How podcasts can help work-life balance of students

My office recently moved from midtown to the suburbs, so now on an average school day I spend over two hours in my car commuting between work, school and home. It’s not ideal, but thankfully, I’ve found a handful of podcasts to keep me intellectually engaged while battling Atlanta traffic.

Here are just a few recommendations that I think fellow MBA students would also appreciate:

The Tim Ferriss Show
Are you a Type A personality who is always looking for self-improvement strategies? Are you curious about the sleep habits, diets or exercise routines of successful people? Look no further than Tim Ferriss — author of “The 4-Hour Workweek.” On his podcast, Tim “deconstructs world-class performers” to find out the secrets to their success. His book “Tools of Titans” summarizes many of the interviews from his podcast.

Why I love this podcast: Tim is a master interviewer. His unique questions really dig deep into the spiritual and emotional drivers of his interviewees. I keep an inventory of his questions so that I can use them in interviews and coaching sessions. One of my favorite questions he asks is “What message would you put on a billboard for millions to see?”

Favorite episode: Ray Dalio, The Steve Jobs of Investing — Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, an investment firm with $160 million in assets under management, yet he describes himself as a “professional mistake maker.”

Planet Money
Sure, you’re an MBA student, but do you really understand all the strange nuances of macro and microeconomics? Do you want a deeper understanding of the Fed, corporate income taxes or arbitrage? Give Planet Money 20 minutes of your time and you’ll walk away with enough to get you through networking small talk.

Why I love this podcast: Economics can be really dull, but Planet Money is not. The episodes are short and sweet, and they always integrate economic concepts into interesting current events.

Favorite episode: The Miracle Apple — Back in your parents’ day, apples were only available in three to four varieties and most of them were mealy and flavorless. Now, you can buy branded apples like “SweeTango.” Planet Money explains the transformation of the industry.

Reply All
Are you overcome with anxiety when the Wi-Fi goes out or you lose data connection in your cell phone? Reply All is a show about how to survive life in the internet age — when we’re all addicted to it and our lives are shaped by it.

 Why I love this podcast: Reply All has a segment called “Yes Yes No” where the podcast hosts decipher enigmatic tweets. It’s fascinating learning the intricate language of internet terminology and references.

Favorite episode: Underdog — In this episode, host Alex Goldman establishes “Email Debt Forgiveness Day” to encourage listeners to muster up the courage to reply to anxiety-inducing emails that have been left unanswered for far too long.

Pop Culture Happy Hour
Between school, work, homework and group projects, you probably have limited time for TV shows, movies and books. Pop Culture Happy Hour (PCHH for short) reviews new releases so that you know which shows to skip and which shows to put at the top of your Netflix queue.

Why I love this podcast: This podcast ends every episode with a segment called “What’s Making Us Happy” where they share three-minute anecdotes about a piece of pop culture that is bringing them joy. I love the random recommendations that come up during this segment.

Favorite episode: In One Year and Out the Other — Every year, the PCHH team looks back on the best of pop culture from the year before and makes predictions about hits for the year ahead.

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Lindsay Eierman

Lindsay Eierman is a 19EvMBA student and marketing manager at ScanTech Sciences, Inc. - a company that designs, manufactures and operates systems for the Electronic Cold-Pasteurization (ECP) of food. Passionate about creating strategies to help bring new technologies to market, she thrives when promoting a product or service that has both economic and societal impact. Carswell holds a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School.

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