’ve had peers ask why I don’t read case studies in my free time to prepare for job interviews. They have vocally questioned whether or not I am on the right path to get a “good” job with a “good” company if I’m not 100 percent focused on my major.

But, what I didn’t realize until fairly recently is how much the newspaper is preparing me for any career path I could want after I graduate.

Journalism has taught me several great skills required of almost everyone in the working world.

Collaborating well on a team. Good communication with others. Adapting to a fast-paced environment. Organizational skills. 

Whether I want to be a journalist, an investment banker or a marketing director — because of The Brown and White, I am prepared to become anything I want to be.

But, for now, I’ll see you in New York.

Julia DiRubbo is the news editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected].

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1 Comment

  1. Robert F Davenport Jr on

    “Collaborating well on a team. Good communication with others. Adapting to a fast-paced environment. Organizational skills.” All this while providing a real world service. Thanks to you and all The Brown and White staff who make my day interesting

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