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Cornell Podcast Brings Faculty To The Masses

The Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island

Cornell Podcast Brings Faculty Wisdom to the Masses

A project started by Cornell MBA students is digging deep into the collective wisdom of faculty at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Present Value, a student-run podcast series, was started in fall 2017 by Cornell MBA students Michael Brady and Harrison Jobe. With listeners across six continents and nearly 30 countries, the podcast explores the work of Cornell professors.

“It’s the opportunity to have an hour-long mini-lecture from preeminent academics on campus,” Jobe tells the Cornell Sun.

MAKING PROFESSORS MORE ACCESSIBLE

One goal behind the podcast is to bring students closer to thire professors. A podcast format was the perfect medium to tap into the intellectual curiosity of listeners, Brady tells the Cornell Sun.

At the time, there was nothing that existed on campus as long-form interviews with professors discussing their research.

Brady and Jobe say that they hope the podcast will make professors more accessible to students.

“At the end of the day, they want to interact with you,” Jobe tells the Cornell Sun.

In a more aspirational spirit, Present Value is also about exchanging ideas.

“We aim to bring ideas and insights from renowned thought-leaders to curious minds everywhere,” according to the podcast’s website.

AKIN TO RUNNING A STARTUP

Both Brady and Jobe compare making the podcast to the experience of running a startup business.

They went through nearly every aspect of starting a business when kickstarting their project—from coming up with a name and logo and even marketing initiatives like creating a website.

“Hosting is only five to 10 percent of the work,” Brady tells the Cornell Sun.

The process requires heavy research to ask educated questions. On top of crafting the interview, the team also needs to figure out how to “form a narrative arc.”

If that isn’t enough, the team has also had to learn software and how to edit and develop scripts.

“It’s highlighting high-level work the professors are doing, and it’s really showcasing the research initiatives that are happening at Cornell,” James Feld, one of the current producers of the show, tells the Cornell Sun.

GROWTH AND THE FUTURE

The Present Value team currently consists of five first-year and four second-year MBA students.

Since Jobe and Brady are both graduating next year, they are in the process of transitioning leadership to other members of the team.

What’s on the horizon? The team hopes to start interviewing younger faculty members and potentially start having 20-minute episodes.

For Jobe, the goal of the podcast is to get listeners to think of something they probably haven’t given much thought to before.

“It’s creating something of lasting value that will exist in perpetuity to raise the profile of Cornell,” Jobe tells the Cornell Sun.

Sources: Cornell Sun, Present Value