By Marli Bosler
In their new podcast, “Mom, I got this!,” two Stanford sophomores expand the meaning of “design” and showcase the range of its possible applications.
Discussing everything from education to investing to sustainable fashion, hosts Emily Redmond ’23 and Isabel Arboleda ’23 delve into the diverse careers of their accomplished female guests to uncover their nonlinear journeys to where they are today. To Arboleda, the podcast is all about that overlooked moment of courage “when you’re going off into the world and you’re like, ‘Mom, I got this,’ even if you really have no idea what you’re doing.”
Each episode welcomes listeners into a warm conversation with Stanford professors and graduates as they detail their missteps and successes in their careers and adulthood. Sprinkled throughout each episode are morsels of life advice learned through lived experience, from mustering up the nerve to quit the varsity tennis team to scoring an internship with the NFL.
Despite having little to no prior podcasting experience, Arboleda and Redmond produced the four episodes of their premiere season in less than four weeks before releasing it last fall. According to Redmond, the ease of remote meetings, made popular by the pandemic, allowed the team to skip the hassle of scheduling in-person recording sessions. Arboleda and Redmond connected with guests, conducted interviews and edited audio hundreds of miles apart from their respective homes in Arizona and Alberta, Canada. “It would not have been possible if it wasn’t online to begin with,” Redmond said.
After meeting in the Soto freshman dorm, the two friends have built a professional relationship over the course of this project, according to the podcast hosts. Arboleda said they inspire each other to step out of their comfort zones and experiment with new interest areas, implementing the lessons learned through the podcast in little ways everyday. Even though not every risk lives up to expectations, “I’d rather figure it out by trying than always having that ‘what if,’” said Arboleda.
Like many of their guests, Arboleda and Redmond did not start college intent on pursuing design. However, after taking classes in Stanford’s d.school, both were inspired to venture off the beaten path and embrace risk taking. Their podcast is supported by Stanford Womxn in Design, an organization focused on inspiring future leaders in the field.
Applying a “design thinking process,” the two students planned the podcast around the concept of a young woman meeting a mentor for coffee to understand their career path. “We wanted our podcast to be that conversation at the coffee table where any listener can pull up a chair,” Redmond said.
Though the podcast centers around transformational turning points, Redmond said she and Arboleda see the concept as a spectrum and show “the whole story rather than just the moment.” This approach allows listeners to get a holistic glance into the winding, less-than-perfect paths that inspirational, relatable women took to design their own lives.
Season two is scheduled to be released spring quarter and will appeal to a greater range of audience identities, said Redmond. No matter listeners’ backgrounds or age, Arboleda and Redmond said their goal is to attract a wider audience who might not usually listen to a design podcast.
Both the podcast and the sophomores’ approach to young adulthood is “all about learning who you are and then going after the people who inspire you,” said Arboleda. “Get excited and curious and follow that.”