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Brian Baker

Brian Baker (MSJ18)

Investing and retirement reporter at Bankrate


Tell us about your career path. How did you get where you are today?

I worked as an investment analyst for seven years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. After graduating from Medill, I worked in Washington, D.C. as a reporter covering financial regulation and mergers and acquisitions from a legal perspective. I joined Bankrate in 2021 so that I could use my investment background to help people make better financial decisions.

What are your main responsibilities in your current role?

I write about various topics related to investing and retirement. The financial world can be complex, so it’s my job to help readers understand their finances in a simple way. I write about different investments such as stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds, and explain how these assets can help people save for retirement or other financial goals.

How has your Medill training helped you in your career?

I had zero reporting experience when I came to Medill, so getting hands-on experience was extremely helpful to me. I’m an introvert, so having to interview people on the street in the first week of classes was intimidating, but it helped me develop my interviewing skills and showed me what it was like to be a reporter.

How has the Northwestern Medill network helped you advance in your career?

Every journalism job I’ve had has a connection to Medill in some way. I did an internship that was arranged by Medill during my final quarter of school that led to a full-time job offer. A few years later, a former classmate from Medill recommended me for my current role at Bankrate.

How can your industry be more inclusive and representative of society?

I think the financial media can always do more to include diverse sources in the articles or videos we’re producing. Financial advice articles can sometimes feel homogenous and assume that everyone is in similar circumstances at certain ages, but we know that’s often not true. Hearing from people that come from diverse backgrounds will help improve the articles we write and help us solve the real problems people encounter in their financial lives.

What advice do you have for someone considering Medill?

Go visit! When I was considering Medill, I spent a weekend touring the campus and facilities and was able to meet some current students and faculty. My time there helped convince me that Medill was the best place for me to launch my journalism career.