Every fall, I return to the University of Dayton where I am currently completing my graduate studies in Mariology, the study of the Virgin Mary. My degree has nothing to do with my career. Rather it is something I do solely for myself, and it is one of the greatest joys of my life.

Every fall I look forward to returning to Ohio when the leaves have changed and the weather has turned colder. I pull out my leather boots and cashmere sweaters and walk through campus toting textbooks in leather bound bags. It feels nostalgic to grab a cup of coffee from the library and study for hours in the annex.

But more than the feeling itself, the part I love most of all, is academia. The part where I get to learn, and stretch my understanding in ways I never could on my own. I want to learn and grow. To amass knowledge and gain wisdom. That is something I crave above all else and it is why I return to school fall after fall. To absorb the knowledge my teachers have to offer me.

But this year, I have forsaken the tradition. In part because I have started a new job, I’m the head of marketing for a tech company called EveryoneSocial, but also because I want to turn my attention toward a different kind of study. Self-study. A self-study that is directed toward my career and learning the skills necessary to one day bear the title Chief Marketing Officer.

Though I’ve spent close to seven years working my way up as marketing manager, director, and now head of the department, I’ve never received any kind of formal business training. I received my bachelors degree in Fashion Merchandising and my minor in French, and everything else I learned about marketing and business, I learned on the job.

But I’ve been craving more formal training. If there was an MBA in becoming a CMO, I’d already have it. Instead, I decided the next-best thing was to create a podcast. A place where I could learn from the experts in my industry, and share the journey as I go. And so I introduce you to Careerist: The Art Of Professional Achievement.

In this, our inaugural episode, I turned to Rachel Hofstetter. Rachel is the CMO of Chatbooks, but the only formal education she’s ever received is her bachelor’s degree in economics. Over the years she has moonlighted as the food editor for Oprah Magazine, the founder of tech startup Guesterly, and a published author for Penguin publishing house. Here’s what she had to say.