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How two years of podcasting changed my life

Inspired by Adam Yee’s posts on how one year of podcasting changed my life

Two years, 54 episodes and many life changing conversations.

The last time you heard from me I was a Master’s student at Ryerson University. Today, I am PhD Candidate in Molecular Science at the newly named Toronto Metropolitan University.

Reflecting back on last’s years article it feels like so long ago. I feel compared to last year I am a lot more calm and mature. Life has been a whirlwind between school, FoodGrads and life in general. If you are a student you can understand but I know these are all great things. I love doing them all and coming out of it though I feel calmer, wiser and a little more mature.

With every podcast episode it has changed me bit by bit to be a different person. I’ve always been someone who is intimidated by networking. It felt awkward as I would stumble to figure out what to say. Now I don’t think much about it and enjoy the conversations. It’s a lot more fun and less stressful.

I’m happy the podcast has taken off in the past year. The food industry has a diverse set of passionate people and I hope this podcast has highlighted that fact. We aren’t planning on stopping any time soon so I hope you continue with me on this journey.

Before I jump into this article I would like to thank those who have come on the podcast in the past year. I hope those that have listened have learned something or been inspired like I have. You are all are a positive voice in a space that much needs it.

So enough with that introduction, let’s get on with the lessons!

The right software really helps

When I started this podcast I was using the free software Audacity which is well known in the podcasting community for being the best open-source audio editing software. The software was good except when I had to move to writing the transcript.

I needed a solution and that’s how I stumbled upon the software Descript.

Descript allows you to edit audio like a word document! If you want to remove a word than just use the backspace and voila!

Gone.

It has a simple user interface and it has made editing faster. I do still go through the episode with a fine tooth comb but having the audio synced with the written word has helped a lot. I want the guest to shine because the podcast wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.

There are also is a nifty feature where with a click of a button you can make the audio sound as though it was recorded in a studio. However, this feature is limited by the quality of the microphone being used.

Nothing beats a good quality microphone.

Advice from those new in their careers is just as valuable as those that

I’m not sure if you have realized it but as you get more adept at a subject you tend to forget the small things that a novice struggles with. It’s like driving a car when you first start you need to think about everything.

Check all directions. Turn the turn signal on. Look again. Slow down. Look again. Turn the wheel. So many things are happening at once. It’s a miracle I can drive especially at speed of 120km/hr.

I think that interviewing those new in their careers (1-3 years out of college) can be some of the most insightful for those looking for tangible advice. Sarah Condruck because she was fairly new in her career she could provide a detailed discussion about what it was like transitioning from school to the workforce.

I’m not even that far out of graduating from my undergrad and I still forget things that I did through out. These discussions just reminded me how important it is to keep journal notes of your day lives. I rely on mine a lot to remind myself of challenges I have overcome. It’s funny how your brain likes to forget your accomplishments.

Journal a few bullet points about day. Years down the line you will thank yourself – trust me.

Podcasting is a difficult medium for feedback

I heard somewhere that podcasts are bad for discovery and they are better to use when you are established to build up your brand. With the saturation in the market and just the way podcasts are consumed it can be difficult to stand out in the crowd.

Unlike Youtube people usually listen to podcasts on the go while doing other tasks. They don’t actively sit down and provide feedback. As a podcaster it can feel like your are shouting into a void. The only thing you can depend on is the numbers and seeing where they are headed. Given that numbers are heading in an upwards direction I will take that as a good sign.

It’s easy to become discouraged but I believe in this podcast and it isn’t about the numbers. It’s about putting out encouraging conversations and inspiring the next generation.

Of course though if you have any suggestions on how to format the podcast than I am all ears!

Asking people to be on the podcast isn’t as scary as before

Although I am proud of this podcast in many ways the thing I am most proud about it that I am not as scared anymore to ask people to come on the podcast.

My mindset has changed from, “I don’t want to bother this person” to… “This person is doing awesome things so let’s get them on the podcast to share it with the world!”

A bit extreme but I think this is a better way of doing things.

In a strange way I feel like this has also extended into my real life to be more confident. Before I would be too scared to talk to people because I felt as though I needed a reason. Now I realize that just enjoying a conversation and a person’s company is enough. Maturity perhaps?

Okay so I am still not a place where if you put me in a room of people I would walk to everyone any talk to them. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that gene from my parents who are the total opposite. It is still a bit scary and probably always will be but you what? I am okay with that and that’s okay.

The food industry is really diverse

If you have been in the food industry for any length of time then you already know this. However, the podcast has really opened my eyes to this. Climate change has placed a magnify glass on the food industry and how they are addressing it.

What you choose to eat can in some ways define who you are. I do recognize that in some cases you don’t but for those who have the capability to choose it can be seen as a direct reflection of your values. Food is so personal. We put it in our bodies to get energy from it, it acts as symbol for our cultural heritage and the list goes on.

We are in a really exciting time within the food industry and there are more choices then ever before. I struggle to imagine what they future of food could look like but I do know there are a lot of people working to shape it. The food system has a lot of problems and I hope that more passionate people join the industry and shape it to be some better then we can imagine.

Having a team really helps

FoodGrads had it’s humble beginnings six years ago when Nicole Gallace started FoodGrads as a way to help support students and grads as they started their careers. During the past year FoodGrads was acquired by Farms.com. Because of this acquisition we have a bigger team and more support than ever before. (If you want to learn more than check out episode 50 with Nicole)

Although I am still the lead on the podcast doing everything from editing to making socials to getting guests I now have a team supporting me.

Our team has helped me get some killer guests but not only that sharing the word about the podcast. It’s said that you should be spending more time marketing your podcast than actually recording it. However, when you are full time student this is very difficult. So having a team to help spread the word and tracking down cool people is an immense help.

Actually with that being said you can see some of the awesome podcast graphics at work with our podcast Youtube channel. I am slowly migrating the episodes over there and now you can truly get it in any place you get you podcasts.

Thank you to everyone on the team making this podcast happen!

That I want to keep doing this

My take home message is the same as last year.

I want to keep doing this podcast.

Recording podcasts is one my favourite things to do. How often do you have the chance to talk to someone for a full hour? It’s very rare.

I am so grateful to each person who has spoken to me. It’s not often in our lives that we get to speak with some one one on one for a full hour.

So after two year of recording podcast to everyone who has helped me and has been a guest on the show I say Thank You.


Author: Veronica Hislop is a PhD Candidate in the Molecular Science program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is also a career partner with FoodGrads and has work experience in the food processing industry working both in R&D and QA.

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