Laker Side Hustle: Quality Chatter


Victoria McGinty and Frankie Divincenzo

While the pandemic has been somewhat of a negative experience, one of the many reasons one can be grateful for the experience is due to the allowed free time to tap into our creative mindsets. Like many of us who have taken on a new project over the past year, students at Mercyhurst are always taking on astounding passion projects. From mask chains to keychains our Lakers are hard at work trying to leave a lasting impact on the world even in a pandemic.

While many students are starting businesses, some are hard at work publishing meaningful content. Junior history and political science double major Lily Smith dedicates her free time to her new passion project: “Quality Chatter: A Podcast.”

Smith is a long-time podcast fanatic and she was first inspired to create her own podcast upon listening to “The Skinny Confidential,” a podcast dedicated to lifestyles and honest conversations.

“There is so much value to people’s experiences and I want to share that same perspective with people. Working on this passion project will give insight into things that any person can go through,” said Smith.

“Quality Chatter” will be split into episodes with each one featuring a person in Smith’s life. Each episode will highlight her guest and highlight the individualities and experiences of the person. Smith is currently planning to do an introductory episode where she introduces herself and what she plans to highlight over the course of the podcast.

In the first “official” episode Smith is planning to interview an old friend of hers who is a first-generation college student with a rich Italian cultural background. This episode will discuss Smith’s guest’s heritage, her experiences and how her culture impacts her family and the individual on a day-to-day basis. Smith plans to interview her friends and those with different backgrounds and universal perspectives.

“My goal of these episodes to highlight well-rounded experiences of those around me,” said Smith.

Aside from the personal interviews, Smith plans to discuss a variety of topics over the course of this podcast. As a humanities major, Lily plans to shed light on issues and controversies within the fields of history and political science. She also wants to discuss social issues and “down-to-earth” topics similar to the honest nature of her favorite podcasts.

While Smith is currently in the earlier stages of her podcast she is hopeful to turn this project into something bigger than herself. She is currently in the planning and recording stage of the process, but she has big plans for the project once the semester settles down.

Once established, Smith plans to create her platforms and create a semi-regulated schedule of publication “but it’s all up in the air at the moment” as Smith said. Smith plans to publish her podcast on various streaming services such as Spotify, Overcast and Apple Music.

Smith provides some insightful advice for anyone considering a passion project. “Just go for it. Even if you don’t know a lot about what you want to do, life is too short to not express yourself. Remember that everything starts out small but, things happen in time,” said Smith. Be sure to look out for “Quality Chatter” on all of your favorite podcast streaming services.

If you have a small business or know a friend who has one and want to have it featured in The Merciad’s “Laker Side Hustle” section, email merciad@mercyhurst. edu or message @merciadmu on Instagram to have your business featured.