Making Strategic Career Moves With Stephanie Ruhle

Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC Anchor and NBC News Senior Business Correspondent
Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC Anchor and NBC News Senior Business Correspondent

Stephanie Ruhle anchors MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Reports on weekdays and appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms as NBC News’ Senior Business Correspondent. A Wall Street veteran, Ruhle is known for bringing her business acumen and hard-hitting style to high profile interviews in her original reporting, and bringing humanity to her news coverage, covering the migrant crisis at the border in McAllen, TX and a daily “Good News

Ruhles” segment. Ruhle is also the host of the Modern Ruhles podcast. The show covers zeitgeist topics with the goal of understanding and respecting ideas that conflict with our own. Previously, Ruhle served as anchor and managing editor for Bloomberg Television and editor-at-large for Bloomberg News.

You were an investment banker before transitioning into journalism. What sparked the move?

I'd been interested in media my whole life but I sort of stumbled into investment banking. I studied abroad for two of my four years in college, in Kenya, Guatemala and Italy, and wanted to work internationally again. That's how I fell into banking. A couple of years into the industry, I almost left to go to journalism school but a mentor of mine urged me not to leave suggesting I "make as much money as I can right now." It was really, really good advice. It's much easier to make a giant transition in your career when you know you've got your rent covered. It's about risk management. We all want to take chances in our lives. The best way to do that is to isolate your goal and remove as many other risks as you can. When the time came for me to make that massive leap at 36 years old, to a career that I knew nothing about - television, I'd given myself a financial cushion. So if it didn't work out, my kids would be okay, everything would be fine. Building that foundation and that cushion for myself were really important.

How did you get your first role as an anchor?

I credit a woman named Tiffany Dufu. She was the president of the White House Project, a nonprofit focused on getting women ahead in business and government. We were at a gathering and she reminded us that everyone in the room was pretty senior and we had to take advantage saying: "you each need to share what you want to do next and someone else here has to help get you there."

When it was my turn to speak, I was scared and very embarrassed because we're all afraid to put ourselves out there and share our light. We're afraid that if we do, someone's going to blow it out and ask who we think we are. But you never make shots you don't take, so I spoke up and shared my dream of working in media. A woman at the table called Melinda Wolf, who ran human resources for Bloomberg told me that listening to me speak convinced her I'd be incredible on TV and asked if she could be the person to help me. Two days later, she introduced me to Andy Lack, the president of Bloomberg Media.

The most important aspect of mentorship is the relationship. A relationship isn't charity. It isn't someone choosing you out of the blue to pull you up. It is a two-way thing.

Sounds like you accessed some great supporters. How do you think young people should approach mentorship?