For anyone that has spent time on campus, the podcast name won’t need any explanation. But for others, High Street is that one red brick street uptown, our hub in town. Forbes even just ranked Oxford, Ohio as the best college town in the nation.
Since graduating more than 20 years ago, I have always wondered what it is – what’s the commonality of all Miami students. We were willing to venture into the farmland and into the corn stalks of southwest Ohio, we left major cities to study and live in a tiny, rural community for 4 years and for some, even more.
I’ll say this - whatever it is - it drives us. It’s why Miami consistently ranks in the top 5 in the country in producing Fortune 500 CEOs and CMOs and It’s why you have seen Miami names on the executive leaderboard at Instagram, twitter and other emerging global brands. The list of Entrepreneurs, business heads, community leaders, media executives and authors is endless, it even includes a former United States President and Super Bowl winning quarterback.
I am going to have weekly conversations with these alum and dig into their current experiences and what drove them to Miami and how Miami helped them turn that drive into tangible success.
Adam Bain & Ryan Graves
Ryan Graves (former Uber CEO) and Adam Bain (former Twitter COO) join the Beyond High Street together as the first-ever guest duo. A brilliant conversation on how their careers have compared and contrasted, scaling businesses and the power of operational success, feeling comfortable being uncomfortable and a big stroll down memory lane in Oxford, OH and Miami University. Stay for the tips they provide to incoming college freshman and those early in their professional careers. Make sure to check out Graves’ Saltwater business and Bain’s 01 Advisors.
Chris Wittine: Gaming/Esports Agent, CAA
Chris Wittine is an agent in CAA’s digital media business representing some of the world’s best gamers, esports athletes and streamers. It’s a thoughtful discussion for students as Chris like many of his peers joined the workforce in a digital-first era. He gives tips to the students in Oxford about how to process what is next and steps to take forward. Hint: relationships are key. The gaming industry – play and competitive – is thriving yet still in the first inning. It’s worth watching Chris and others take this category into the future.
Mike Whan: Commissioner, LPGA
Mike Whan, the Commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), was a wonderful guest as we make our return to Beyond High Street after a hiatus. The conversation starts with a question I have been asking many – “what have you learned the most about yourself the past six months during COVID-19?” The conversation goes deeper into the value of mentorship (and who he still calls on weekly for guidance), balances comfort and challenge and how to embrace the undecided. He also credits many of his successes to the learnings from mistakes. I really enjoyed the part about how Mike and a Miami classmate created the London exchange program when he was a student in Oxford. To the students he says – “be adaptive, listen and continue to learn.”
Andrea Saia: Board Member, LivaNova PLC
Andrea Saia is a Miami University alum, member of the school’s Business Advisory Council and a must-listen. She has had a wealth of business success yet she credits the most important decision and job to her first at Proctor & Gamble – learning the consumer and satisfying the customer need. It’s this statement that has guided much of her career. We jump from business challenges (like a product recall as a company CEO) to the power of mentorship and paying forward. Andrea shares plenty of tips for college-age and others in the work force, especially about getting a job in sales or marketing to learn about the customer journey.
Thank you Andrea for the time. Your continued commitment to Miami is fantastic and our conversation re-focused my attention to the customer journey. See you all at Skipper’s real soon.
Megan Fischer: Founder & CEO, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank
Megan Fischer is the CEO and Founder at Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, a non-profit donating more than 175,000 diapers to needy families monthly (serving more than 3,500 babies). We have a great discussion about filtering out areas of “no-interest” to ultimately get you to the passions that drive your every day. From her Pre-Med major to Journalism and from textbook publishing work to non-profit, each of these paths had a reason for Megan, and that windy road narrowed especially during her second pregnancy. Five years into Sweet Cheeks and she is still the only full-time employee – it’s an incredible testament to her work ethic and willingness to do whatever it takes. Please donate diapers here.
Eric Lange: Actor
Eric Lange is a Critics Choice nominee (Escape at Dannemora), 20-year+ professional actor and he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Miami. He has appeared in dozens (and dozens) of television shows, feature films, Broadway and brand ads; most notably as villain Stuart Radzinksy in LOST and Erwin Sikowitz in Victorious (as my kids remind me often). Our conversation bounces from ‘learning how to learn’ and how he would spend time at Miami if he could do it all over again to understanding and capitalizing on knowing you are and the confidence that comes with. He remembers his time at Miami fondly and the program, peers and professors that helped guide his way. If you get a chance, read his 2015 Miami University College of Creative Arts commencement address here.