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Five Podcast Recommendations for Business Students

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It’s not uncommon to walk around campus or the halls of JSOM and see student after student with headphones on or earbuds in as they make their way to class. In fact, a 2014 survey showed that adults between 18- and 34-years-old wear headphones for up to four hours a day.

Most likely it is music coming through those headphones, but podcasts, which have been around since 2004, have exploded in popularity since the success of NPR’s Serial. These days it is possible to find a podcast for every niche you have ever wanted to explore and every quandary you have ever pondered.

And this includes business-related podcasts. JSOM Perspectives has already shared some of the top books for business majors, but maybe now you need something productive to listen to while you are driving around looking for a parking spot.

If you are new to podcasts or looking to add more into your rotation, below is a roundup of five podcasts that explore a variety of broad business-related topics: management, creativity, leadership, economics, trends, education and personal stories. Happy listening!

TED Radio Hour (NPR)

iTunes Summary: “The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create.”

Why Listen: While TED talks are short, there are so many of them. It’s a herculean task choosing just one to watch or listen to. This podcast’s episodes are longer in length than regular TED talks — usually right around an hour per episode — but each one centers on a central theme and features interviews with former TED speakers about the topic. Episodes include clips from the related TED talks, so it’s a great way to digest a lot of TED in one sitting.

Recommended Episodes:

  • The Meaning of Work (Oct. 1, 2015)
  • Unstoppable Learning (Sept. 3, 2015)

HBR IdeaCast (Harvard Business Review)

iTunes Summary: “A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review.”

Why Listen: Through expert interviews and research, this podcast touches on leadership, creativity, strategy, decision making, and other business fundamentals and concepts. HBR IdeaCast offers an engaging way to strengthen your soft skills and gain a better understanding of what makes a successful and productive employee and company.

Recommended Episodes:

  • Teaching Creativity to Leaders (July 7, 2016)
  • Asking for Advice Makes People Think You’re Smarter (June 2, 2016)

The Moment (Slate)

iTunes Summary: “Interviews about the pivotal moments that fueled fascinating creative careers.”

Why Listen: You can learn so much by listening to a person’s story — from family members to strangers. Oftentimes these stories reveal that no path to success (or failure) is linear; rather, it’s comprised of a series of choices, mistakes and little victories. The Moment podcast provides an intriguing look into the lives of people of with varying degrees of celebrity and offers inspiration for your own journey.

Recommended Episodes:

  • Savannah Guthrie (June 21, 2016)
  • Judd Apatow (Feb. 16, 2016)

Freakonomics Radio

iTunes Summary: “Each week, hear surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports.”

Why Listen: You are probably familiar with the Freakonomics books and their unique take on the economic quandaries of our day. The podcast stays the course with shorter bursts of investigation into questions you might not think you are curious about, but it actually reveals a great deal about business and marketplace trends.

Recommended Episodes:

  • Are We Living in a Mattress Bubble? (June 8, 2016)
  • Do Boycotts Work? (Jan. 20, 2016)

Planet Money (NPR)

iTunes Summary: “The economy, explained, with stories and surprises.”

Why Listen: From drug addiction to Brexit to fondue, this podcast takes a winding and thought-provoking path to exploring economics. Lasting no longer than 20 minutes, these episodes will leave you with a better understanding of societal issues that impact the global economy.

Recommended Episodes:

  • The Quiet Old Lady Who Whispers “Fair Use” (July 1, 2016)
  • The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck (June 8, 2016)

What are your favorite business-related podcasts?

Caryn Berardi

Caryn is the Associate Director for the Davidson Management Honors Program in JSOM. Caryn started her career in public relations before transitioning to higher education. She loves engaging with students and helping them grow both inside and outside of the classroom. Caryn received a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master’s in Education from the University of North Texas. Read more articles

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