Recommended Business Resources: MBA Working Girl Podcasts

17 Jul

Okay, so I have to admit it: at heart I’m something of a Luddite. I’m still using rabbit ears on the TV, had dial-up Internet at home for six years until going broadband a couple of months ago, and just finally got a cell phone last year only after losing the charger for my wife’s phone and then discovering it was cheaper to buy another phone with the charger included rather than buying the charger alone. For sure, for a guy who fell into book publisher because I liked books as objects all on their own, I was born in the wrong millennium given that they’re quickly becoming a secondary—at best—delivery system for information. But, what did I expect, having the kind of non-tech attitude that mirrors Homer Simpson saying, “I hear they have the Internet on computers now.”

On the brighter side, now that we’ve got broadband at home I have dived feet first into the podcast section at iTunes and have been downloading hundreds of different podcasts on publishing, business, management, marketing, project management, and other related subjects. And for sure, there’s one series of podcasts I’ve happily subscribed (and listened) to: MBA Working Girl Podcast.

This podcast series is the brainchild of Laura Adams who says that it “is a creative outlet that allows her to share knowledge gained from both her career and formal classroom education. Her mission for the show is to provide tips to help world-wide listeners advance their business knowledge.” She first began doing shows in March 2007 and to date has 45 episodes—usually 6-10 minutes in length—that cover topics as varied as What You Do Speaks So Loud (#38), State the Facts Frankly (#22), and Learn a New Language (#14).

Each episode begins with a kind of offbeat quote. For example, episode #14 utilizes an old Czech proverb: “Learn a new language and get a new soul.” After that she outlines the three topics for this podcast:

  • Accounting Introduction
  • Financial Statements, part 1
  • Keys to Getting Promoted

In each discussion about these topics her approach is clear and engaging—after all she makes accounting, the official “Language of Business,” almost sound cool–as she uses simple yet revealing examples to explain the basics of accounting and and the initial steps to reading and/or producing different types of financial statements. Lastly, to pull it back to the day-to-day issues, she has some excellent tips to keep in mind to get promoted:

  1. Master your current responsibilities and duties to prove you are ready for new/more challenges.
  2. Be willing to take on more and diverse responsibilities.
  3. Show enthusiasm for learning new skills and take advantage of any training offered that relates to your position (or future position you’d like).
  4. Improve your interpersonal skills as jobs higher up the food chain will probably require more people skills and less technical work.
  5. Reveal your industry knowledge by reading its journals and then discuss industry issues with your boss.
  6. Make yourself more valuable to the company however you can. If you don’t know how, ask your manager what skills you need to develop to be considered for a promotion or position change.

Sure, much of this is common sense. But, that’s what gives it its power. When you’re on the job there is always the tendency to lose sight of the forest for the trees. A little straight talk like this, however, from Laura is the kind pep talk to regain some perspective about our place in the what and what to do about it that all of us need periodically.

As I’m always saying, my lack of a business background—hey! people get master’s degrees in English because they like to read books, not make money or be otherwise gainfully employed—is not a factor that generally helps me on a day-to-day basis. So, when I come across information like this presented by Laura Adams that is clear, concise, engaging and useful, I’m going to keep taking advantage of it as long as I can, especially since her Web site that supports the podcasts also has additional information not contained in the podcasts themselves.

(And, besides, the TVs on the elliptical trainers are out at the gym for the next two weeks so while everyone else the is bemoaning the fact they can’t have their regular selection of six sports channels to watch at 5:30 in the morning, I’m happily learning about financial statements, leadership styles, and time management strategies.)

Mark

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One Response to “Recommended Business Resources: MBA Working Girl Podcasts”

  1. Laura July 19, 2008 at 8:03 am #

    Hi Mark – thanks for your kind post. I’m glad you are enjoying the show and hope your readers will find it helpful too! Regards, Laura

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