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Hannah Levitt

Hannah Levitt (MSJ17)

Finance Reporter at Bloomberg


When Hannah Levitt (MSJ17) visited Tokyo, a hotbed of technology and business, with Medill, seeing the Bloomberg News bureau was the highlight of her trip. Now, she works for Bloomberg in New York covering business and finance every day. 

Levitt credits Medill with showing her the opportunities that exist around the world for reporters interested in business and economics, and for launching her career in this field.

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

I started at Bloomberg as an intern right out of the MSJ program. I was placed on the finance team and immediately tried to prove my worth by volunteering for any assignment I could and asking lots of questions. I showed enough to get hired full-time, joining Bloomberg's program where reporters rotate across the newsroom, but my goal was to get back on the finance team as soon as possible. I stayed in touch with the editors there and found ways to collaborate with that group's reporters, and when an opportunity came up a few months later, I joined the team as a full-fledged reporter in mid-2018. Since then, I've focused on deepening my expertise and have taken on a larger beat.

What brought you to Medill?

The intense focus of Medill's business journalism specialization really appealed to me. I was looking for a program that would help me build on my undergraduate degree in international studies to pursue a career covering global business and economics, and Medill provided exactly that through the business specialization and other programs like Medill Explores.

What are your main responsibilities in your current role?

I report on the biggest stories across Wall Street and the banking landscape as a whole. Something I love about the finance beat is that means different things at different times, with so many learning opportunities along the way. Over the past year that’s included breaking news on all the twists and turns of the regional banking turmoil and writing profiles of some of the biggest names on Wall Street.

Tell us about your Medill course in Tokyo.

Tokyo was amazing! Definitely atop my list of favorite cities and I am grateful for the opportunity to go there through Medill Explores. In the business specialization we learned a lot about the U.S. financial system, and when we went to Japan we got to learn about the Japanese financial system as well. We visited the Bank of Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Japan External Trade Organization and various businesses around Tokyo. We also managed to squeeze in great meals and a visit to a sake brewery. It was a ton of fun to go on that trip with my classmates and professor who I had gotten so close with throughout the program.

How has your Medill training helped you in your career?

It would be impossible to list all the ways my time at Medill helped me in my career, but one example that stands out to me to this day is learning how to navigate earnings statements and other company filings. It sounds boring, but I had never taken an accounting class and through Medill was able to come into my role with the fluency to dive right in. It’s the kind of thing that can be intimidating for aspiring business reporters but it’s a key part of the job and something that, thanks to Medill, I felt prepared for when I joined Bloomberg.

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

As with many news organizations across the country and around the world, Bloomberg is full of Medill alumni. When I started my internship I reached out to as many of them as I could find to learn more about their career trajectories and any advice they had for me. It was super helpful to be able to forge instant connections at a new company in a new city, and I still work closely with some of those people today.

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

Individual newsrooms and the media industry as a whole should represent the societies they chronicle, and until that is the case there is more work to do.

How have your identities influenced the way you navigate your professional career?

One thing I always tell folks starting out in their journalism careers is that it’s important to be a human first. Staying true to all of your identities, whatever they may be, is a vital part of that.

What advice do you have for someone considering Medill?

Do your research – Medill has so much to offer across a bunch of great programs, and if you go into the experience with clear intention you’ll get the most out of your experience.