COVID-19 Stories: Michigan Ross BBA Is Keeping Students Excited about Business Through His New Podcast Interviewing Prominent Ross Alumni and Other Business Executives

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Like many others, Michael Sikand, BBA ’22, found himself with more free time in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He decided to put that time to good use by launching Our Future: Looking Beyond with Michael Sikand, a podcast for young leaders that explores the key questions driving the future of business, technology, and policy.

In each episode, Sikand interviews executives and entrepreneurs, including many alumni of the Ross School of Business. 

“I started this podcast because it was the perfect way to channel my passions: talking about business, making new friends, and learning about the world,” he explained. “My ambition was fueled by the need to keep students excited and engaged with business through lockdown, to connect students to jobs, and to bring a fresh perspective to business conversations.”

Sikand believes that makes Our Future different from other podcasts.  

“There’s a lot of business podcasts out there, but none are hosted by and framed through the perspective of a college student,” he said. “My podcast brings a fresh lens to conversations about the future, because I host fun, engaging conversations where I ask the questions that matter to my generation and pick the brain of my guests for career advice and internship opportunities.” 

For this reason, Sikand sees his podcast as a first-of-its-kind internship recruiting platform because most episodes have internship opportunities attached. He invites his fellow college students to reach out to him after episodes air if they are interested in interning at his guests’ organizations. 

“My goal for this podcast is to keep college students engaged with the business world this summer,” he said. “A more specific goal is to connect over 100 students to exciting internships in the coming months, even in the face of COVID-19.”  

After the release of his first episode, “The Future of I.D. with Susan Dworak”, he was able to help 10 University of Michigan students obtain summer internship interviews with his guest’s legal technology startup, Real Identities LLC.

On top of this early success, Sikand said he has enjoyed creating the podcast. “My favorite part of making the podcasts are the conversations themselves. It is so much fun to talk to visionaries,” he shared.

Future guests scheduled to appear on Sikand’s podcast include Michigan Ross alums Josh Dziurlikowski, BBA '03/ MACC '04, controller for the Buffalo Bills; Ben Hassing, MBA '03, former SVP of Cross Border Trade at Walmart; Kristin Cabanillas, MBA '17, senior advisor of retail pharmacy product development and innovation at CVS Health; and Shadi Mere, MBA '15, founder and CEO of Bedestrian. Other executives coming onto the show are from P&G, Netflix, Joby Aviation, and Jane Technologies.

Our Future: Looking Beyond with Michael Sikand is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Fireside.fm, and Soundcloud.