Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, who partnered with career services marketing system uConnect nearly 3 years ago, recognized a major trend in in the way young adults like to consume media and set out producing a career development podcast. Podcasts began their meteoric rise in popularity in 2015, and by 2017, an estimated 67 million Americans were listening to podcasts each year. Importantly, the medium is most popular among people between the ages of 18 and 34: the Millenials and Gen Zers we all want to reach. Podcasts don’t seem to be losing favor anytime soon, or at least music streaming giant Spotify doesn’t think so, having just spent hundreds of millions to acquire two podcast production companies, and revealing plans to buy more.
‘All Careers Considered,’ Indiana’s new career development podcast presented on their uConnect platform, is the brainchild of Maria Cambone, Career Coach at the College of Arts and Sciences’ Walter Center for Career Advancement. Earlier this month, we sat down with Maria to get the story:
“I first came across the idea of using a podcast to reach students for the purpose of career development through a project that Longwood University’s career center is doing, the Day After Graduation Podcast. Since one of the Walter Center for Career Achievement’s goals is to provide more 24/7 interactive career resources and to increase student engagement with our office through digital platforms, I thought that a podcast might be a great place to begin.
I began by listening to as many career podcasts as I could find, to get a feel for what’s already out there, what I like, what I dislike, and what I think students might benefit from the most. I recently wrote a LinkedIn article, 18 Best Career Podcasts for Young Professionals, about the podcasts which helped me create All Careers Considered the most. Through this fact-finding, I determined that students are really interested in hearing interviews with employers in industries that interest them about how to be competitive applicants for internships and jobs. I also decided on a format that would suit the needs of IU students, and my personal style.
Additionally, during the Fall 2018 semester, our office conducted an assessment to learn, among other things, what information students wanted more readily accessible in a digital format. Their response: career fair preparation. Taking what I had learned about career podcasts, I met with the Walter Center leadership team in November 2018 to pitch to them that we create a podcast. We would start small, with nine 5-minute micro-episodes about how to get ready for the career fair, to generate awareness of the podcast and to learn from any of our early mistakes. My teammate, Maureen Langley, and I rolled these micro-episodes out starting on January 7 every other school day leading up to the Winter 2018 Career Fair on January 23.
We aren’t finished here, though. Next, we’re moving into creating longer-form content – think 15-20 minutes, short enough to listen to on the walk to class – that tells stories about how alumni achieved their career goals. We’re also going to feature recruiters in “hot seat” style interviews with our student interns, who will pretend to grill them about the truth of working or interning for their organization. Finally, we’ll feature stories from current students who had unique or off-the-beaten-path internships or work experiences: what they did, how they found or created the opportunity, what they learned, and where they want to go next. I hope to put as much of these interviews into student hands as possible, with me moving away from the mic to let students lead the conversations for and with their peers.”