Why the Newspaper is a Dark Horse: Lessons from Chicago Business

Mo Bhasin '15 and Lauren Anderson '15

Mo Bhasin '15 and Lauren Anderson '15

By Lauren Anderson '15 and Mo Bhasin '15

No one comes to Booth to run a newspaper. We came to Booth to learn how to run a business. Before we start looking for the next generation of ChiBus leaders, we want to pause and reflect on the lessons we have learned over the past year.

How to tell a story. Whether you’re going to be a banker, consultant, general manager, or product manager, you must be able to tell a story to be successful. Executives have seen many a slide deck and story-telling ability is one sure way to stand out. There is no better exercise in communication than running this newspaper.

How do you reach an audience that’s busy and doesn’t have time for your product?

Shove it in their face. We extended our readership by delivering papers to every student’s mail folder. We went rogue and unshackled ourselves from Booth’s outdated infrastructure by building our own website that enables new age features like, you know, commenting - a feature used actively by students and professors alike.

How to implement market research to make efficient decisions.

We interviewed and polled our seniors and peers and listened to what they said. We changed our content from predominantly professional to somewhat playful, exchanging the economic section for a humor section. Our motto stands: “Professional, Playful and Provocative.”

How do you engage a savvy, largely indifferent market?

Being an a-professional organization, the newspaper is ancillary to most students’ lives. To engage our readers we changed our motto to include “being provocative.” That meant boldly addressing issues like LEAD curriculum, the Armenian genocide, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and using humor to reflect on the caricatured MBA experience.

How to operationalize a team in an dynamic environment while sticking to a tight deadline?

You think your summer internship experience enabled you to work with a cross-functional team to launch a pilot product within a tight timeframe? That’s the ChiBus team’s job every alternate week. Tight deadlines require prior planning.

How to create a team and organizational culture.

The ChiBus team was built to reflect student body interests and they love the work that they do (come to our Wednesday meeting to see what we mean). We funnel passions and strengths to enable each edition to have content that sparks everyone’s interest - from alumni and students, to staff and professors.

Much still remains to be done and we are looking for leaders to continue our tradition of improvement. Will you be part of ChiBus’ next management story?

Mohit Bhasin is the outgoing editor-in-chief and Lauren Anderson is the outgoing head of marketing/communication. ChiBus was the best part of their Booth experience.