Brandeis International Business School

006: Creating Morning Brew

Starting your side hustle in college

Alex Lieberman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Morning Brew, and their goal is to make the younger generation's experience with the business world significantly better. Their core product is a daily email newsletter that gives the reader all the business news they need in five minutes. It's quick, it's conversational and it covers everything from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.

There are over 700,000 people subscribed to the Morning Brew, and if you’re an aspiring or emerging business leader, you probably should be too.

From the Dorm Room

Alex was a student at the University of Michigan, where he studied Real Estate and Financial Markets at the Ross School of Business.

He did the classic internship after freshman year, internship after sophomore year and internship after junior year thing. When he got to his senior year, he was lucky enough to receive a job offer to work full-time at Morgan Stanley after graduation.

He only had three classes, so he started helping students in the business school and fraternity prepare for job interviews. Before mock interviewing them, he would always ask the question, "How do you keep up with the business world?"

And every single student would have the same answers to that question. They would say, "I read The Wall Street Journal, and I read it because I feel that I have to because it's a prerequisite... but it's dense, it's dry and it's just something that is expected of me to go into business."

Alex saw that these students were working so incredibly hard to have careers in business; yet, they didn’t have content that story tells the business world in a fun, relatable and engaging way.

So Alex started creating it himself, and by the end of his first semester in senior year, the whole business school was subscribed to it. “There was an appetite for better business news that was conversational, that was digestible, and it was written with the young business person in mind.”

He brought on a co-founder, who also happened to be one of his first readers, and they started turning the newsletter into a business.

To the Board Room

Alex has three excellent pieces of advice to help students transition from college to the business world:

First, Alex thinks that starting a business while you are in college is one of the best things you can do. “You just have so many resources at your disposal. You have such a large network within your own college, whether it's the alumni-base, whether it's the professors, whether it's your fellow students.”

It’s not that different from starting a side hustle while working a full-time job, but you have a much bigger cushion and much less risk if you start in college.

Second, your first business idea doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t need to be an expert in something to start a business. The most important thing is just to create something and get it out there.

Third, people assume that you need to already be an expert to find a job in a particular field. But Alex doesn’t think that’s true. If you have intellectual curiosity, passion, and a strong work ethic, you can really go into any career you want to, Alex says, because you have the structure it takes to become an expert in anything.


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