Wharton first year Timi Adekeye started a podcast to connect with peers and form new relationships after a year of pandemic isolation.
The podcast, called “Oluswole,” features conversations between Adekeye and his guests, who range from Penn students to family members and high school classmates. Adekeye has produced the podcast out of his dorm room in Kings Court English College House, hosting his guests over Zoom to record their conversation. "Oluswole" is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.
Adekeye said that the podcast, which he started in March 2021, has allowed him to form relationships and learn from others after he lost opportunities for connection during the virtual fall semester.
"I really enjoy the conversational aspect of [the podcast] because I enjoy learning about other peoples’ perspectives, and the more people you talk to, the more you’re able to expand your own view of the world," Adekeye said. "I thought a podcast was a good opportunity for that.”
The topics of the podcast depend on the episode’s guest and their unique experiences, Adekeye said. Previous topics have included going to college during a pandemic, Guy Fieri, entrepreneurship, Harry Potter, and R&B.
The podcast also has a recurring segment called “Oluswole Bowl,” where Adekeye asks his guest a series of random questions. The name of the podcast is a combination of Adekeye's middle name, Oluwole, and the word "swole."
“Having the podcast gives me the opportunity to connect with people from college and high school regardless of where they are in the world," Adekeye said.
Wharton first-year Aaron Osei, who met Adekeye through the Wharton School's Successful Transition & Empowerment Program pre-orientation, was a recent guest on episode seven of "Oluswole." Osei said that when he appeared on the podcast, he and Adekeye talked about their common experiences as the children of West African immigrants, as well as music taste and sports.
“I gather that the message mostly is to provide insight into normal lives," Osei said. "[Adekeye] hasn’t told me this explicitly, but I gauge that his intended audience is maybe college students of our age."
College and Wharton first year Chunda McCain also appeared on the podcast after meeting Adekeye through STEP. McCain said that before appearing as a guest, he had included the podcast on his independent project “Album 19,” which is a time capsule featuring digital artifacts from the pandemic.
McCain said that, unlike most podcasts, which are conversations primarily between older adults, "Oluswole" highlights the voices of college students and younger generations in a conversational setting.
"I think there are very valuable experiences that people of our age have had too, that are maybe insightful, maybe relatable, maybe things to learn from," McCain said. "I think 'Oluswole' is building this platform and this space for people to listen and really take some stuff from it.”
Adekeye, who is originally from Texas, has lived in Abu Dhabi since 2011. He said that although his podcast is still starting out small, going to an international high school has given him a diverse audience that spans across different countries and continents.
“I think it’s really cool just to get an understanding of how international your audience is, and given that my audience is international, I have to make sure that I am providing context on things that are a bit more nuanced,” Adekeye said.
He added that his podcast is not intended for any specific audience, but is open to everyone.
“The main goal is to give the viewers the opportunity to learn from as many people that I have access to,” Adekeye said. "I love how it gives me the opportunity to reach out to as many people, and I think that in the future I’d like to bring some more Penn people on.”