The Man Behind the Mic: Meet our ‘Spill the B’ Podcast Host!

Syed Mahmood

In June, Kent Business School will be launching its very own monthly podcast, Spill The B.  The student-led recordings will be hosted by Business and Management student Syed (Zaid) Mahmood.

Here he talks pink hair, diversity and making a mean mac n cheese…

Tell us about yourself…

I am a third year Business Management student studying at Medway and am taking an add on year in data analytics next year. For the last year, I’ve worked as the president of Medway Business Society, which (pre-pandemic) involved orchestrating networking events and helping students who had aspirations to start a business. I call myself a social butterfly and am fun-loving and not scared to be unique (see my pink hair!). I have lived all over the world, from Pakistan to Dubai as my mother travelled a lot for business.

How did working on our podcast come about?

I discovered the Work Study Scheme, where students like me can take on roles to represent the University. I am a podcast fan and have aspired to launch my own one day. Being adept in current affairs, university life and all things business means I feel quite at ease talking about anything. I am used to chairing discussions and thinking on my feet and have gained strong knowledge in lots of areas through my work at the Business Society. I saw the advertisement for the host role and knew it was for me!

What do you think your presenting style will be?

People tell me I am good at putting others at ease, so I hope I bring a bit of humour and personality. I understand the serious side of things too and that there is always a need for balance and have empathy and the ability to put myself in others shoes. As a man of colour, I know just how integral Equality, Diversity and Inclusion issues are. My mother has brought me up to champion feminist issues too, so I feel my style will be guided by respect of others.

What enticed you to choose Kent Business School to study?

I was living in London at the time and had applied to study Bio Medicine there but when it came to results day, I suddenly realised it wasn’t for me. My mother had always noted how good I was at making friends and networking she always said to me it is all you need in business. I applied through clearing after looking at the campus facilities and the excellent rankings. I have never looked back!

How have you coped studying during the pandemic?

Initially – not very well. All my house mates at my Medway flat had left to go home and I stayed. Studying alone in a room and not seeing anyone took its toll on me. I became quite depressed, like many of us did. In the end, I reached out to the university’s wellbeing service and received counselling. My therapist and I spoke every Friday and honestly, it totally saved me. I built my confidence back up and can’t wait to embrace life once everything reopens.

Which podcast topics are you most looking forward to?

The first instalment is all about how we coped in a pandemic during our studies, I feel I have been through the worst of this myself, so will be a good person to chair discussions. I will also be passionate about anything on diversity as I feel I am a voice on issues surrounding EDI and a champion of pushing for change having been involved in the BLM movement.

What are your career goals following your Master’s degree?

I work in retail part time and one day hope to work in product development or buying, but I am also a big fan of social media so have developed an interest in the marketing side of things – the reason I am taking an extra year in data analytics next year.

I love food and am a big home cook, my speciality being the ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese! One day, I want to launch a food-based business, perhaps a restaurant of my own.

Spill The B will be launching in June, see Kent Business School’s news and events pages and our social media pages for more information.

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