How To Submit 30 Second MBA Videos

Who’ve done 30 Second MBAs? Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Conan O’Brien, Matt Damon, Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley, Kayak’s Paul English, Warby Parker’s David Gilboa, Hipmunk’s Adam Goldstein, chef Ferran Adria, and many more. Read on to find out how to get involved.


To get involved with our 30 Second MBA series, please email us at or contact Co.Lead editor Erin Schulte at If we decide to move ahead with shooting videos to potentially feature on our site, please use the following instructions. NOTE: Submission of one or more 30 Second MBA videos does not ensure publication; videos are published on at the discretion of our editorial team.


Take a look at the questions on 30 Second MBA, or see the list posted at the very bottom of this article. Scroll down and check out the questions in the right rail. Choose 2-3 topics you want to speak to. Most professors answer 2 or 3. Try to keep each response as close to 30 seconds as possible and film each answer separately. We ask that you keep your responses casual and conversational, think giving advice to a mentee rather than delivering a public service announcement. 

Setting up. Before you get started, make sure you have the essentials needed to shoot an MBA. Most professors like to shoot either with a iPhone, Android phone, flip cam, webcam, handycam, or DSLR. Any of these will work.

Composing your shot. Before you shoot your MBA, look around. Do you have a crazy part of your office that you’d like to stand in front of? Does your desk say everything about you? Make sure you have ample lighting and frame yourself well so we and our viewers can see you. Remember, good composition always helps the viewer focus better on you and usually helps make the video more pleasing to watch. Here are some more tips to help you get the camera angle and lighting right

Audio. One of the most important aspects to creating a good video is making sure we can hear you. In most, if not all cases, the microphone on your camera will work just fine. However, when shooting your MBA try to pick a quiet place. That way, we’ll hear you, our audience will hear you, and everyone will go home happy.

After you’re done shooting simply load the footage from your camera into your computer.



Video format: Your camera should have done everything for you in regards to a correct video format. But just in case you’re a bit tech savvy, our video system loves the following video formats:

For High Definition Material:

Quicktime, or compatible video

extension: .mov, .mp4, .m4v

codec: h.264

bitrate: 5000 – 10000kbits/sec, equivalent to the Quicktime “High” automatic setting (optimize for download)



no interlacing

key frame: every 30 frames (or the sequence framerate—if 29.97 use 30)

frame reordering on

size: 1280×720 (16:9)

sound: PCM 16-bit, 48khz.



For Standard Definition Material:

Quicktime, or compatible video

extension: .mov, .mp4, .m4v

codec: h.264

bitrate: 3000-6000kbits/sec, equivalent to the Quicktime “High” automatic setting (optimize for download)



no interlacing

key frame: every 30 frames (or the sequence framerate—if 29.97 use 30)

frame reordering on

size: 854×480 (16:9) 640×480 (4:3)

sound: PCM 16-bit, 48khz.



Again, if you don’t know what any of this means don’t worry. If you’re using any modern day camera, it likely did all of the work for you. However, if you are having any problems uploading, feel free to shoot us an email at


Go to:

// <//>

and follow the on-screen instructions.


To help us stay organized and get your video up faster, please name your video file exactly as stated below. Please include the subject’s name, job title and company (in caps), and the question answered. For example:

… and lastly don’t forget to email us a headshot and most recent bio and your official title so we can set up the profile page (

Have you made a mistake that ultimately helped shape you?

Talk about a situation that happened because of a culture clash.

How do you fire someone?


How do you acknowledge individual contribution in a collaborative environment?

Does faith play a role in your leadership life?

Recall the time when you were learning the most. (Tell us about it, what it felt like, what you learned.)

What was the toughest, but most helpful, piece of feedback you ever got?

Has new technology changed the way you give, or gather, feedback? (Discuss pros/cons of evaluating others this way)?

How do you give negative feedback to a customer?


Can you give your boss positive feedback without sounding like a suck-up?

What do you tell a team that has ‘failed’?

# The Day to Day

How do you prioritize your day?

How do you manage your inbox?

When do you send an email and when do you pick up the phone?


How open should your “open door” policy be?

When do you decide to outsource and when do you keep it in house?


Can teams lead themselves?

How do you give difficult feedback to the team leader?

Why do teams fail?


How can you work with someone you don’t trust?

When do you collaborate, when do you go it alone?


What was the last big thing you learned how to do?

Can curiosity be nurtured in others?

Can an openness to change be developed?


How do you make people less afraid to share their ideas?

How do you re-inspire exhausted team members?


Can anyone be creative?

What have you learned about creating with others?

How can you encourage creativity in a team under stress?

Is it a good idea if nobody gets it?

How do you take creativity/innovation off the table and into the marketplace?

#Your Journey

Talk about a time it became clear that you were the problem.

Does faith play a role in your work life?

How do you renew your spirit? (Showing us would be great.)

What did you used to be afraid of that you aren’t now?

How did you come back from a job or project loss?

#Starting Up

What money do you take, when do you pass?

How important is board make-up?

What “conventional wisdom” advice is totally wrong?

What is the best way to survive a conversation about valuation?

How can a founder become a CEO?


How do you inspire your staff?

How do you attract a younger demographic to your brand?

How do you leverage social networking?

How do you find out what you don’t know?

What workplace task do you dread most (and how do you deal)?

How do you grow your customer/client/user base?

Which is more important culture or strategy?

How do you change the strategic direction of your business?

How do you handle mistakes?

If you could do one thing over again, what would it be?

Does innovation trump growth?

When should you listen to your customers?

What feedback do you take and what do you disregard?

About the author

30 Second MBA is a Fast Company video series featuring practical pieces of advice and wisdom from experienced business leaders--all delivered in 30 seconds. You'll find simple and actionable advice from Mark Zuckerberg, Conan O'Brien, Sheryl Sandberg, and many more