Tune In, Level Up: MBAchic’s Top 10 Podcast Playlist Revealed

The 5QW podcast

Podcasts have become a daily companion for millions of Americans, filling those precious moments of spare time—be it during breakfast, the morning routine, or commutes by train, plane, or car. They offer an opportunity to dive into the worlds we’re passionate about while multitasking our way through life.

But have you ever wondered where the term ‘podcast’ originated? It’s a clever blend of ‘pod’ from Apple’s ‘iPod’ and ‘cast’ from ‘broadcast.’ Fast forward to today, and we’re celebrating International Podcast Day, an annual event born in 2014. It’s a time to unite and honor the global podcasting community.

Over the past decade, this celebration has spotlighted independent podcasting talents worldwide, contributing to the industry’s phenomenal growth. According to Techsurvey 2023 by Jacobs Media, podcast listening has surged, with 33% of respondents tuning in weekly—a 12% increase over the past four years.

Podcasts are a vibrant community where interests converge, whether in true crime, politics, entertainment, or self-help. They connect people who share common passions.

Speaking of shared interests, the MBAchic community inspired our ‘Five Questions with (5QW)‘ podcast—a series of brief interviews with industry leaders and change-makers. It delves into professional journeys, the value of education, and the MBA experience. These conversations reveal the essence of success and the significance of an MBA from the perspectives of women who’ve reached the C-suite.

In 2022, Spotify Wrapped celebrated ‘5QW’ as one of the top 5% most followed podcasts. In this article, we’ll share insights from the first five episodes of ‘5QW,’ along with the MBAchic community’s top 10 podcast recommendations you need to start listening to today.

Lara Abrash

Episode #1: 5QW with Lara Abrash – CEO, Deloitte US Audit & Assurance

In our debut episode, we dive into Lara Abrash’s MBA journey and the power of curiosity, feedback, and embracing risks. Now Chair of Deloitte US, Abrash shares her insights on growth and leadership.

“If you’re not failing, that means you didn’t take a risk. Failure is actually a sign that you’re putting yourself out there. You should decide in your life whether you want to be on the carousel or the rollercoaster, but if you really want to get to these other places you’re ultimately going to have to take a risk, and you learn from them.” 

– Lara Abrash

Episode #2: 5QW with Dr. Nina Vasan – Chief Medical Officer, Real & Founder, Stanford Brainstorm

Dr. Nina Vasan discusses transforming mental health care to be proactive, not reactive (check out our interview with Dr. Vasan on mental health in ambitious spaces like the business school classroom). Her vision is all about optimizing health and well-being from the outset.

“Right now, so much of mental health is reactive, you almost have to reach this rock bottom before you even realize you need to get help. We want to completely change that towards being proactive, to optimize health and keep you well and healthy while making sure you’re getting help at the earliest stage possible and not when you hit rock bottom.”

— Dr. Nina Vasan

Episode #3: 5QW with Carolyn Miles – Professor & Former CEO, Save the Children

Carolyn Miles, Professor of Practice at UVA Darden School of Business and former CEO of Save the Children spoke with MBAchic on sustainability back in 2022. In the third 5QW episode, tune in to hear Miles talk about her MBA, her pivot from the private sector to the nonprofit world, and seizing opportunities that impact millions of children worldwide.

“Don’t try to chart your course for the next thirty years, you can chart your course for maybe the next five, but then just be super open to opportunities. Figuring out your life for the next 30 to 40 years is not a good idea and it may preclude you from doing some really amazing things that you would love.” 

– Carolyn Miles

Episode #4: 5QW with Katica Roy – Gender economist and CEO, Pipeline Equity

After speaking with her over the last several years about the economic opportunity of gender equality and equal pay, Katica Roy opens up about her journey as a professional, entrepreneur, and individual. She shares how she fearlessly tackles racial and gender inequality and explains why she views fear as a tool for success.

“I have as much fear as everyone else, that’s a human emotion. The difference is what I do with it. I was raised never to let it define me. The only way to get through fear is to walk straight through it.” 

– Katica Roy

Episode #5: 5QW with Elisabeth Diana – Head of Communications, Deel

In our latest 5QW episode, Elisabeth Diana delves deeper into her MBA journey during the Great Recession and beyond. Following our previous conversation about the power of real talk, this episode emphasizes the value of overdelivering in your career. Discover why Diana is passionate about seizing opportunities and how she encourages her team to do the same.

“Whatever you’re doing in your career, even if in the moment it’s not quite what you want to be doing, overdeliver.” 

– Elisabeth Diana

Haven’t tuned in yet? Be a part of the conversations here and be sure to explore other remarkable podcasts our MBAchic community loves, covering everything from leadership to finance, entrepreneurship, and more. Here are the MBAchic community’s top 10 must-listen podcasts to add to your rotation:

  1. Second Life: Join Hillary Kerr, co-founder of Who What Wear, as she explores inspiring career changes at any age. You’ll hear from pioneers, artists, mothers, founders, writers, visionaries, designers, CEOs, and more about how they found their version of success, and you’re bound to get inspired along the way. 
  2. HBR Ideacast: With over 600 episodes, this weekly podcast features leading thinkers in business and management. Gain practical insights from AI tools to DEI goals, and turn applicable lessons into professional gamechangers. 
  3. The Daily: Start your day informed with this quick daily news roundup of the biggest stories you need to know hosted by Michael Barbaro and Sabrina Tavernise. It’s ready by 6 a.m., perfect for your morning routine.
  4. Women at Work: HBR staffers Amy Bernstein, Amy Gallo, and Emily Caulfield are untangling some of the most pervasive problems working women face. Get expert insights and practical advice to help you succeed despite the obstacles.
  5. Moneda Moves: Lyanne Alfaro shares stories of Latinos in business and their contributions to the economy. Explore a different perspective on Latino culture. Read more here on how her weekly newsletter evolved into a successful podcast. 
  6. So Money with Farnoosh Torabi: Financial strategist Farnoosh Torabi shares money strategies and interviews industry greats like Queen Latifah and Barbara Corcoran. Whether you’re looking to learn the basics of cryptocurrency, or want to hear the most effective ways to save, invest, and build wealth, this is the podcast you didn’t know you needed. 
  7. How I Built This: Host Guy Raz interviews entrepreneurs, revealing their struggles and triumphs in building iconic brands. Learn about innovation, creativity, and leadership. Through these episodes, founders open up about their struggles and moments of uncertainty, offering valuable insights into their eventual triumphs. 
  8. Masters of Scale: Gain business advice from CEOs at Nike, Netflix, Starbucks, and Slack. Reid Hoffman and Bob Safian offer insights on entrepreneurship and crisis response providing invaluable insights to keep you informed and prepared.
  9. Choiceology with Katy Milkman: Ready to supercharge your decision-making skills? Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman explores high-stakes decisions and behavioral insights. Discover how these lessons can empower you to make smarter choices, enhance your judgment, and lead you down the path of positive change.
  10. Girls That Invest: Millennial investors Sim and Sonya bring a refreshing and relatable approach to simplify personal finance and investing. Explore intriguing money secrets, deep-dive into investing, and learn about side hustles for wealth.

Highly recommended by the MBAchic community, these podcasts offer a diverse array of perspectives on leadership, finance, entrepreneurship, and beyond. They are merely a taste of the wealth of insightful content awaiting you. We’re eager to discover new ones and learn about your must-listen favorites, so please don’t hesitate to share your recommendations with us inside MBAchic. Enjoy your listening journey!

Photo from Matt Botsford

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