University students are routinely stressed about their postgraduate futures and asking for guidance on career plans can be daunting. In an attempt to address the fear that completing university can induce, Karming Chin, U3 Management, created the podcast College Insiders in Feb. 2019. In this weekly production, listeners hear from experts in a range of industries, who discuss their career paths and offer advice to those preparing for post-grad life.
Chin’s studies in the Faculty of Management first exposed him to the financial and accounting sectors. As his passion for these industries grew, so did his curiosity. This pushed Chin to investigate media outlets outside of McGill where experts discussed their career journeys in depth.
“I’ve always been really interested in finance, but I haven’t taken any courses, so I tried to find another outlet to find more about finance, and, there, I stumbled on podcasts,” Chin said.
Although Chin found numerous podcasts that discussed career paths and interviewed experts in specific fields, he had trouble finding one that addressed the transition from university to the workforce. He started College Insiders to fill that gap, nurture his interest in certain professions, and receive career advice from experts.
“The podcast I used to listen to focused a lot on people’s careers, and I wanted it to focus more on the transition from school, what [the interviewee] stud[ied], and how did they transition from school into their careers,” Chin said. “So, I made that connection [and] found it useful for people to listen to what others say about the careers they’ve had [and how they’ve gotten there].”
With no prior experience in podcasting or interviewing, Chin first began cold calling McGill alumni to ask if they would be interested in sharing their stories and advice with students. Over time, he slowly accumulated a list of contacts to sustain the show.
“I don’t have a technology background, so I found the startup [phase] very hard in the beginning,” Chin said. “I had to google everything, and that took quite a while. I was [also] trying to accommodate [my guest’s] schedule while still committing time to my own, so it was pretty hectic.
To make College Insiders interesting to a diverse array of students, Chin interviews people working in a variety of industries, including law, banking, and software engineering. He believes that the differences in people’s stories highlight the varying paths that students can choose to take after graduation. Thus far, Chin has explored the benefits of post-graduate education and exploring career options outside students’ majors.
“Initially, I just wanted to help the people that were close to me that were having this [doubt] of, ‘is this all I’m getting out of my classes?’ and ‘where am I going from here?’,” Chin said. “I soon realized that everyone has these sort of doubts and that they needed to be talked about more. My podcast [focuses] on addressing the crisis of not knowing what to do and [gathers].”
So far, Chin has uploaded six episodes and is looking to keep up his weekly postings. With College Insiders, he encourages students to make the most of their university experience and to not let post-graduation anxiety dissuade them from honing in on their passions.