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Finding a voice at RC

Whether it be career navigation or finding work-life balance, Rotman Commerce student Stacey Speranza (BCom ’23) educates young professionals through her podcast. She reflects on the journey of a passion project that empowered her to share the voices of female trailblazers within the industry.

Stacey Speranza (BCom '23)

Stacey Speranza, an incoming fourth-year student specializing in Management, is an advocate for following your passions. As a podcast host for The Business Casual, Stacey, alongside her younger sister, have used the platform to inspire and motivate individuals in their career search. Through interviewing more than 30 female leaders in business—including Mona Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer at Roots, and Caitlin Neve, Partner Manager at Pinterest—Stacey hopes the podcast is a resource for students to learn and grow professionally.

Why did you launch The Business Casual?

In March 2020, just like the rest of the world, I was forced home with nothing to do and little to look forward to. I always considered myself entrepreneurial but never had the time to explore my ideas. Following my first year of University, I was reflecting on all the amazing women I met and mentors I gained—I only wished I had recorded these conversations to re-listen to and share with others! It was at this moment the idea of a podcast was born and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I wanted to create content that highlighted female voices, while being a resource for many around the world to access and learn from!

Were there initial challenges trying to gain exposure for the podcast? How did you overcome them?

The Business Casual podcast cover

When my sister Marianna and I first initiated our podcast in July 2020, most of our family and friends had yet to start listening to podcasts. Our first challenge was getting people to press play on one of our episodes! Once we successfully reached all our family and friends, reaching strangers was even more difficult, as finding new podcasts to listen to is nearly impossible. To overcome this, we developed a very distinct look on our social media pages that reflected our podcast; it helped others instantly recognize us!

What message do you hope to convey through The Business Casual?

I hope that every time someone listens to one of our episodes, they leave feeling inspired, empowered, and having learned something! We strive to have guests from all different walks of life who are trailblazers in their own unique way. With this, anyone listening should know they too can reach any goal they put their mind to.

More importantly, I always reinforce in our episodes that there are many different careers that exist. Everyone should enjoy what they do; they should never feel confined to one job, industry, or role!

What advice can you provide for students wanting to act on their passions?

“My biggest piece of advice is to trust your gut, ask for help when needed, but ultimately just start!”

Stacey Speranza, BCom ’23

Start! In reality, getting started is always the hardest part. It took my sister and I months to release our first episode, and even in the days leading up to the launch, I was so hesitant. Nothing will be perfect when you start and that’s ok! Your idea can evolve and change as many times as you want, but if you never start, you will never give yourself the chance to see where it could go.

July 8, 2022

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