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Rutgers student Manasa Aechuri creates podcast 'Do Anything'

Manasa Aechuri is a Rutgers student that is also the creator and host of the podcast "Do Something." The student has amassed over 8,000 followers on her Instagram.  – Photo by Instagram

If you’re like me and have been craving content to get you motivated and inspired again, look no further! Rutgers’ very own Manasa Aechuri, a Rutgers Business School junior, has a podcast titled the "Do Anything" podcast and it’s been helping me get my mind off the crazy state our world is in right now. 

Aechuri started the podcast at the end of January and has since been putting out episodes every Monday. I’ve been listening to the "Do Anything" podcast for two months now and was finally able to sit down with Aechuri, virtually of course, and ask her how this whole journey started.

It was strange meeting someone I’d only listened to for the last eight weeks but as soon as our conversation started, it felt like talking to an old friend. Aechuri opened up about how this podcast and creating is always a process. 

Naturally, I was curious how it all started and Aechuri revealed that it began with a conversation a year and with a passion for telling other people’s stories. “I was having such deep conversations with my friends about life and the lessons they’ve learned, how they grew, and I felt it was finally time for me to put that out there,” Aechuri said. Now she has 11 episodes, some solo episodes and others where she interviews friends and professionals on their personal growth and ambitions.

What I found interesting is that Aechuri had been planning the project for a while but just woke up one day and decided it was time to begin. 

“I’m such a believer in things are not gonna be perfect the first time you put it out there. You’re gonna have to fail, you’re gonna have to learn, every single time you do it. I’m always about learning from failure. My first episode, I just put it out there. I knew if I just started, I’d just keep going,” Aechuri said, which I think is amazing advice for us creatives who can be nervous to share ourselves with the world. That being said, it’s not always easy balancing creative projects and education.

Aechuri said she “(treats) it like a class” and always plans at the beginning of the week what topic she wants to cover and reaches out to guests as soon as possible to gauge what they want to bring to the conversation. 

But there can be creative roadblocks along the way, especially when it comes to talking about a new topic every week. Aechuri said she tries to stay on top of it by finding what’s trending, sharing what she already has knowledge on and doing enough research when she wants to explore something new. 

Aechuri also gets inspiration from other podcasts including "Gals on the Go" by college students Danielle Carolan and Brooke Miccio. “Creating content is all about like taking inspiration from someone else or something that you really like and twisting it to be your own. And there’s like a small percentage of people who create something that’s completely unique, completely different because that is really hard to do,” she said.

While Aechuri’s podcast is based on her many personal and professional inspirations, her personality and passion set it apart. I felt this even as we were talking — her passion for sharing is in everything she does. 

Aechuri is also an Instagram influencer and has accumulated more than 8,000 followers in her five years of sharing recipes, fitness tips and her personal style. Yet, Aechuri said making a podcast is completely different than Instagram, where content can be curated. It’s much harder to tell a story using just pictures and captions. 

For Aechuri, this podcast is about sharing every side of herself: her routines, her thoughts, her happy moments and the ways she wants to grow. “It’s like my own journal, like I’m documenting myself,” Aechuri said. “My whole goal with this podcast thing is to be that person that people can just listen to and relate to because a lot of times you might not have that person, or you just don’t want to talk to other people about different things.”

Even with changes due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Aechuri is focusing on putting out episodes in hopes of being there for others, providing a distraction or bringing some positivity into their day. In times like these, I agree that it’s important to reconnect with what makes us happy, whether that be relaxing, talking to friends and family or allowing yourself to equate creativity with productivity.  

As my final question, I couldn’t help but ask: What is your advice for anyone who wants to create a podcast or be a self-starter in general? Her answer was simple but hit the nail right on the head. 

“The biggest thing is finding an idea that you really resonate with and have a passion for and just starting. If there’s a topic that you really think you can like talk so much about or really get into: Just start, put it out there. There’s gonna be an audience of people that will listen to you. I think in this generation because there’s so many people online, there is room for everyone to grow. I really believe that," Aechuri said. 

Check out Aechuri’s "Do Anything" podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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