Please tell us about yourself
Where to start? That would seem to be the challenge for Bloomberg.com’s homepage editor, Rakshita Saluja. Bloomberg LP, the financial, media, and technology powerhouse, has 150 news bureaus worldwide turning out 5,000 stories every day; Saluja has to decide which ones make it to the homepage. Even with spots for more than 100 text-led stories—plus panels for video- and data-driven pieces—there’s only room for about 2 percent of the media giant’s daily output at any time. And little respite to dally over decisions.
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“I’m a complete news junkie; I stare at the wire all day,” says Saluja, who spends just as much time looking at the site’s analytics. “News just moves so quickly. Seconds matter to us when we beat our competition with a headline.”
A former TV news producer in India, Saluja didn’t come to the United States to join a company with 15,500 employees—she came to start her own business. When she completed Boston University’s COM’s Media Ventures program, which mixes courses in technology, business, and media, she envisioned building a company that would give Indians better access to foreign news. A job offer from Bloomberg in New York put that firmly on the back burner, but Saluja says the COM program’s entrepreneurial emphasis—students are encouraged to take internships at start-ups—wasn’t wasted.
“We’re primarily a technology company, and we’re constantly innovating,” she says of Bloomberg. “We want to be the first and the best at everything, and that’s always how I’ve tried to work and model my work ethic.”
Still, Saluja’s daily goal wouldn’t sound that out of place to a newspaper editor 100 or 200 years ago. Her job is to “keep the page dynamic, fresh, interesting, varied, and try and make it a one-stop shop,” she says. “If you come to Bloomberg.com and the homepage, you get your fill of news. You don’t need to go anywhere else.”
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool program?
I chose the Media Ventures program at BU (Boston University) College of Communication for several reasons. With seven years of broadcast news television experience under my belt, I was looking to make the transition to the web and to educate myself on the latest trends in digital media at the time. The Media Ventures program offered just that. I loved that the program did not let you just sit back in a classroom; that it actually made you create and develop your ideas. The faculty’s industry experience and hands-on approach was a draw and they proved to be incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. Lastly, having the opportunity to study in two cities and to meet industry leaders in Boston and LA presented a unique learning opportunity that I am very happy I seized.
The Media Ventures program offered everything that I was looking for to make the transition from television to digital media. But what really stood out for me was the program’s hands-on approach of starting with an idea, developing it conceptually, and finally pitching it to a room full of venture capitalists.
What did you study before coming to BU?
I did my Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) from Delhi University
How did you land your current job?
The school’s alumni network played a central role in leading me to my current job. With Professor Cathy Perron’s guidance and help, I was able to meet an industry executive, which ultimately led to my present job. A lot of colleges and programs may overstate their alumni network, but not BU’s School of Communication. Our alumni is truly connected and, most importantly, extremely helpful.
How was the experience at BU?
In addition to learning about the latest digital trends directly from industry leaders in the classroom, the program offered numerous, unique opportunities to intern at tech startups and get a real world feel of what it is like to actually start a company. Even though I personally did not go on to work at a startup, this experience taught me to work efficiently and think creatively, which has proven just as useful in my current work.
Can you describe your current role and what makes it exciting?
I manage the editorial content on the Bloomberg.com homepage. It is an extremely exciting role because financial news moves at a rapid pace, and our readers make split-second decisions based on the news we deliver. We have to get the news right, and we have to get it out fast. This often makes for a busy and fun day.
What was your thesis project?
My thesis project involved developing a platform for news networks in South Asia to source affordable and relevant foreign news content from the United States. When I left India to study at BU, the broadcast news industry in India was just beginning to take off, and, after working as a producer for several years, I was keenly aware of this gap that existed in the market at the time. The Media Ventures program helped me develop a business plan for a startup to efficiently fill that gap.