The F.C. Manning School of business is introducing the stories of prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs through their podcast, AxeChange, hosted by Acadia students.
The AxeChange podcast was first established in the Spring of 2017 as a revitalization of the newsletter of the same name the School had published for many years. Professor Kendra Carmichael identified Communications students who would be suitable interviewers, while Dr. Conor Vibert provided the first list of potential interviewees. Many more faculty members, including School of Business director Paul Callaghan, continue to be involved with the podcast. The first interview was hosted by Bailey Darling, who interviewed Chris Houston (BBA, Class of 1999), and President of the ASU in 1998-99. Chris is a serial entrepreneur in the technology sector currently working with Symantec in Toronto.
“The podcast highlights the richness of talent available via the school and the capability of its students,” says Director Callaghan. “Having it accessed through our web page is an adornment to the school.”
Fourth-year Finance student, Brendan MacNeil adds that “the goal is to maximize the reach of the business school via podcasts with prominent professionals and business leaders being interviewed, sharing their experience with students.” Over the past year, Brendan has hosted and compiled a number of interviews, sometimes working in the Axe radio office, and often meeting with people in Halifax and other locations.
The School of Business is excited to extend an invitation to students who would like to host and to promote the podcast as an official School of Business activity. If any student has an interesting character, an entrepreneur or business leader that they want to interview, the AxeChange platform provides a means to share their insights with others in the School and beyond.
The interviews are thematic and focus on how a certain topic of discussion relates to students and student opportunities. A memorable recent interview was with Francis McGuire, President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. During the interview, Mr. McGuire discussed the role of youth in business.
“Students bring a crucial role in revitalizing stagnant industries. Whether it is helping a company open a social media account or helping them evolve when using robotics because we are naturally more predisposed to understanding technology,” Brendan says.
“It boils down to expanding our horizons and seeing what we learn or don’t learn in practice. We want to bring in the stories from these leaders and entrepreneurs for students to learn from.”
While the goal of the podcast is in part to showcase the role of Atlantic Canada in business and entrepreneurship, as the podcast grows, and more students host, the reach will expand geographically. MacNeil also emphasized he hopes students will see that beyond it being an interview, producing a podcast is a great opportunity for them to interact with business leaders, expanding their network to people they can call upon for support in the future.
Listen to all interviews here.