Yash Mehta (Q22) began his own podcast to commemorate the beginning of 2018. While it’s still at its infancy, Yash has sights on expanding the podcast to feature even more “influencers, as the podcast name, The Great Influencers, suggests. At the current moment, there are two podcasts on the website highlighting Malala Yousafzai and Thurgood Marshall, implying that the diversity in influencers is not limited to prominent historical figures. I recently got to sit down with Yash to get his thoughts on the podcast and his vision moving forward.
What prompted you to start the podcast?
I think it was a host of internal and external factors. From the internal perspective, I’ve always really enjoyed creative writing and public speaking so this was a great way to practice those skills. I’ve also become an avid listener of other podcasts over the last year so this was a neat challenge/bucket list item for me to tackle. On the external side, I think we could all use some inspiration from time to time so I wanted to create something that helped busy professionals like those in QUEST to do something fun, learn something, and feel energized to improve their lives all at the same time. I think we’re in a particularly interesting political climate and regardless of your beliefs, I try to shape each episode so that people realize people just like them influenced our world.
I notice you featured both historical and current “influencers” on your podcast – do you have intentions on sticking with a theme regarding that or just whoever is making an influence?
The way I choose influencers is relatively unstructured – a lot of it is me coming across stories of people that make me go, “Wow, I want to know more.” I’m trying to make a conscious decision to showcase influencers from a variety of backgrounds (civil activism, science, arts, etc.) so that every person listening can see a bit of themselves in the influencers. My other criteria is choosing great influencers whose stories haven’t been widely told – yes, MLK was absolutely a great influencer, but so was Thurgood Marshall, and I’ve heard Marshall’s story far fewer times so I decided to tell his story instead.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, Yash always loves to get any feedback, so if anyone wants to provide feedback, please share it with him at MehtaJYash@Gmail.com!