Undergrad scores with
The Extra Point

This fall’s football season at Virginia Tech is the first one Pamplin senior Nik Bandopadhyaya is missing in four years. A self-described “football fanatic,” Bando (the last name he prefers to go by), last year helped kick off The Extra Point, a campus newspaper dedicated to Hokie pigskin.

Nik Bando at The Economist
Nik Bando in London

New partnerships

In London since July, interning at The Economist Group, he will return to Tech for the spring semester, long after football season is over. He has, however, been keeping tabs on the paper long distance, advising its new staff and assisting in organizing and planning its new partnerships with two student-run organizations, VTTV (Channel 33) and SPPS (photo services).

“The partnerships will allow us to cover Virginia Tech football not only more effectively in print but also on television.”

Marketing classes, journalism contacts inspired the idea

Bando, who is also advertising director for College Media Solutions, the student-run ad agency at Virginia Tech, says the idea for a campus football paper came out of discussions he had with the editor-in-chief at the time at the Collegiate Times and others at the ad agency.

In developing the idea and pitching it to his student-media colleagues, Bando says he drew from his marketing classes on new product launches. “My Pamplin courses taught me the importance of evaluating a market and looking for a potential revenue opportunity.” He conducted market research, and put together a business plan.

Recent issues of The Extra Point
Recent issues of The Extra Point

Student efforts lead to success

More than 20 students, the majority of whom worked for the Collegiate Times, came together to create The Extra Point, Bando says: writers, reporters, editors, photographers, and advertising sales, design, and production staff. “They worked tirelessly while taking a full course load.”

The publication, which launched last summer, was “extremely successful in its first season,” he says. “We produced nine editions, with 15,000 copies per edition. Many students and Hokie football fans enjoyed the student view of our team. Not only was our audience satisfied, but our advertising clients whom we rely on in order to operate our business, benefited from the ROI on their ads in our product.”

London internship provides lessons

An economics major in Pamplin, Bando is spending his internship working for Economist Group CEO Andrew Rashbass. “I work with several team members on business problems that the publishing industry is facing.” The details are confidential, he says, but adds that the projects involve several aspects of the business, including marketing, management, distribution, and branding.

“Seeing and learning first hand from leaders of the industry how a large international company is run has been very helpful,” Bando says. He is getting many interesting lessons, he says, on the issues involved in managing large teams, how the publishing industry has evolved, and what its future might be.

Interests go beyond football

Bando, who is from Washington, D.C., has his sights set on a career that would allow him to merge his interests in communications media, entrepreneurship, and emerging business markets. “Dr. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani's class on Middle East economic policy,” he says, influenced him to work abroad and learn more about the world.

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