Students, faculty and staff share their podcasts

Listen Up: Our Popular Podcasts Picks
Students, faculty and staff share their top episodes and series


We celebrated International Podcast Day on Sept. 30 with these top picks from students, faculty and staff at the Graduate School of Management. 

Here’s what our community listens to while biking across Davis to campus, driving to our Sacramento campus, commuting to San Ramon classes or taking BART to the MSBA program in San Francisco. 

Wilson Bao MBA 18

Planet Money, Episode 665: “Free Food Market”

“One of the quintessential Planet Money episodes, showing an elegant solution to the information problem with food banks.”

Podcast picks for International Podcast Day

Kristy Peterson, Director of Alumni Relations & Network Strategy, Development and External Relations


“The story and characters move and develop more like a great novel than a podcast. It’s a view into the human and American condition, with fascinating glimpses into a brilliant but unhealthy mind in the context of our polarized society.”

Christopher Thielen MBA 20

The Economist Asks

“From the internationally acclaimed magazine The Economist, The Economist Asks features interviews and topical deep dives that are always fascinating. Recent episodes included interviews with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright and a discussion on why Adam Smith is relevant in the 21st century.”

Nicole Biggart, Research Professor and Professor Emerita

ExponentEpisode 152: “Platforms Versus Aggregators from Exponent in Podcasts”

“They explain and keep me updated on technology and strategy issues. I subscribe to Ben’s ‘Stratechery’ newsletter too.”

Sonja Dieterich MBA 19

Career Relaunch

“In each podcast, Joseph interviews one guest who has successfully reinvented their career. Guests have a wide variety of career origins and destinations, and include a wide range of ages, races, economic backgrounds and nationalities. While we are reinventing our careers as MBA students, this podcast allows us to learn from the successes and setbacks of others we would not have had the opportunity to learn from in real life.”

Patrick Ponikvar MBA 21

The History of Rome

“It’s a few years old by now, but Mike Duncan does a great job of walking the listener through a thousand or so years of Roman history that have had an impact on so many cultures.”

Michelle Leah Vasquez, Analyst, Academic Operations and Planning

Hidden Brain

“Host Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to present a wide array of topics.”


“My all-time favorite true crime podcast! Season 1: it is a must listen! I was totally hooked by the first episode and ‘binge listened’ the entire season within a few days. Host Sara Koenig has amazing storytelling skills and really makes the show interesting.”

Daniel Student MBA 20

Learn To Love Baseball

“I built this podcast a couple of years ago to inspire others to love the sport that I am devoted to and hope to build upon it when I can during my time at UC Davis. Based off of personal experience, my theory is that baseball is the perfect sport for people who perhaps are not general sports fans, particularly those interested in math, science and the arts.”

Emma O’Rourke-Powell MBA 19


“Russ Roberts has been hosting this podcast for over ten years and is able to attract some powerful guests. Russ spends an hour delving deeply into the economics of a guest’s topic area, and asks thoughtful questions about the research, the implications, and the economics of the situation. A few of my favorite episodes from this past year include Marian Goodell, CEO of Burning Man, talking about the economics of Burning Man (did you know that no money nor trade is allowed?). And “Michael Munger on Permissionless Innovation,” which speaks to the troubles presented when a community requires permits before building a building or starting a company. I love EconTalk because it’s thoughtful, it requires critical thinking and it often presents a topic that I wouldn’t have found on my own. I often find myself reflecting on an episode for weeks to come.

Suzanne Howard MBA 21

Code Switch, Episode 38: “A Racial Impostor Epidemic

“This explains the constant struggle of wanting to fit in while being mixed race. I can’t speak Chinese and I don’t know how to cook Chinese food. So do I have a right to claim that side of my family? Where was this podcast when I was growing up?”

Luis Pulgar MSBA 19

The Tim Ferriss Show, Episode 56: “How to Think Like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos

“I have listened to this podcast at least three times. Every time I listen to it, it helps me think out of the box and big. Peter Diamandis is all about exponential technologies. In this podcast, you’ll really get a perspective of what the word exponential means. Our future looks bright.”

Rupinderjit Kaur MBA 19

This American Life

“So many unique stories/life lessons to take away from this podcast.”

Ashwin Aravindakshan, Associate Professor

99% Invisible

“It explores the topic of design in everyday life. It taught me that vexillology deals with serious design choices—I can never look at a flag the same.”

Ben, Ben and Blue

“For conversations on education, technology and random interesting things.  Grant Sanderson also has one of the best Youtube channels I have ever seen!   

Data Skeptic

“For good, short forays into the world of data science.”

Mekdem Wright MBA 19


“Jad and Rob are a likable duo who investigate our strange world with humor and curiosity. These episodes tend to spark engaging conversations between me and my friends.”

Garret Kruger MBA 19

I Know Dino: The Big Dinosaur Podcast

 “Hopefully you’re okay with a little self-promotion. My wife and I have been creating a podcast for almost four years and our 200th episode will be released on Wednesday, September 26th. Here are some details about it:

We created the podcast to promote science and critical thinking through our shared love of dinosaurs. Every week we present a dinosaur of the day and a fun dinosaur fact. We also interview paleontologists, artists, game designers, authors and other dinosaur enthusiasts.”

Ayako Yasuda, Professor of Finance

Long NowEpisode 9: “Charles C. Mann: The Wizard and the Prophet”

“I love the podcast series Long Now. It’s a very thoughtful and long-term thinking forum on big Issues we face as a society today. This podcast wonderfully articulates the seemingly puzzling and entrenched fight that exists between the two factions of the progressive camp—one that advocates for technological solutions versus the one that warns against the limits of science. I myself am torn between the two camps. So it gave me much food for thought. I recommend it to anyone interested in environmental/life science/energy economics issues.”

Amy Russell, Executive Director of MSBA

How I Built This

“This podcast is a fun and enlightening way to hear directly from founders about the stories behind their successes—and the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Also, it’s an opportunity to pick up best practices to apply to your own careers.”

Angel McCormack, Lead Career Counselor

Wise Traditions

“I am very excited to bring this podcast to light. It’s my all-time favorite! The Wise Traditions podcast series is with the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is geared toward teaching people how to achieve and maintain optimal health in today’s day and age of increasing chronic disease. It was launched in January 2016 and now has over one and a half million downloads. The weekly 30-minute episodes feature interviews with world renowned doctors and guests in the fields of health, food and farming, offering amazing content related to overall health and wellness.”