Podcast looks into life after college

March 1, 2019

One of the most stressful times in a young professional’s life is trying to find a way to stay afloat after graduation. Professor Andy Molinsky (IBS), a professor of Organizational Behavior and International Management at Brandeis, used this as inspiration for his podcast, “From the Dorm Room to the Board Room.”

“For a long time now I’ve seen soon-to-be graduates at Brandeis stressing out about their careers—and have also seen recent graduates sometimes having a hard time transition from college to the professional world,” Molinsky told The Brandeis Hoot in an email. “I love podcasts because they really offer an opportunity to go deep into a topic and tell it with stories—which are relatable and memorable.”

Kevin Dikdan ’20, the podcast’s vice president of marketing and public relations, said that they are “trying to get diverse perspectives from professionals who made the transition in different ways and gleam any advice or common threads.”

A group of undergraduate students—Dikdan, Yuechan Ta ’21, Allison Tien ’20, Sabrina Luu ’20, Ali Carney ’19 and Manas Maniar ’19—work alongside Molinsky in this project. All the original students who helped bring the podcast to life were a part of Molinsky’s Organizational Behavior in Business class (BUS 120a). As the podcast has grown, a few other individuals have been brought on as a support team. Molinsky also told The Hoot that they have listeners now across the country and around the world.

The podcast has also assisted Molinsky in his personal research. His first book, “Global Dexterity,” published in 2013 looks at “How to adapt your behavior across cultures without losing yourself in the process,” according to Molinsky’s website. It received the Axiom Award (Silver Medal) for Best Business Book in International Business and Globalization. His latest book, “Reach,” published in 2017, looks at strategies to help “step outside your comfort zone, rise to the challenge and build confidence.”

“It’s been helpful for me to start to understand the challenges and the opportunities for successfully transitioning from being a student to being a professional,” said Molinsky. “It’s not research in the ‘classic’ sense, but it certainly is a deep intellectual dive into a very important and meaningful topic.”

As part of the original team that started the podcast, Dikdan was excited to see the project take off. He explained that when the podcast was first starting, they were not specifically looking for people with name recognition, but people that were interesting. “They had unique paths to success that don’t follow the typical storyline,” Dikdan told The Hoot. But as their podcast starts to grow, they are starting to get bigger names and are being approached by individuals who are looking to be interviewed from major companies, including Google and LinkedIn.

Dikdan also said that the people they interview have a common thread. “Everybody has the same story. They come out of college and their first job is never their dream job. But everyone finds in that job things that they do love and they move organically towards that,” said Dikdan.

Molinsky also highlighted on the non-linear path that comes with finding a meaningful career. “Many of them wouldn’t have even predicted what they now do and what they’ve become,” said Molinsky in an email.

As the podcast continues to grow, Dikdan told The Hoot that they are hoping to start posting live events at Brandeis, perform more community outreach and bring some of these entrepreneurs to campus. A lot of the people that come on the podcast exemplify the value of a liberal arts education.

“These people weren’t just finance or economics majors,” said Dikdan. “They were doubling down on psychology and sociology and it had a huge impact on how they look at the world and the ethics they believe in.”

All the students who have worked with Molinsky since November 2018 in creating the podcast have benefited from the project. “The connections that I’ve made and the experience that I’ve been garnering with leadership an organization is valuable to me as an internship,” said Dikdan. “The tasks that we are doing are not menial but require a lot of autonomy and a lot of professional development. I really can’t think of a better practical application for the skills we’re learning in school for bettering society.”

Carney also said in an email to The Hoot that she wanted to join the podcast because “it’s really helpful for students (and myself) to hear how established individuals got to where they are.” Carney is also interested in Organizational Behavior and the podcast has helped her develop qualities important to the field.

New episodes of the podcast come out every Tuesday.

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