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Hala Taha, host of the Young And Profiting podcast and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Yap Media, visited Elmira College recently. In two separate sessions, she shared some of her experience and life tips with the EC community as part of the College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programming.
“I had a great time visiting Elmira’s beautiful campus the other week and was proud to be featured in the DEI programming organized by Larry Parker,” said Taha. “Both sessions allowed me to connect with the audience members in an intimate, personalized way that I am not usually able to do. It was so fun to talk to the students, learn what they want to do post-college, and see how curious they are!”
Referred to as the “Podcast Princess,” Taha uses a long-interview format, diving deep into topics that give listeners tips and know-how for career and life success. The podcast started as a side hustle. Now the show is frequently listed as the #1 Educational podcast across all apps. Her company, YAP Media, is a full-service social media and podcast marketing agency for top podcasters, celebrities, and CEOs.
“I’ve always been a fan of her podcasts because they are empowering and teach skills not typically taught,” said Larry Parker, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator. Parker invited Taha to speak partly because of her success and focus on teaching others. He was looking for someone with a diverse background and career expertise who could be an inspiring model for students. He hopes students will see how Taha, a second-generation Palestinian, has overcome barriers and learned to triumph because of - not in spite of - her setbacks.
“Our true values always sustain us in the long term and Taha shared how she originally wanted to be a singer and then was invited on MTV to do a reality show,” said Parker. “But Taha never found success in these areas, which she later reflected were the activities her peer group directed her to get into. But then she realized none of these things help people, which is her true value. Once she submitted to her true value, it helped her to take off.”
Deanna Hathway ’25, a Business Administration major, found Taha “insightful.” Hathway isn’t sure which career path she wants to pursue and is eager to learn ways to set herself apart when she begins her job search.
“She gave insightful information about self-branding and ways to get ahead,” said Hathway. “It was new and fresh information. I found it interesting because there are so many people aiming to get the same job. The tools she offered were interesting because they help you stand out and increase the chance to get ahead in the workplace.”
Mark Abdalla, Assistant Professor of Finance, enjoyed the tips Taha shared about growing a social media presence.
“She knows how to hack social media,” he said. “People are eager for their posts and videos to go viral, and she has a track record.”
Abdalla also felt it was good for students to hear about Taha’s journey and work ethic. “She worked at a radio channel I listened to in high school. It was an unpaid internship, but then she went to get her MBA while working two jobs and having a side hustle.”
“We’re very fortunate as a College to have Taha come to our campus, and I hope we have more speaker engagements like hers,” he said.