Below is a story for any one who’s intrigued in a couple pointers for their possess product supervisor occupation-hunting experience.
By sharing my tale, I’d like to give a detailed narrative will help you know that all variables participate in into the process: tolerance, cautiously believed-out jobs, and networking — they all subject.
And just to be distinct, luck and timing also perform modest yet important roles in the process of leaping into the hell-fire position that is solution management. I’m not an exception there are varying degrees of luck that played into my very own tale, but they weren’t “make or break” influences. Do not fret — most of the time, they shouldn’t be “make or break” factors for you possibly.
Searching back, it’s quick to conclude that the “heavy lifting” component of my journey was much much more salient, and hence a lot more rewarding. The boring actions of performing action-by-action generating tiny wins using the tricky understanding curve they all performed a lot larger roles.
I’m heading to derive all I can from my very own expertise to give back again to the local community of aspiring PMs so that everyone who reads this can gain a thing out of it for their possess tale. This doesn’t subject if you’re nevertheless a student or 10 years into your present performing lifetime.
Listed here is a significant-amount breakdown of my journey, from 1st year undergrad till now, which is a few months into my graduated doing work lifetime. Try to remember — the factors of value from my tale can however apply to anyone, whether or not if you’re a scholar or not.
This was a mad turbulent time. I wasn’t certain however what I preferred to do just after I graduated, but a person matter was for particular: I understood I had to check out with hands-on knowledge. My discipline of focus would not make a difference as a lot during this time, for the reason that with out any doing the job practical experience at all, what was there to leverage or lean back again on once I did figure out what I needed to do?
So, I took a smaller sacrifice and landed a entire-time volunteer position at a biotech startup in Waterloo, Canada. This part authorized me to check out the whole spectrum of possible work I could discover myself immersed in later in existence. I could operate in the lab on just one day to insert biotech experience, or I could help accomplish trader outreach and other business advancement-related functions.
But what eventually mattered was that this encounter gave me my very first genuine internship at Blackberry in early 2018 — triggering the snowball outcome to hop from just one internship to a further until product or service management was in just arrive at.
This yr was by considerably the most pivotal out of all yrs I have invested throughout my product or service management-searching journey.
At Blackberry, I was a typical organization admin intern — nothing as well extravagant, albeit still fundamentally fulfilling. This was the place I truly found what PM was by watching the merchandise staff from afar: a highly effective and remarkably coveted function inside tech that labored with multiple stakeholders to clear up product troubles. By definition by itself, this previously sounded intriguing to yours truly, so right after my internship finished, I sought to community more durable with total-time PMs or other aspiring PMs to a person day attain my have sense of belonging inside of this job route.
Soon after Blackberry, I did some professional-bono consulting with a college club, and then done an internship in consulting in the slide of 2018. For the duration of this time, even so, I commenced diving head-initial into hackathons regardless of hardly knowing how to code. Conquering this fear of lacking understanding for the sake of working experience designed all the change — the assignments, men and women, and options hackathons experienced opened up for me was mad. I produced positive to take edge of these options by networking with each and every hackathon sponsor and supporting my crew in creating our job in any way I could. And finally, I played the job of a “sponge” — soaking in each piece of knowledge or ability about me as a great deal as I could. Our group even gained a prize at Hack Harvard 2018!
I lastly obtained my very first at any time products internship at SAP in the summer of 2019. For the duration of this time, I also dived into podcasts to diversify my hobbies a little bit, and participated in my university’s solution management club by hosting various completed solution persons on our club’s podcast to chat about their experience for all to listen to.
In the fall, I continued my work research for other solution options without the need of permitting go of that travel for hackathons.
On the facet, even though I applied to various solution position openings, I built absolutely sure to be relentless when it arrived to the purposes and their homework and include letter demands. This especially stayed legitimate for work I actually, really, seriously wanted. Products openings at Reddit, Facebook, Mozilla, Microsoft, RocketBook, ClickTime, PagerDuty, Apple, Splunk — I don’t forget sitting down for 5–6 hours every single 7 days grinding out product assignments or thorough in excess of letters for all of them. Even simply increasing my very own solution/style and design portfolio was nicely worthy of the time. Even if a organization turned down me, I could consider that homework assignment and use it in my very own portfolio. With that way of thinking as the spine for my enthusiasm, I sat down and did every single one one meticulously despite my tight school and additional-curricular agenda. I even wrote out some customized deal with letters along with individuals homework assignments the rationale was: “I’ve previously carried out this significantly, adding a deal with letter is not that much more…may as well go all in.”
A COVID-infested year didn’t prevent my electronic existence I worked for 3 unique corporations as a electronic PM intern in the course of my university coursework. I never ever stopped applying — I recall creating out a couple of more homework assignments, sharpening up my portfolio even far more, and even attempting to get started a couple of facet initiatives by myself. A person matter to be aware is that even for employment you really don’t truly feel enthusiastic about, use for that job interview encounter. You can even almost address them as mock interviews.
For other people who noticed COVID as a time to hide absent and excuse on their own away from successful perform, I noticed it as an opportunity to do regardless of what I preferred: brainstorm side undertaking strategies, enhance my coding, Figma planning, and even on line volunteering for a startup.
It is essential to call out right here (and for all former decades) that I undoubtedly had my downtimes and dips in both productivity and mental wellness. Following all, my journey was not quickly — this climb to becoming a total-time tech merchandise supervisor took me around 4 many years.
This was the calendar year I was graduating, which intended a entire-time task hunting period. Times were absolutely tense — specially that time period spanning from November till March. I’m a restless and impatient individual when it will come to work opportunities, but I was capable to quiet myself often through this time by polishing up on my structure portfolio and looking for mentorship (you must do this as well! I joined WealthSimple’s item & style and design mentorship method). Mentorship was an absolute activity-changer that not only lightened my mood in the course of moments of tension and pessimism, but also authorized me to acquire valuable solution advice from an industry veteran. I’d like to connect with out my mentor, Saksham, Director of Solution at WealthSimple, for the straightforward yet really important enable that he offered just about every thirty day period throughout the system.
As 1 can see, my journey was long and tiresome, not to point out the a great number of, and I indicate a great number of (we’re conversing probably in the 1000s right here — I’m not exaggerating, I wrote it’s possible 100+ include letters that have not even gotten a response, however job interview) rejections, equally ahead of and immediately after interview stages. Maintain your head down, keep your item/venture portfolio and resume up-to-day, produce out some personalized deal with letters for careers you actually want, polish up your abilities (SQL, method structure, UI/UX, anything at all that a merchandise work would want) when you truly feel they could be refreshed, and really do not quit. Be relentless, but also be affected person halting to select up some volunteer operate to enhance that resume never ever hurts.
Greatest of luck out there! Abide by me on Medium and connect with me on LinkedIn if you’d like some more offline guidance!