School News

Mic Check: Meet This Year’s Leaders of the Michigan Ross Student-Run MBA Podcasts

By Bridget Vis

The Ross School of Business is home to two MBA student podcasts: Business Beyond Usual, run by full-time MBA students, and Working for the Weekend, run by part-time MBA students.

Both podcasts focus on Michigan Ross culture and the MBA experience - diving into topics from life in Ann Arbor to recruiting; course curriculum; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most episodes feature a panel discussion with other students and/or Ross staff and faculty.

Each year, a few students take on the roles of executive producers and hosts of the podcasts and work to plan and execute each episode. Below learn more about the three students behind BBU and WFW this year, as they discuss what made them want to be hosts, what they hope to gain from the experience, and more. 

Business Beyond Usual executive producers/hosts

Christina Weiberg

Program/Year: Full-Time MBA ’22

Hometown: Willmar, Minnesota

Post-grad career interest: Amazon and technology

What interested you in becoming a host of BBU? 

As I started my MBA experience, I knew I wanted an outlet that wasn't focused on career or resume outcomes. I had never listened to podcasts before coming to Ross, but was curious to learn more about the podcasting world because I love learning about other people. Despite recording everything via Zoom last year, my experience with BBU was incredible and I had a lot of fun being able to learn more about Ross, the MBA community, and the incredible things my peers are accomplishing. 

What experience do you have with podcasts or what podcasts do you listen to? 

I still don't listen to other podcasts, but my experience with BBU encouraged me to try starting my own podcast. It's been cool to spend time researching and exploring other areas that I'm interested in through my own personal podcast endeavors. 

What podcast topic would you like to do an episode on this year? 

I really enjoyed helping to create the first diversity-focused podcast episode last year on BBU. I'm hoping to have more of those types of episodes this year and leave a tradition of hearing diverse voices as a focus for BBU. 

How does the host role fit into your experience in the MBA program at Michigan Ross?

The host role is a great opportunity to continue practicing public speaking and presentation skills, but truly it's just an opportunity for me to give back to the Ross community in a way that is lighthearted and fun.

Eric Hopfenbeck

Program/Year: Full-Time MBA ’22

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Post-grad career interest: I'm headed to Accenture Strategy as a senior strategy consultant

What interested you in becoming a host of BBU? 

I've always been interested in media and communications, but had never found an opportunity to dive in until learning about BBU once I got to Ross, and then I was hooked. I love the experience of discussing important topics, bringing many diverse perspectives to the table, and sharing that out completely unfiltered. I've become more and more interested in the power and intrigue of storytelling, and BBU is a fantastic platform to share great stories.

What experience do you have with podcasts or what podcasts do you listen to? 

Before Ross, I had zero experience running a podcast, but I do listen to a handful of podcasts: How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz for entrepreneurial journeys; Work Life, by Michigan alumnus Adam Grant, for better ways of working; Freakonomics and This American Life for interesting stories; and my favorite is Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz for current events and a guaranteed laugh.

What role did the BBU play in you choosing to attend Michigan Ross? 

Sadly, I didn't find BBU until I arrived on campus... BUT I have lots of friends and classmates who listened to BBU throughout their business school exploration and application process. They found BBU helpful to get an authentic perspective of the student experience, advice on what to focus on during the application process, and a chance to hear what makes this place so special.

What are you most looking forward to being a host this year? 

I am most looking forward to welcoming our MBA2 co-hosts and lots of new hosts to the BBU team, building a supportive community, and bringing that team energy to deliver the highest quality podcast experience for our listeners. We have plenty of exciting topics, and I'm eager to help bring those to life and have a lot of fun along the way.

Listen to Business Beyond Usual

Working for the Weekend executive producer/host

Leslie Beverley

Program/Year: WMBA ’22

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post-grad career interest: Brand management at Procter & Gamble

 What interested you in becoming a host of WFW?

I wanted to continue amplifying the voices and stories of our part-time MBA community. I'm also genuinely inspired by my classmates, professors, and alumni - so being able to have more intimate conversations with them as a host is also a little self-serving.

What role did the BBU/WFW play in you choosing to attend Michigan Ross?

I hadn't discovered Working for the Weekend until I already decided to apply. However, listening to the podcast helped me get excited about hopefully getting accepted and starting. It humanized the program for me, making the MBA experience seem less intimidating.

What podcast topic would you like to do an episode on this year?

I'm looking forward to hosting a DE&I episode soon - I believe diversity is one of the most valuable parts of the MBA experience and I'm looking forward to using this episode to celebrate our diverse PTMBA community, but also identify ways we can improve our DE&I efforts.

What do you hope to gain from your experience hosting the podcast?

I've already learned a lot, but in my current executive producer role I'll be gaining experience leading a team and hope to empower them to unlock their greatest potential. Additionally, since I'm a marketer, I'm making a concerted effort to build our podcast brand and strategy for future PTMBAs to keep building upon.

Listen to Working for the Weekend