Helping to build a strong student community, with our new weekly podcast

Leeds University Business school has produced a new weekly podcast – run for students by students – designed to help build a strong globally-minded student community.

Each week the podcast invites current students to share their unique experiences and perspectives on a range of issues. The podcast was originally developed by Maria Hussain, Faculty International Tutor, but relies on students for its content.

Maria commented: “We realised that we needed to find more innovative ways to support our Business School students and bring them together as a community, no matter where in the world they are. A key part of the university experience is engaging with like-minded individuals and building new experiences and networks. We know people might be feeling isolated at the moment and we wanted to do what we could to try and build an online community.”

A key objective is also to build intercultural understanding and encourage a sharing of perspectives and experiences from a diverse background of students. We want to ensure that students at Leeds have the skills and knowledge to operate in an increasingly globalised world.

In the first episode, Business School students Olivia Allen and Venkata Ghadiyaram shared their experiences and top tips for “surviving your first semester” at Leeds during lockdown. They both highlighted the importance of building your virtual networks and communities and making sure that you give yourself regular breaks from studying.

Venkata advises that “it’s easy to overdo it – especially when you are always no more than 2 centre-metres from your desk! But you have to be kind to yourself and take breaks.” He also recommends that students try focusing on small regular activities that can give you structure and make a big impact, such as a movie night with housemates, or trying out virtual cooking with friends.

Maria also commented on the involvement from students: “The contributions so far have been excellent and the enthusiasm and willingness from students to get this initiative off the ground has been really fantastic. So far we’ve had student-podcasters from more than 8 countries contributing to the content.”

The weekly podcast launched on 27 January and is titled Cultural Insight Wednesdays. It is available to all Leeds University Business School students and they can access archive episodes through the Minerva learning platform.

If you are interested in becoming a student-podcaster, contact Maria Hussain (