Bucket List or Bust

Courtney Richardson ’17: South Korea/Hong Kong

Since I was accepted to CBS nearly two years ago, I’ve been not-so-secretly plotting how I’d work my way through my “Around the World” bucket list during my time at school. What used to be just a laundry list of countries I saw in coffee table books or screenshots I saved from Instagram all of a sudden became a tangible reality.

For the first time in life, I was surrounded by a group of peers who had the same passion (and equal intent) to see the world. And even more than that, we all finally had the time to do it. Never would I expect that someone would send me a group text at midnight on a random Tuesday saying “Hey, you want to go to the Philippines”, and I’d end up booking a flight within hour. But that’s been the beauty of my CBS experience.

I’ve wanted to take every opportunity to make the most of these absurd and amazing two years that we call business school to see the world. It was this mindset that took me to beaches of Punta Cana with more than half of class of 2017 last fall and what led me to the deserted shores of the Island of Palawan with fifteen of my clustermates last spring. It is that same mindset that makes me so excited for my first official study tour with Chazen.


Tomorrow, I’ll start my 19-hour journey from New York to join Chazen Seoul/Hong Kong. Our amazing student organizers have dubbed our trip East Asia: The Perfect Pop-Cultural Storm and I couldn’t have asked for a better fit. I came to business school to transition into media and entertainment, so I couldn’t pass up on this chance to dive into two of the fastest growing arts and entertainment markets in the world. I’m excited to see what’s in store for us over the next ten days and look forward to chronicling my journey here.

See you in Seoul!


The Newsroom: A Visit to Hürriyet

Columbia Business School students visit the office of Hürriyet in Istanbul.Photo: David Lerman
Columbia Business School students visit the office of Hürriyet in Istanbul.
Photo: David Lerman
hurrieyt 2
Tijen Mergen, a marketing executive at Hürriyet, talks about recent shifts in the Turkish media landscape.
Photo: David Lerman

By Aziza Jamgerchinova

Our visit to Hürriyet starts with a brief welcome reception in the main atrium of the company’s headquarters in Istanbul.  Modern art pieces, including paintings, posters and sculptures, give the office the Google vibe.  There is no trace of cubicles, and everything feels young and fun.

After the reception our group is invited to an auditorium, where Tijen Mergen, a marketing executive at Hürriyet, and Bulent Mumay, a Web Coordinator, tell us about Hürriyet Dünyası, or the World of Hurriyet.

The media company’s flagship publication is a newspaper by the same name.  The daily covers domestic and international news, sports, arts and culture, and features opinion pieces from leading Turkish journalists and social influencers.  Following the latest media trends, Hürriyet has been aggressively expanding its online presence.  The web edition of the newspaper features video reports and user-generated content like Twitpic images.  Mr. Mumay, who leads the digital team, tells us about a recent success during the coverage of a bomb attack in Izmir in August of 2012.  The web edition of the newspaper broke the story by publishing the very first image of the blast’s aftermath that the editors were able to find through Twitter.

Hürriyet is owned by Doğan Holding which today ranks among Turkey’s top three conglomerates.  Doğan is active in six business areas, among which media and energy get a special attention.  In addition to Hürriyet, Doğan has a joint ownership with Time Warner of CNN Türk.

After the presentation, we are invited for lunch at Hürriyet’s cafeteria.  Mr. Mumay and a few other executives are able to join us, so the conversation about Turkey’s media continues.