Allison Behringer ’12 and Erica Zendell ’12 never thought they would end up in the tech business — let alone creating podcasts. Although they don’t know each other personally, both found themselves unsure of their futures after Princeton and have turned to podcasting as a way to explore new paths.

Allison Behringer ’12
Courtesy Allison Behringer

Behringer, after graduating from Princeton with a sociology degree, did everything from going to Thailand through Princeton in Asia to teaching high school English in the Bronx through a non-profit called Blue Engine. After receiving an email from an internet startup studio called Betaworks about a possible podcasting gig, however, she couldn’t resist the chance to try something new. Her podcast, “The Intern,” showcases what it’s like to start a new career in the tech business in NYC, following everything from her first day at a new job to asking for a raise.

”My goal is to create stories that are one, relatable — that everyone can listen to and relate to,” Behringer said. “What I’m talking about at the end of the day isn’t about tech or NYC. It’s about trying something new, failing — I fail really hard — self doubt, not knowing, looking for answers, and being a self-starter.”

Erica Zendell ’12
Courtesy Erica Zendell

Similarly, Zendell started a podcast after experiencing disillusionment with the recruiting process for jobs during and after Princeton. Originally a comparative literature major, she is now in business school at MIT. She and her classmate Lily Chen got the idea for their podcast, “The Business of Being Awesome,” after talking during an Uber ride about wanting to stay true to what they really want to do in their careers. The driver told Zendell she had a good voice for radio, so Zendell and Chen decided to continue their conversation by starting a podcast about navigating post-graduation life and finding a fulfilling career.

“You should love what you do, but remember that work isn’t the only thing you do,” Zendell said. “There’s a difference between bringing your whole self to your work and bringing your whole work into your self. These are things we talk about in our most recent episode. In a place like Princeton, you think that your worth is determined by the place where you are working, and that’s not true.”

Why, then, a podcast? For Zendell, also an avid blogger, creating a podcast was a chance to “move one step off the written word into real life.”

For Behringer, it comes back to being relatable. “It’s a very intimate medium,” Behringer said. “There’s something about human nature and wanting to experience other peoples joys and triumphs and happiness, but also to know that they are humans and to experience their failures and their shortcomings and their doubts with them as well.”